May 20, 2021
From Radical Glasgow (UK)

       All my adult life, come an election, or as I prefer to call them, the crooks and liars competition, I have heard our political ballerinas sing the usual chorus, “We will end homelessness and we will end child poverty”. They don’t all sing in tune, they all have their own variation. Here I am 87 years old and the latest figures show that in every Scottish local authority, child poverty has increased over the last 6 years.
        Recent figures compiled by Loughborough University create a shocking picture, a scandal of a failed system. The report shows that before we were hit with the pandemic in Scotland, 2019-20, 26% of children were living in poverty, an increase from 23% 2018-19, and up from 24% 2017-18. Glasgow saw the largest increase, up 5.i%. Glasgow child poverty was approximately one in three children struggled under the yoke of child poverty, while in our so called better areas, East Renfrewshire, almost one in six children saw their lives blunted by poverty.
       These are damning figures for a so called advanced developed country, by any standard. However I don’t think those party political animals should jump up and say, “Ah, a failure of the SNP”, England fares no better. In Middlesborough, child poverty grew by an astonishing 12.5% between 2014-15 and 2018, the largest increase in the UK. Tower Hamlets boasts the worst child poverty in the UK with 55,4%, followed by Newham with 50.3% then Barking and Dagenham with 49.9%. Outside London Birmingham takes the prize for child poverty with 41.6%. Another disgusting aspect of this child poverty epidemic is that 68% of those children bighted by poverty, are in families where at least one adult is working. Bang goes their crap phony mantra, that “the best way out of poverty is through work”
        These figures of child poverty, should not be seen as some sort of statistics, they are young lives being blunted, potential being thwarted, young health being damaged and lives disfigured, all unnecessarily.  The UK is one of the richest countries in the world, a country that can spend an estimated £104 billion on a high speed rail from London to Birmingham and throw billions at nuclear weapons and trident submarines, but fails miserably to attend to child poverty. 
        This system of capitalism has had centuries to create a decent life for all involved and has proved to be an abysmal failure. It is a system built on exploitation, power and privileges for the wealthy few, hard work and struggle for the rest of us. The answer lies not in listening to the chorus from our political ballerinas, but in the dismantling of the insanity of capitalism and the state and replacing it with a system of community based co-operation, equality, sustainability and fairness, freed from the cancer of the profit motive and the authoritarian shackles of the state, a system that sees to the needs of all our people. Only then will we see an end to child poverty, and I can stop hearing year in year out, that pathetic chorus sung by vote beggars at each crooks and liars competition, “We will end child poverty”. 


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