Thursday, October 06, 2022

Austerity is murder

Over in the UK, the radical Tory government is planning more benefit cuts to screw the poor. Meanwhile, there's also a timely reminder of exactly what that means: mass-murder:

More than 330,000 excess deaths in Great Britain in recent years can be attributed to spending cuts to public services and benefits introduced by a UK government pursuing austerity policies, according to an academic study.

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.

Previously improving mortality trends started to change for the worse after austerity policies introduced in 2010 when tens of billions of pounds began to be cut from public spending by the Tory-led coalition government, the study said.

The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found there were 334,327 excess deaths beyond the expected number in England, Wales and Scotland over the eight-year period.

The study talks about "excess deaths", but lets be clear: these people were killed by government negligence. They were murdered by depraved indifference. The only reason we're not talking about genocide - the definition of which includes "[d]eliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part" is because the politicians who instigated this slow-motion massacre likely lacked the intent, as they didn't think about their victims at all. Why would they? Its not as if they were important. Its not as if they were people. Its not as if they went to Oxford or Cambridge or Eton or somewhere else that mattered. And yet, given their depraved indifference, its clear that both David Cameron and Theresa May, the Prime Ministers who presided over this, are murderers. And they need to be held to account for every single one of these deaths.

And to bring this home: this is the social policy Christopher Luxon wants to inflict on New Zealand by advocating for tax cuts and austerity. Every time he opens his mouth about that, he needs to be confronted with these numbers, and asked how many people he is willing to kill to benefit the ultra-rich.