UK child poverty levels are double those of 1979, after 27 years of the Thatcher, Major and Blair, Tory and Labour governments, while Brown stands in the wings ready to carry on with the work.
The UNICEF report, ‘Child Poverty in Perspective: An Overview of Child Well-being in Rich Countries’, finds that Britain is bottom of the Child Welfare League amongst 21 advanced industrialised countries and that the principle reason is the basic disease of capitalism – the rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
The Unicef report looked at six categories and 40 indicators.
One of the report’s authors said that vast cuts in expenditure, and under-investment and the ‘dog eat dog’ attitude in Blair’s society, were to blame.
The UK was in the bottom third for five out of the six categories. It was placed in the middle third of the table for health and safety.
The childhood well-being league table shows 1. Netherlands 2. Sweden 3. Denmark 4. Finland 5. Spain 6. Switzerland 7. Norway 8. Italy 9. Republic of Ireland 10. Belgium 11. Germany 12. Canada 13. Greece 14. Poland 15. Czech Republic 16. France 17. Portugal 18. Austria 19. Hungary 20. United States 21. United Kingdom.
The shame of Britain’s position is only slightly relieved by the fact that second from bottom is the richest country in the world, the US.
It is a fact that for Thatcher, Blair and Gordon Brown the ideal society was and is the United States. On child poverty they have even managed to outdo the US!
Apeing Reagan, Clinton and Bush they have established an Americanised UK, entirely deregulated and privatised, with trade unions weakened by legal chains, and with the rich rampant, lightly taxed – if taxed at all – with their drive for super profits catered for by the new god of ‘globalisation’, and the right of capital to pursue super profits at any cost.
Already, the new Thatchers and Blairs are putting themselves forward, demanding as Charles Clarke, the ex-Labour Home Secretary has just done, that NHS health care and all education should be paid for.
In this situation Labour tells the poor that it is their duty to make themselves super flexible, and therefore worthy of employment as cheap labourers by global capital.
United in the one capital city of London you have the irreconcilable opposites – hundreds of city speculators enjoying billions of profits and millions in bonuses, at the same time as the unemployed and single mothers are threatened with starvation through the loss of benefits if they do not find full time work.
Throughout the country you have have up to a million cheap labourers brought in from Eastern Europe solely to make super profits for the rich, and to keep workers’ wage rates down.
This drive to be rich and trample on the poor is infectious.
You even have charities such as Peabody Trust seeking to sell some of its estates, thus worsening the housing crisis, so that it can build high-rise flats for sale for sums of up to £500,000.
In this society to be poor is a crime. To be rich is godly. The children of the poor are seen as the dregs to be asboed and humiliated at every turn, or identified as trouble makers from the age of six, according to the latest Blairite dictates.
No wonder that London, or Moscow by the Thames, is the chosen destination of Russian billionaires, who live in protected luxury housing units, pay hardly any taxes, and know that unlike the situation in Russia their wealth will not be renationalised by the British state.
In the US and the UK in particular, where wealth is being constantly redistributed from the poor to the rich, there is only one remedy for this situation.
This is a socialist revolution to expropriate the bourgeoisie and smash their capitalist state and capitalist system, to bring in socialist and then communist equality.