petej + poverty   726

'A dizzying maze': how the UK immigration system is geared to reject | UK news | The Guardian
We like to tell ourselves a very particular version of the UK’s past – one in which we have held the door open to people fleeing conflict and persecution, and welcomed others from all over the world. Whenever the brutal realities of this country’s asylum system make newspaper headlines, the Home Office response almost always includes some variation of “The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need it.” But while there are tales of a warm reception for some, and people have made a life for themselves in this country, there are at least as many – if not more – stories of doors slammed shut in people’s faces and faceless walls of bureaucracy confronting those who arrive. This has been the case for decades.
UK  immigration  asylum  legal  legalAid  costs  bureaucracy  poverty  hostileEnvironment  cuts  housing  outsourcing  G4S  Serco  detention  deportation  complexity  migration  migrants  refugees  dctagged  dc:creator=GoodfellowMaya 
15 days ago by petej
Red Meat for the Faragists
One of the deficiencies of Corbynism has been the way it thinks about the state; riding the back of an anti-austerity wave, it has tended to treat all questions of state services, including the police, as a matter of funding. The limbs of the state atrophy under a Tory tourniquet, so the role of a Labour government is to loosen the knot, restore the flow of money, and return the body politic to health. The problem is that this ignores any consideration of what the limb in question does, what its hand grasps or lets go: what is considered a crime, what public good is served by policing, how it acts to reduce crime. It is a commonplace in post-conflict societies that policing has a profound effect on the unity and character of the state, and public trust in it; the same is true here, and the circuit of political feedback between policing and the state ought to make it a target for a Labour Party set on democratic renewal.

Questions of human rights, judicial power and the state have rarely been the dominant strain in British gas-and-water socialism, but materials for a new social democratic approach to policing certainly exist: one would be a deep and warranted scepticism about the penal system as the basis of social order; another, which Patrick Colquhoun and Adam Smith understood in the 18th century, the idea that most solutions to crime can be supplied by political economy. A conversation about policing cannot be limited to crime, but must also consider social peace and security – the guarantee of the fundamentals of a good life. The obvious analogy is with securing good health as well as curing the advanced symptoms of illness.
UK  politics  ToryParty  JohnsonBoris  policing  prison  stopAndSearch  crime  authoritarianism  TheRight  deterrence  rehabilitation  surveillance  control  ArendtHannah  LabourParty  HaighLouise  Corbynism  poverty  dctagged  dc:creator=ButlerJames 
august 2019 by petej
How to Be an Anticapitalist Today
Give up the fantasy of smashing capitalism. Capitalism is not smashable, at least if you really want to construct an emancipatory future. You may personally be able to escape capitalism by moving off the grid and minimizing your involvement with the money economy and the market, but this is hardly an attractive option for most people, especially those with children, and certainly has little potential to foster a broader process of social emancipation.

If you are concerned about the lives of others, in one way or another you have to deal with capitalist structures and institutions. Taming and eroding capitalism are the only viable options. You need to participate both in political movements for taming capitalism through public policies and in socioeconomic projects of eroding capitalism through the expansion of emancipatory forms of economic activity.

We must renew an energetic progressive social democracy that not only neutralizes the harms of capitalism but also facilitates initiatives to build real utopias with the potential to erode the dominance of capitalism.
anti-capitalism  capitalism  politics  livingStandards  inequality  poverty  growth  productivity  environment  crisis  revolution  socialDemocracy  reform  regulation  redistribution  globalisation  neoliberalism  anarchism  utopias  cooperatives  libraries  P2P  wikipedia  UniversalBasicIncome  dctagged  dc:creator=WrightErikOlin 
february 2019 by petej
The country I walked through deserves better than Brexit | Mike Carter | Opinion | The Guardian
Nearly everyone I spoke to in those towns said they were going to vote for Brexit. There was a lot of talk of “taking back control”, and in the context of the industrial wastelands, that sentiment made a lot of sense. But the EU issue was, for a majority, a proxy for their pain.

There was a brief moment when it appeared the Conservatives grasped this. When Theresa May became prime minister on 13 July 2016, after David Cameron had fled the post-referendum carnage, she addressed the “just about managing” and said the government “will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours … When we take the big calls, we’ll think not of the powerful, but you.”

But since then we have had a government paralysed by Brexit, effectively not governing at all. We have ongoing crises in most aspects of public policy: housing, transport, prisons, the benefits system, health, education. Homelessness is rocketing, as is food bank use. In some areas of our inner cities, Dickensian diseases such as rickets and beriberi have re-emerged. At a time when politicians should be reaching out to leave voters with concrete proposals for rebalancing our economy, heavily based as it is on services and centred in the south-east, we get a continuation of turbo-charged austerity. In their call for a second referendum, remainers should ask themselves whether the anger that drove the result in June 2016 has been even remotely addressed.

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Brexit will deliver none of this. As driven by the right, it is the final part of the race to the bottom that started 40 years ago. There are no easy answers, but until our politicians begin to acknowledge that the globalised neoliberal economic model is a disaster for human beings and the planet we inhabit, we will remain angry and scared and vulnerable to dog whistles. And maybe that is the point.
UK  Brexit  economy  inequality  poverty  deindustrialisation  homelessness  anger  housing  rents  gambling  Bet365  austerity  localGovernment  cuts  AlstonPhilip  UN  politics  TheRight  neoliberalism 
february 2019 by petej
'It is terrible but I still want it': Crewe voters size up no-deal Brexit | Politics | The Guardian
“Look at this,” he said, pointing to a paragraph about negotiating a banking collapse. “This is what’s coming.” He’d been stockpiling tins for months. A no-deal Brexit was going to make everyone poorer, he said. But it was worth it, if it meant the UK got control over immigration. That’s why he voted to leave the European Union: “We’ve got too many of them coming over here and I want it to stop.”
UK  EU  Brexit  Leave  noDeal  stockpiling  shortage  poverty  immigration  SmithLaura  CooperYvette  amendments  xenophobia  Crewe 
february 2019 by petej
Poverty exists. Shooting the UN messenger won’t erase that fact | Nesrine Malik | Opinion | The Guardian
Predictably and punctually, the denials of Alston’s findings arrived. He was told by the UK government that the social support system was ticking along nicely, and that there was no extreme poverty in the UK because, among other cherry-picked statistics, household incomes were at a record high. This encapsulates the government’s broken logic – to which it holds doggedly despite all contrary evidence – that because some people are becoming better off, then all of us are. If anything, this excuse reifies allegations of a two-tier society, where one half is getting richer while the other is getting poorer, and high walls are erected against the desperate and eyes averted from their suffering.

The UK is in a spiral where an irreversible, indisputable calamity has to happen – a Windrush or a Grenfell – before any tragically belated reforms are introduced. Shooting the UN messenger may afford this government temporary relief, but it comes at the expense of the country’s future.
UN  AlstonPhilip  UK  austerity  poverty  humanRights  vulnerability  inequality 
november 2018 by petej
Will Nissan stay once Britain leaves? How one factory explains the Brexit business dilemma | News | The Guardian
“The deal [is] tangible evidence of the benefits to the UK of membership of the European Community; Nissan [has] chosen the United Kingdom because it [gives] them access to the whole European market. If we were outside the community, it is very unlikely that Nissan would have given the United Kingdom serious consideration as a base for this substantial investment.”

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In fact, after Cornwall, the north-east receives England’s second-highest amount of EU structural funding proportionate to its population, according to a report compiled before the referendum for Sunderland’s public and private sector partnership, the Economic Leadership Board. The current round of EU funding, being managed by the region’s local enterprise partnership, is £437m between 2014 and 2020. Nissan itself, according to Farnsworth’s research, has received £450m in loans from the European Investment Bank, and £347m in grants and other public funding, from the UK and EU.
Nissan  cars  manufacturing  business  Sunderland  employment  jobs  HodgsonSharon  Brexit  EU  components  supply  just-in-time  efficiency  singleMarket  customsUnion  WTO  noDeal  GhosnCarlos  Renault  Mitsubishi  investment  costs  unemployment  deprivation  poverty  industry  ThatcherMargaret  HeseltineMichael  Japan  Honda  Toyota  grants  government  Unite  tradeUnion  GibsonIan  uncertainty  RamsbothamJames  dctagged  dc:creator=ConnDavid 
october 2018 by petej
Spice: a lethal epidemic fuelled by austerity | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
As well as the lunacy of our continuing prohibition of cannabis (whose liberalisation would kill some of the demand for dangerous alternatives), Spice shines a light on deep social attitudes to poverty and personal breakdown, and the way that at a certain point on the modern social continuum, empathy and care seem to shrink to nothing. In most places, spice users are shorthanded as “zombies” – a term used on that Mirror front page, that chimes with popular stereotypes of drug users down the ages(witness the famous American book published in the 1920s, Dope: The Story of the Living Dead), but also betrays a very modern sense of snobbery and voyeurism.

Certainly, on Facebook and YouTube, phone-videos of spice “zombies” form a grim genre: a nasty, contemptuous kind of entertainment, in which self-evident suffering is there to be giggled at. One Facebook post captures the general idea: “After the success of our first ‘spice zombie’ spotting tour through Grimsby town centre last Saturday … we plan to bring it to Hull city centre on Saturday 30 June. It’s a great day out for all ages, spotting the spice zombies from the safety of a large, friendly group.”
UK  spice  drugs  poverty  exclusion  mentalHealth  austerity  voyeurism  contempt  empathy  morality  dctagged  dc:creator=HarrisJohn 
september 2018 by petej
Americans Want to Believe Jobs Are the Solution to Poverty. They’re Not. - The New York Times
But rather than hold itself accountable, America reverses roles by blaming the poor for their own miseries.

Here is the blueprint. First, valorize work as the ticket out of poverty, and debase caregiving as not work. Look at a single mother without a formal job, and say she is not working; spot one working part time and demand she work more. Transform love into laziness. Next, force the poor to log more hours in a labor market that treats them as expendables. Rest assured that you can pay them little and deny them sick time and health insurance because the American taxpayer will step in, subsidizing programs like the earned-income tax credit and food stamps on which your work force will rely. Watch welfare spending increase while the poverty rate stagnates because, well, you are hoarding profits. When that happens, skirt responsibility by blaming the safety net itself. From there, politicians will invent new ways of denying families relief, like slapping unrealistic work requirements on aid for the poor.

As I watched this young man identify with Smith’s character, it dawned on me that what his parents, preachers, teachers, coaches and guidance counselors had told him for motivation — “Study hard, stick to it, dream big and you will be successful” — had been internalized as a theory of life.

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We need a new language for talking about poverty. “Nobody who works should be poor,” we say. That’s not good enough. Nobody in America should be poor, period. No single mother struggling to raise children on her own; no formerly incarcerated man who has served his time; no young heroin user struggling with addiction and pain; no retired bus driver whose pension was squandered; nobody. And if we respect hard work, then we should reward it, instead of deploying this value to shame the poor and justify our unconscionable and growing inequality. “I’ve worked hard to get where I am,” you might say. Well, sure. But Vanessa has worked hard to get where she is, too.
USA  economy  poverty  jobs  pay  wages  employment  outsourcing  zeroHours  insecurity  precarity  socialMobility  workEthic  welfare  workfare  TrumpDonald  blame 
september 2018 by petej
Make junk food expensive, and children will go hungry | Phil McDuff | Opinion | The Guardian
We shy away from policies that would address these broader structural issues because we have become more terrified of the negative outcomes of government interference in markets than of the negative outcomes of government inaction. We run scared from policies that would increase wages and leisure time, because “the economy” might suffer – as if it were an angry volcano god to be placated with human sacrifice. We have “reformed” the welfare state into tatters because we think it’s more important that absolutely nobody gets a penny more than they “deserve” than it is to ensure that everyone has the capacity to eat and live well. And while the Tories are all over the idea that reducing tax will leave people with more money in their pocket, they often seem blind to the fact that for people with low incomes their rent and bills eat up a much bigger proportion of their wages than tax.

What’s left for policymakers? Mucking about on the edges, pilot schemes and programmes to nudge or price people into healthier choices. None are going to work unless we alter the structure of society and make these choices accessible. It’s time to stop trying to fix the symptoms of an unhealthy society – and start treating the causes.
food  poverty  health  fastFood  obesity  marketing  prices  class  OliverJamie  SturgeonNicola  UK  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=McDuffPhil 
may 2018 by petej
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