If you choose to look at the world through the lens of a particular ideology, you won’t ever see reality as it is. When it comes to the lens of economic ideology, some schools of thought are so toxic that when applied to human societies, the wreak untold havoc.
In the UK, the conservative party has implemented their vision of a free market society with such force that the United Nations is now launching an investigation into the violation of British citizen’s human rights. From Al Jazeeera:
The UK has become the first country in the world to be placed under investigation by the United Nations for violating the human rights of people with disabilities amid fears that thousands may have died as a consequence of controversial welfare reforms and austerity-driven cuts to benefits and care budgets.
UN inspectors are expected to arrive in the country within days to begin collecting evidence to determine whether the British government has committed “systematic and grave violations” of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
The convention, which came into force in 2008, codifies the rights of disabled people to freedom, respect, equality and dignity.
The cuts rammed through by the conservative government are having a terrible effect on the disabled, as starkly portrayed by a report released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in August of 2015. The report showed that 2,380 people died between 2011 and 2014 soon after their benefits were stopped. The report also indicated that a further 7,200 people died after their benefits were reduced and were placed in support groups to prepare them for reintegration into the work place. The DWP report makes clear that it does not claim “any causal effect between benefits and mortality,” but the statistics were troubling enough to instigate a United Nations investigation.
The overall data on the effects of extreme austerity and free market capitalism is incredibly clear: it does not speed up recovery from recession, and causes and immense amount of damage to the working poor. Britain’s latest assault on the most vulnerable members of its society is particularly abhorrent given Cameron’s continued insistence that taxing the rich is “morally wrong.”
Of course if you really, really believe it, it must be so.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.