Mr. Lawson ‘the Thatcher Revolution’ was finished or simply collapsed from the weight of a mendacious faith in the ‘Free Market’ in 2008! Or has that fact passed you by? Mrs. Thatcher passed out copies of ‘The Road to Serfdom’ like party favors, but one can see that the title was a prescient description of the political present. Knowing that compassion and care are utterly irrelevant, even scorned practices, concepts in Hayek circles, what can we make of a news story from the Guardian and a report from Oxfam?
“Headline: More than a million people in UK living in destitution, study shows
Sub-headline: Research by Joseph Rowntree Foundation finds 668,000 households unable to afford essentials such as food, heating and clothes
More than a million people in the UK are so poor they cannot afford to eat properly, keep clean or stay warm and dry, according to a groundbreaking attempt to measure the scale of destitution in Britain.
A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) found that 184,500 households experienced a level of poverty in a typical week last year that left them reliant on charities for essentials such as food, clothes, shelter and toiletries.
More than three-quarters of destitute people reported going without meals, while more than half were unable to heat their home. Destitution affected their mental health, left them socially isolated and prone to acute feelings of shame and humiliation.
Although the study could not demonstrate that destitution had increased in recent years, it said this would be a plausible conclusion because of related evidence showing austerity-era rises in severe poverty, food bank use, homelessness and benefit sanction rates.
“Food poverty in UK
Although the UK is the seventh richest country in the world, many people struggle to afford food.
- In 2012-13, the Trussell Trust foodbank network, an Oxfam partner, provided over 350,000 people in the UK with food parcels – more than double the year before.
- Oxfam and Church Action on Poverty estimate that over 500,000 people in the UK are now reliant on food parcels.
- Over 2 million people in the UK are estimated to be malnourished, and 3 million are at risk of becoming so.
- 36% of the UK population are just one heating bill or a broken washing machine away from hardship.
- 1 in 6 parents have gone without food themselves to afford to feed their families
“People at the upper end of the income scale have no idea of what’s going on down at the bottom of the scale. They don’t realise how much people are really hurting.”
Sir Michael Marmot, health inequality expert and author of Fair Society, Healthy Lives.
The Thatcher Revolution, in the year 2016, and its egregious failures to meet the needs of its citizens through some 37 years (Tory and New Labour) are glaringly obvious, to all but the most myopic of Hayek’s acolytes. Perhaps, the editors of The Financial Times, can look to these sobering statistics and find the root of The Rebellion Against The Elites, that has become their idée fixe?