Social murder is a phrase applied to changes in government policy that lead to greater poverty and result in anxiety, suicide and early death.
The perfect example of social murder is the stance taken by the Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and his Chancellor George Osborne with the introduction of ‘austerity’ after the financial crisis in 2008.
The crisis and the recession that followed was caused by international banks providing cheap credit with lax lending standards to new home buyers. When the housing market collapsed, banks were left holding trillions of dollars of worthless investments in subprime mortgages.
British bankers taking home millions in bonuses had in a deluded frenzy made themselves believe that buying debt could be turned to profit and now needed billions from the Treasury to prevent bankruptcy and national disaster.
Where did the money come from?
It came from the pockets and wallets of working people in wage restraints and unprecedented cuts to hospitals, schools, pensions, social welfare, legal aid, mental health provision, probation services and the proliferation of zero hours contracts.
The Normalisation of Hunger
When Cameron came to power in coalition with the Liberal Democrats in 2010, the Trussell Trust operated 35 food banks.
As of July 2022, after 12 years of Conservative government under Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, the Trussell Trust runs 1,400 food banks with at least, according to the government’s own figures, an additional 1,172 independent food banks.
About 30% of NHS workers earn less than £23,000 per year, so little, according to the BBC, the Leicester NHS Trust hasn’t increased staff wages but opened food banks with essential groceries and toiletries. Perhaps they have taken a leaf from the Asda playbook. The supermarke chain has donated £5 million to the Trussell Trust to help their own underpaid employees get free food.
What is Social Murder?
Social murder is the ‘stealthy’ normalisation of social injustice, poverty, deprivation, mums going without to feed their littles ones, local councils too strapped for cash to provide school meals for hungry children, working families who work long hours and are still unable to keep up with the rent, council tax, heating bills.
The brutal policies of Cameron continued by May, Johnson and Truss, each in turn taking a stride further to the right, lead us to the neoliberal idealogue Rishi Sunak.
The new Prime Minister has set himself up as a saviour. But just as Cameron saved the banks, Sunak will be robbing the poor with a new wave of austerity to prop up the service economy – the banking, accounting, tax avoidance and offshore trust framework that serves his sort of people – the richest people in the world.
Lest we forget: as Chancellor, Sunak wrote off £4 billion in bogus PPE contracts and £37 billion went down the drain in a test and trace project that never worked. According to the Daily Mirror, his wife Akshata Murty in 2021 claimed up to £100,000 in taxpayer’s cash – your money – to pay furloughed staff at her gym business and had a loan of £1.3 million written off by the Treasury. The Sunaks slyly kept their American Green Cards and Akshata Murty kept her non-dom status saving many millions of pounds until caught in the act.
At COP27 in Egypt, the Prime Minister promised a radical green agenda, while at home oil companies have been invited to a new licensing round to explore for oil and gas in the North Sea ‘with as many as 100 licences set to be awarded,’ according to the BBC.
Rishi Sunak’s family has investments in the giant oil company Shell and is ‘directly profiting from continued fossil fuel exploitation,’ according to Byline Times. Sunak’s wife has a £690 million stake in Infosys, her father’s internet company with offices that have remained open in Moscow while most businesses have closed up shop since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Cuts to public services, benefits and Universal Credit introduced by Iain Duncan Smith have resulted in more than 334,000 excess deaths as a direct result of austerity, according to a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, reported in the Guardian, 5 October 2022.
The authors of the study suggest additional deaths between 2012 and 2019 – prior to the Covid pandemic – ‘reflect an increase in people dying prematurely after experiencing reduced income, ill-health, poor nutrition and housing, and social isolation.’
Liz Truss came to power pledging tax cuts for the rich. Rishi Sunak is more canny. He won’t say as much. He’ll just get on and do it. It is a fool who believes politicians will end the problems and poverty they have created in the first place. Levelling up is, of course, just a phrase, a joke.
A spokesman for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said: ‘Never once have I heard a Conservative leader, or politician for that matter, face the fact and offer a solution to the fact that more than one in five people in the UK (22%) live in poverty – that’s 14.5 million people. Of these, 8.1 million are working-age adults, 4.3 million are children and 2.1 million are pensioners.’
The phrase social murder was coined by Friedrich Engels in The Condition of the Working-Class in England, a book published in his 1845.
What is social murder? Conservative policy is social murder.
Read Margaret Thatcher Ruined Britain – when the race to poverty got started.
” only those not rowing can afford to rock the boat ”
– Jean Paul SARTRE
Why aren’t these two-faced slit-tongued immoral criminals being prosecuted like any ordinary villain? Because what they do isn’t against the law but is against morality. And because somehow our “democratic” Magna Carta keeps the majority of us in chains and poverty while the rich get richer. Their parallel is, of course, the Sheriff of Nottingham robbing the poor to give to the rich – the opposite of Robin Hood. Can’t magna carta be changed somehow? They took the power from the monarch, gave it to themselves and we, the poor workers, are stuffed while the rich get richer without being the monarch whilst having all the power.
You couldn’t make it up.
Revolution? What revolution? They obviously believe in letting the poor eat cake if they can’t afford bread!!
A link from the People’s Covid Inquiry showing that they have sent a letter to the Met charging various government MPs with misconduct in pubil office.
There are links to the full report at the end of the letter. The site itself has lots of evidence. I sat through it all 2 hours every fortnight for a long time last year.
Led by Michael Mansfield, it shows that some people care about the government killing other people.
Very commendable but what did Cressida Dick and/or her successor do about prosecuting the offending villains? I haven’t heard or read anything about it
Unbiased fact-checking service here …
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, while in some ways admirable, is captured by the need to generate poverty for it to campaign against. Hence it relies (https://www.jrf.org.uk/file/45780/download?token=zjlY4i-J&filetype=full-report) on definitions of poverty that appear reasonable in principle but result in poverty being attributed to conditions that would be relished by actual poor inhabitants of what Mr Trump, in a rare encounter with accuracy, categorised as “shithole countries”. So much so that they give up their family’s savings or enter life-long debt or bondage and put their lives at risk to enjoy the poverty conditions of the UK.
A modern-day Swift might suggest rendering illegal immigrants into pies for the benefit of the hungry British poor, but obesity massively outweighs involuntary malnutrition as a public health issue.
As for the Trussell Trust, it has institutionalised what was formerly a personal transaction, where a friend or neighbour or the vicar’s wife would help with a stew if someone was short (what Mrs Thatcher contrasted with “Society”). Unsurprisingly, when a well financed charity promotes food banks, food banks appear where few previously existed. Let’s hope it’s not Kids Company all over again.
Mrs Sunak correctly and legally held non-dom status and paid the associated protection money, until it became a political issue when her husband became Chancellor. Since citizens generally spend their money more wisely than governments, we all have a moral duty to pay the least tax that the law allows even if we might vote for government services funded by taxation.
Tax cuts for the rich are problematic mostly because “rich” people pay almost all the tax, even if less well-off people might pay what they consider a significant amount of tax in various ways. Hence the Exchequer can only reduce taxes for the “rich” if high rates are discouraging economic activity (Reagan 1983, eg), thus reducing overall revenues, on which basis Kwarteng would have restored higher-rate income tax to the level that applied during the last Labour government. Otherwise the principle of plucking the fowl without making it squawk* applies.
* “plumer la poule sans la faire crier”: Turgot — a man called Anne, similar to Johnny Cash — in a letter to David Hume, 1766)
Politicians should be held to account for their actions, and not like truss being rewarded with £ 115000.00 for life for 44 days as PM for a budget that has brought UK to its knees.
We aren’t short of people, especially useless ones and an increasing number of professional parasites. We need to admit this, as well as deal with the political issue mentioned. Sunak was elected, he won a seat. His government won FPTP, and UK people like FPTP even though it ensure only a minority get represented by government. If you don’t like the results change the system. If its killing people, then you know what you have to do to stop it – fight it. Three choices: 1. Effect Change within the system – which isn’t possible as there are no options for change, certainly no viable ones. 2 Leave the UK. 3. With popular supoprt exert the force necessary to effect a change, by violence if necessary, and it will be, for the greater good. I’m going for 2.