It has now been a week since Brexit. A week for sovereignty to be regained, a week to send out the 50p’s, and a week for the United Kingdom to remain afloat. From Boris Johnson’s majority government, to estimating what the future holds.
Alternatively, the past week has meant that the media’s concentration on Brexit has allowed the ever growing inequality within the United Kingdom to be overlooked once again.
The same old song and dance
When the Brexit campaign was launched four years ago arguments from the leave campaign were centred around protection of the British people. To ensure this they promised £350 million to the National Health Service, along with a cut to immigration, with current figures supposedly being out of control. Realistically, these aims were soundbites that would be impressionable on the public’s insecure ears.
If the Conservative government truly cared about protecting the British people, they would not be offering empty promises. Instead, they would tackle the injustices present in society.
The wealth divide in the United Kingdom has meant that poverty has become an every growing problem within society. Dating from 2018, the SMC reported that an estimated 14.3 million people were living in poverty and the worst part is that these statistics are outdated. As of 2019, 4.5 million in this range were living in deep poverty, an area defined as struggling to even meet basic living standards. Looking forward, it is estimated that come 2022, there will be 5.2 million children living in poverty, with this being a political choice.
Boris Johnson has proven himself to be out of touch on multiple occasions. By telling the British public there are 400,000 fewer children in poverty than in 2010, he has misrepresented data and directly failed to offer security to the children suffering from poverty.
Research from the Resolution Foundation warns that child poverty could reach a 60-year high under the current Conservative government due to its planned benefit cuts.
As the poor become poorer, the rich get richer
Whilst Johnson holds a net worth of an estimated £2 million he is able to live a life of luxury. It is just a shame that such a lifestyle means he is able to name the price of a bottle of champagne from knowledge and not a standard pint of milk. This history of the Conservatives failing to have a grip on reality does not fall far from the tree, with David Cameron’s shared uncertainty of the price of a loaf of bread.
The characteristics of those who represents us are key to overcoming our biggest problems. Currently our government is lead by people who have been raised with silver spoons in their mouths, and who disguise the gap between the rich and poor by sweeping it under the carpet.
The measures installed by the government will either alleviate or worsen the current situation. Austerity has devastated lives, with the bedroom tax being just one example. This policy attacks those with a spare room – from the disabled, single parents, and so forth – and is a way to take money from those simply trying to get by. The stigma brought about in the United Kingdom does not end there. Shows such as ‘Can’t Pay, We’ll Take It Away’ demonise those living pay cheque to pay cheque, whilst the elected officials have mansions with empty rooms and do not pay a penny extra. Corruption?
In the last election it was a sad reality that polling stations were not just being held in schools, churches or sports halls, but also the food banks that desperate families rely on. The Conservative government has forced the countries nurses to turn to food banks, now having more food banks across the country than McDonalds.
Johnson represented his out-of-touch nature yet again by expressing the fantastic service of food banks, one which distributes food to those who look hunger directly in the eyes, rather than not creating the need for them in the first place. Any guesses at what caused their rise? Austerity and their beloved bedroom tax.
Brexit leaves a wave of uncertainty in many Brits, but it is not the be-all and end-all. If anything is, it is ensuring a basic standard of living for all.