A Christmas Message for Theresa May

A Christmas Message for Theresa May:

Spare a moment over the festive season in your warm centrally heated home with luxury food in abundance for the 300,000 people in Britain who are homeless, including 128,000 children and over 4,000 rough sleepers; the result of Tory policies which have taken money from the most vulnerable in our society and handed it to the better-off. While you enjoy your opulent Christmas sadly it’ll be a different story for homeless people waking up shivering on the pavement, families with children waking on Christmas day in cramped depressing B&Bs or hostel rooms. The children will have few if any new toys for Christmas, their parents having been made destitute as a result of Tory benefit cuts and other austerity measures.

Are you even aware that only last Sunday a thirty-eight year old man died sleeping rough in Birmingham on a bitterly cold night. 

Take time to reflect on the increase in childhood and pensioners poverty which has soared by 400,000 and 300,000 respectively since the Conservatives came to power, the worst decline in decades. Now in the world’s seventh richest country 14 million people currently live in poverty. Shameful.

This Christmas think about the disabled people whose already difficult lives have been detrimentally affected by your so called welfare reforms which the UN have condemned. Vicious attacks on the most vulnerable in our society which have resulted in an increase in poverty and the overall death rate including a high rate of suicides by disabled people after the withdrawal of welfare benefits. This also includes the mentally ill of course who now have to increasingly cope alone as there are 6,700 fewer mental health nurses and 5,000 fewer mental health beds since 2010.

Take time from your hectic schedule to spare a thought for the thousands of people on universal credit who will not receive a payment at Christmas.

Please consider the overworked and underpaid NHS staff who have seen drastic cuts in their numbers, who struggle to cope with underfunding that has resulted in such outrages as 10,000 patients a week left waiting in ambulances outside A&Es ;  Long waits in A&E which have increased by 557% in seven years  and cancelled surgery for 10s of thousands of people.

Thanks to you Theresa May and your government we are now living in a period of great social injustice of which sadly some people are not aware. You and your predecessor have managed to turn the clock back to a time most of us do not remember and thought had been consigned to history.

Tell me: How do you sleep at night?

Related Links

Perhaps Theresa May and other Tories should also consider the following questions:

“It’s like an ordinary day, to be honest”: How the cuts stole Christmas

As foodbanks stockpile and benefits are withheld, Britain faces crisis this festive season.
https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2017/12/it-s-ordinary-day-be-honest-how-cuts-stole-christmas

As a result of conservative policies it is estimated that over 4,000 disabled and vulnerable people may have died, but this figure could be much higher as a result of welfare cuts:

Welfare Reform Deaths – Memorial Page – Please Stop Killing Us
http://calumslist.org/

Recent research shows the conservative party’s austerity policies have resulted in the deaths of 120,000 people

Landmark study links Tory austerity to 120,000 deaths
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/tory-austerity-deaths-study-report-people-die-social-care-government-policy-a8057306.html

More UK children homeless or in temporary housing than during crash crisis
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/06/more-children-homeless-or-in-temporary-housing-than-during-crash-crisis

One in every 200 people in UK are homeless, according to Shelter
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/08/one-in-every-200-people-in-uk-are-homeless-according-to-shelter

I never thought the day would come when the UK would be subject to UN condemnation concerning human rights, particularly in respect to its treatment of disabled and vulnerable people. Anyone reading this please consider the above, Theresa May is not solely responsible.  If you voted Tory and continue to support them you are complicit in this, the greatest social injustice in our country in a long time. It is shameful that so many people either are ignorant of what is happening or simply do not care.

“Stand for what is right even it that means standing alone”
Suzy Kassem

 

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The Price of War

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Some facts about military budgets

All currency is calculated in US dollars. This is because most of the on-line information is calculated in dollars.

World military spending totaled more than 1.6 trillion dollors in 2015. The U.S. accounted for 37 percent of this total.

List of countries by military expenditures
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

The US government alone spends over 700 billion dollars annually on its military.

The cost  to end world hunger  is $30 billion  per year — $737 billion per year is the amount Congress spends on Defense

The U.S’s. military expenditures exceeds the following seven nations combined, in order of expenditure: China,( For every dollar China spends the US spends $2.77) Saudi Arabia, Russia, UK, India, France, Japan: US Defence Spending Compared to Other Countires: 

I must say that India being right up there in the top seven military budgets spending a huge 53.6 billion is surprising but shocking with around 170 million people living in poverty.

The UK has a military budget of 55.5 billion dollars  but apparently under the present conservative government not enough money to adequately fund the NHS and Social Services: Cuts to benefits including those for disabled people,who people have experienced vicious cuts in benefits and services and Social services including neighbourhood services . Also cuts to school budgets of 3billion  a small amount compared to the UK’s military budget.

The USA recently dropped on Afghanistan a bomb costing $314 million yet there is not enough money for education, health care, the 50 million people who go hungry in the USA, meals on wheels, housing, the Environmental Protection Agency, Legal aid for the poor and low-income heating assistance – the last four are to be cut in accordance with the latest budget proposals

Is this what most of the world’s people want? Are we happy that our extortionate taxes pay for our governments to massacre and make destitute millions of people, not to forget animals killed in war, and the destruction of the environment. While the rich get richer and profit from the slaughter the poor die in wars, either as combatants or as civilians who readily support such conflicts, willing going to fight like lambs to the slaughter misguided by the warped ideology of patriotism or other supposedly noble notion.

There is one thing for certain wars are rarely fought for noble causes.

“All wars are fought for the acquisition of wealth” said Socrates, throughout history nothing has changed, war continues to benefit the wealthy, who are protected from its immediate effects, at the expense of the poor.  Trump will be sitting in his opulent golden tower or playing golf while tens of thousands of men women and children die in any conflict with Korea. He was playing golf on Good Friday morning at his West Palm Beach golf course in Florida as North Korea threatened to go to war with the US if provoked

I wonder how keen Trump would be if he like the Kings of times past was expected to lead his troops into battle. Would he be so all fired up to go to war if he had to leave his home and his family and put his life on the line? I doubt it. Like the coward he is he sends others to die with the callous indifference typical of a sociopath .

Apparently Pence told the Japanese that the U.S. will confront the North Korean nuclear threat:  “I say on his (Trumps)behalf today to all the people of Japan, in these challenging times, we are with you 100 percent.” Ummm I wonder where Pence will be when the bombs start dropping, in his nuclear bunker I suppose as will be Korea’s murdering sociopathic monster , the so-called Supreme leader Kim Jong-un

“In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.”
Leo Tolstoy

What real say have any of us had concerning the war mongering escapades in recent decades undertaken by the US and it’s ally the UK, yet it is mostly the civilian populations that suffers . Here in the UK the mostly bitterly divided parliament almost always agree when it comes to waging war. Yet if this was put to a referendum the outcome may well be very different.

“A people free to choose will always choose peace.” Ronald Reagan

Most of us wherever we live: Syria, UK, USA, Japan North or South Korea just want to live our lives in peace. Instead our lives are destroyed by power-hungry sociopaths in their quest for power and acquisition. If given a choice most of us want this money spent on enhancing our lives, ridding the world of poverty, hunger and disease. The overwhelming majority would rather this money was spent on providing food, universal health care and services for sick and disabled people, free education, decent housing and… Well a quality of life free from the treat of war and insecurity.

What could the USA better spend 700, million dollars on : how much could that money have helped the American people. 

How about spending some of this money in combating homelessness in the USA rather than make people homeless and destitute in the Middle East and elsewhere.

How about universal health care, America’s health care is one of the most expensive in the world. It’s estimated there are between 20,000 and 45,000 deaths a year due to lack of health insurance

Under a recent proposal Meals on wheels which delivers food to elderly and disabled people and housing assistance part of the $3 billion Community Development programme is set be completely dismantled. Included in the same proposal is increased funding for the military and Trumps border wall. Yet £2.4 billion is a puny amount compared to the US’ military budget.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-budget-latest-mick-mulvaney-cuts-food-poor-meals-wheels-welfare-taxpayers-compassionate-white-a7634561.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-meals-on-wheels-cut-pay-mexico-border-wall-immigration-fema-us-coastguard-budget-a7632551.html

Among many inhumane proposals in Trump’s new budget ideas, is the cutting of free school lunches by raising the bar for qualification. This will cause at least 18,000 schools to no longer qualify!

There are over 50 million people in the USA who do not have enough to eat, would not this money be better spent ensuring that everyone receives enough food.

India

India has over 55 billion dollars for its military budget, more than France and is fifth on the list of countries by military expenditure . India also has highest number of people living below poverty line

India has the largest number of urban poor and landless people in the world approximately 65 -70 million people live in urban slums. According to the Hindustan Times The Delhi government is turning a blind eye to the homeless?

UK

In the UK there are almost 14 million people living in poverty

In this time of so called austerity when allegedly there is not enough money to pay for benefits for sick and disabled people or the unemployed, where 3.7 million Children live in poverty and people have to rely on food banks and suffer endless austerity measures, such as cuts to public services, there is always money for war.

We should not forget the poverty worldwide in countries such as Africa, wouldn’t the global military budget of  $1.6 trillion be better spent in providing food, clean water and medicine. 

795 million people go hungry worldwide though I rather suspect this is an understatement and the figure is far highter

“The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 795 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2014-2016. Almost all the hungry people, 780 million, live in developing countries, representing 12.9 percent, or one in eight, of the population of developing counties. There are 11 million people undernourished in developed countries”

Read More:
http://www.worldhunger.org/2015-world-hunger-and-poverty-facts-and-statistics/

One person every four seconds dies from hunger or hunger related diseases… Sadly, it is children who die most often.

How many people die from lack of access to clean water and life saving/enhancing medicine and health care? Here are some alarming facts: 663 million people in the world don’t have access to safe water and almost 900 children die every day from diarrheal diseases caused by dirty water.   Half the worlds Population has no access to healthcare

Here is a shocking statistic

A price has been set and estimated by the United Nations to solve this crisis (world hunger) – $30 billion a year. It may seem like a large sum of money, but when compared to the U.S. defense budget – $737 billion in 2012 – $30 billion seems more attainable.

“The cost to end world hunger…

— $30 billion per year is needed to end world hunger
— $737 billion per year is the amount Congress spends on Defense”

Read More:

The Cost to End World Hunger
https://borgenproject.org/the-cost-to-end-world-hunger/

China 

China has a military budget of 215.7 billion the second largest after the USA. In China more than 500 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty as China’s poverty rate fell from 88 percent in 1981 to 6.5 percent in 2012,  however still today China is one of the top five poorest countries in the world where one in ten Chinese is poor, there are at least 82 million people in China live below the poverty line. China also has an homeless population of about 2,579,000   According to the following article: There Are One Million Children Living On The Streets In China 

As with the US and UK China’s military budget (over 200 billion dollars) would most certainly improve the lot of millions of poor people.

How about the poorest country in the world which may be the Central African Republic . According to the lastest available data this country spends $54,800,000. While modest in comparison, for a country that is so poor such an amount could well be spent improving the lives of its citizens.

I could continue down the list,  in every country in the world there are poor people,  many desperately so, many go without adequate food and not all of them live in Africa either or other developing countries, though in these countires the problem is more severe of course.People go without food in rich countries such as the UK and the USA

As as a matter of interest North Korea is ranked No. 1 in the world for military expenditures relative to its Gross Domestic Product, an annual State Department report showed between 2004-2014, North Korea spent nearly a quarter of its GDP on the armed forces.

N. Korea ranks No. 1 for military spending relative to GDP: State Department report
http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2016/12/23/26/0301000000AEN20161223000200315F.html

Poverty in North Korea is extensive.
“Forty percent of the population, about 24 million people, live below the poverty line. Most workers earn $2 to $3 per month.

“Unlike earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions, war is a disaster created entirely by people, against people. It is never an accident: making war is always somebody’s decision. Nations spend vast amounts of money on training soldiers to fight and kill. They spend even more on devising and manufacturing weapons and machinery for fighting and killing. That is not the only expense. Huge sums are also needed for dealing with the damage when a war is officially over. (‘Officially’, because the effects of war continue long after the truce has been signed.)

From this evidence alone, it ought to be clear to everyone that there’s little to be said for war. But little has been done to liberate the world from it. War still fascinates and excites some people, though it fills many others with revulsion and horror. Too many people – and too many of their leaders – still think that war is defensible, and that it’s not actually wrong for people to learn how to kill each other in large numbers. 

For all these reasons, and more, the invention of war is one of humankind’s greatest blunders. It needs to be put right.”

Read More:

Why is War Wrong
http://www.ppu.org.uk/learn/infodocs/st_pacifism_m1.html

“War does not determine who is right – only who is left”
Bertrand Russell

Related Links

U.S. Military Spending vs. the World
U.S. military expenditures are roughly the size of the next seven largest military budgets around the world, combined.

Military > Expenditures > Percent of GDP: Countries Compared

http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Military/Expenditures/Percent-of-GDP

 

UK Poverty: More Than I Million People are Living in Destituion

“It is simply unacceptable to see such levels of severe poverty in our country in the 21st century. Governments of all stripes have failed to protect people at the bottom of the income scale from the effects of severe poverty, leaving many unable to feed, clothe or house themselves and their families.”
Julia Unwin, chief executive of JRF

I wrote most of this last May but from the look of things nothing has improved and in fact is likely to get worse concerning poverty. Frankly there are times when I wonder is it worth writing about any of the awful circumstances that prevail in the UK, however with the events of this year, namely the disastrous outcome of Brexit and even more disastrous election of Donald Trump, about which I will have plenty to say another time, issues such as poverty, welfare reforms, including the injustices of the treatment of the disabled and benefit sanctions, seem to have faded into the back ground and rarely reported in the main stream media. So it is perhaps worthwhile to mention these injustices even if such reminders are seen by relatively few people.

We must never forget that poverty is a reality here in the UK

From a group of ten children as many as four or five will be living in poverty

The author of the article below describes the situation as a “… loss of empathy taking hold of this country “

A generation of UK children will suffer in poverty. Suddenly that’s normal

“Nearly half of children are now living in poverty in some parts of the UK, research by the End Child Poverty coalition has found. It’s worth pausing on that. In an era of rising rents, low wages and benefit freezes and cuts, go to a playground in many areas of this country – think Birmingham, Manchester, or London – and out of a group of 10 boys and girls, four or five of them will be in poverty.”

“Nothing has got better – in fact, the number of children living in poverty increased by 200,000 over the past year – and the truth is, things are only going to get worse. The UK is set for the biggest increase in child poverty in a generation, with the Institute for Fiscal Studies projecting that relative child poverty will rise by a staggering 50% by 2020.”

“We mourn a loss of empathy taking hold of this country – and watch this week, as the world appeared to get a little darker. The attitude to child poverty is now part of it. No politician stands up and claims to be for child poverty. No voter is pro-hungry 7-year-olds or shivering newborn babies.”

Continue reading:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/10/uk-children-suffer-child-poverty-crisis

Here in the sixth richest country in the world there are thousands of people who do not have enough food to eat or the money to keep warm and dry.

Why you might ask?

The simple answer is the government does not care, not only does it not care it has intentionally caused poverty to increase as a result of its polices of greed which serve the rich at the expense of the poor. With the continuous cutting of benefits to the sick, disabled and the unemployed, the reduction of workers rights, the introduction of zero contracts and low wages it is no surprise that there are many many people living in misery and poverty.

During 1015 184,500  thousand households had to rely of charities for food, toiletries, cloths and shelter

“More than three-quarters of destitute people reported going without meals, while more than half were unable to heat their home. Destitution affected their mental health, left them socially isolated and prone to acute feelings of shame and humiliation.”

Read more:

More than a million people in UK living in destitution, study shows
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/27/million-people-uk-living-destitution-joseph-rowntree-foundation

A third of the UK live below the poverty line

Third of UK population ‘fell below the poverty line’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32812601

Among the numbers of people living in destitution are sick and disabled people. No not just a small number often described as slipping though the cracks but thousands of disadvantaged suffering people, people too sick or disabled to work, people who have faced the full force of the government’s austerity measures in the form of vicious cuts to benefits.

Hundreds of thousands of disabled people in Britain destitute – report

“Hundreds of thousands of disabled people in Britain are forced to live in destitution and are unable to afford basic requirements such as food, shelter and clothing, the UK’s first study examining extreme poverty suggests.”

Read more:
https://www.rt.com/uk/341358-destitute-poverty-thousands-uk-disabilities/

Thousands of children are having their lives blighted by poverty both now and in the future

Here are some of their stories

Note the comment in the description which follows the video on You Tube:

“3.5 million children are growing up in poverty in the UK. It’s one of the worst rates in the industrialised world and successive governments continue to struggle to bring it into line. Struggling & without a voice, ‘Poor Kids’ shines a light on this pressing issue.”

Again the misconception that governments struggle to bring it into line

In reality the Tory government have added to the situation with benefits cuts and other austerities.

According to the UN the situation regarding inequality among children in the UK is now so bad that it is  “behind some much poorer nations in achieving parity between rich and poor on health and educational outcomes, and warned over the likely impact of future welfare cuts.

The Unicef report, Fairness for Children, emphasised the importance of a strong welfare system in reducing inequality – and carried a strong suggestion that the Government should reconsider its cuts to benefits.

The UK ranked 25th out of 37 wealthy countries covered by the report – behind Poland, Romania and Slovenia – for its equality levels in children’s reading, maths and science skills at age 15.

Read More:

Britain ‘lagging behind developed world’ on child poverty, Unicef report reveals

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/britain-lagging-behind-developed-world-on-child-poverty-unicef-report-reveals-a6983291.html

UNICEF reveals ‘depressing’ level of UK child poverty

“Britain has been criticised by the UN, after new research reveals it is lagging behind much poorer countries on reducing inequalities between rich and poor children.”

Read More:
http://www.christiantoday.com/article/unicef.reveals.depressing.level.of.uk.child.poverty/84017.htm

More than a million live in ‘extreme poverty’ in UK

“Study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation finds more than a million, including 300,000 children, live in destitution.”

Read More:
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/04/million-live-extreme-poverty-uk-160427143528526.html

One-Third Experienced Poverty In Four Years

“Surprising” poverty figures show the annual poverty rate in the UK was higher than in Lithuania, Spain and Poland in 2014.

Read More:
http://news.sky.com/story/1697044/one-third-experienced-poverty-in-four-years

How does this affect Children:

Poverty in the UK jeopardising children’s health, warns landmark report

‘Stark inequalities’ and high rates of child death, obesity and ill-health highlighted amid calls on government to prioritise child health

Children living in the most deprived areas are much more likely to be in poor health, be overweight or obese, suffer from asthma, have poorly managed diabetes, experience mental health problems, and die early, the report shows.

“Poor health in infancy, childhood, and young adult life will ultimately mean poor adult health, and this in turn will mean a blighted life and poor economic productivity. The UK is one of the richest countries in the world; we can and must do better, for the sake for each individual, and that of the nation as a whole,”

Read More:
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/25/poverty-in-the-uk-jeopardising-childrens-health-warns-landmark-report

What a shocking situation , here in the UK we live in a country where the choice of food is overwhelming yet out of reach for so many people. Why do we allow people to starve to death, go undernourished in this wealthy country were food is in abundance. It is shameful that we allow children and adults too of course in so-called developing countries to starve, to be without clean water, life saving medication, adequate shelter and a full and meaningful life but when it takes place in a country that has more than enough to feed its population and even throws tons of food away it seems even a more shocking, abusive crime again humanity. By means of benefit cuts, sanctions, low wages the government has deliberately caused the poverty, deprivation and even starvation of vulnerable people who have no means of changing their situation. It’s not about the failure to protect people against poverty, it’s about dismantling the welfare system, abandoning people to a life of deprivation until our towns and cities become filled with homeless destitute people including children. We are supposed to be a developed country yet here we are regressing to a time long forgotten when children roamed the street homeless destitute as where the children in the photograph below of Edwardian England

 p00WS181

There were children living with their families in these desperate situations but there were also numerous, homeless, destitute children living on the streets of London.

It does appear that many people and various agencies were becoming aware of the problem, but the sheer scale of it must have seemed overwhelming.

One of the difficulties in dealing with it were contemporary attitudes:
‘the poor were improvident, they wasted any money they had on drink and gambling’;

Read More:
http://www.hiddenlives.org.uk/articles/poverty.html

No one should starve in this world of plenty here in the UK or elsewhere.  The reason it is happening here is as a result of vile right wing policies that favour the rich and powerful, polices that consider that the reason for existence and the meaning of success is to accrue vast wealth even if it is at the expense of others. A Sad sick society we have become as we turn our backs on our fellow citizens.

Watch the videos below and also check out the new film which made critics at the Cannes film festival cry: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfilms/film/i_daniel_blake

and write to you MP and state your outrage – please be polite.

Contact your MP:
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

Or write to the PM:

Contact Teresa May:
 http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/mrs-theresa-may/8

If you have any doubt concerning the situation in the UK regarding hunger please watch the following videos

Hungry Britain? First shown 03/03/14

Panorama’s Darragh MacIntyre investigates the dramatic rise in the number of food banks in Britain”

 

Published on Feb 6, 2016

“A part of Dispatches collection, Breadline Kids asks daring questions about food poverty in the UK, asking children what it’s like to live when the cupboards are bare, and what desperate measures parents go to feed their kids. “

UK: Gap in life expectancy between rich and poor widens for first time since 1870

“The gap in life expectancy between the rich and the poorest in the UK has increased for the first time since the 1870s.

A recent report by the Cass Business School (part of London’s City University) and the International Longevity Centre-UK shows that after a long period in which the effect of social inequality on life expectancy had fallen, this trend has been thrown into reverse. While the population as a whole has a longer life expectancy, the extent to which people have benefited from this is highly dependent on their social class.”

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/05/18/life-m18.html

G7: Send Them a Tweet to Help End World Hunger

There are genuinely sufficient resources in the world to ensure that no one, nowhere, at no time, should go hungry.
Ed Asner

the-money-required-to-eradicate-hunger1

Hunger Facts: 750 million people go to bed hungry; 1.2 billion people live below the extreme poverty line.

Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year,hunger kills more people every year than AIDs, Malaria and tuberculosis combined.

In a just society no one would go hungry, live in poverty or die of preventable or curable disease. Things have to change and we must demand change. We must change the dominant economic system – capitalism . If we do not, completely eradicating poverty is not going to happen.  As this is not likely in the forseeable future we need to do what we can to improve the lot of our fellow human beings.

More information about the causes of world hunger and other actions further down.

Recently I received the following in my e-mail from Global Citizen, please read and take the suggested action which is to send a tweet to G7 leaders. It might not sound much but every action however small and seeming insignificant helps, so if you are on twitter please take the action below. There is a prepared Tweet or you can write your own. Please share widely.

“I can’t breastfeed my child because I’m so hungry, my body can’t produce enough milk.”

That’s an all too common story for millions of mothers around the world. And it’s not just moms and kids. Hunger affects health, earning potential, and opportunity for hundreds of millions of families.

This year we have our best opportunity in a generation to change this. Right now, you can pressure the leaders of the G7 by sending a simple tweet to let them know global citizens are watching.

Negotiations are currently in progress ahead of the G7 meeting in early June. This is our first chance to make sure leaders know that millions of people believe it’s our moral duty to help stamp out hunger once and for all.

That’s why we’re hijacking the #G7Summit hashtag. Political leaders are obsessively tracking media attention around the summit so by flooding twitter with the voices of global citizens, we can make some noise that can’t be ignored.

From now until the end of 2015, some of the world’s most powerful people are making choices that will affect the lives of us all for the next 15 years. Getting their attention won’t be easy: frankly, this is just the first small step on a long journey towards a world where no one goes to bed hungry.

Let’s make sure our voices are heard.

Click here to send a tweet and make sure that world leaders know they’ll be hearing much more from us until every person, everywhere gets the food they need to survive.

Want to do more

You can  find more actions here and or join Global Citizen:
https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/

Consider the following quote and information concerning one of the major reasons why people go hungry.

The fact is that there is enough food in the world for everyone. But tragically, much of the world’s food and land resources are tied up in producing beef and other livestock–food for the well off–while millions of children and adults suffer from malnutrition and starvation.
Dr Walden Bello

Shut the Front Door! If We Ate Less Meat, This Is What Would Happen to the Planet

Takeaway4-1

“More and more studies are showing that consumption of animal products is one of the largest reasons for some pretty serious environmental issues today. Saying nothing about the cruelties of the industry and the disastrous effects these food items can wreak on our personal health, consuming meat in the quantities that we do is impacting the environment on a global scale.”

…meat, including chicken, in an average American’s diet translates to roughly 1892 pounds of grain. If everyone stopped consuming meat, that would translate to enough grain to feed 1.4 billion people a plant-based diet. That’s enough to feed the world’s hungry more than one and a half times over
Read More:

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/eat-for-the-planet-meat-and-the-environment/
Not just the USA of course the rest of us would make a significant difference to freeing up land to directly feed people by not eating meat.

It would be even better if all of us ate no meat at all, better for other people, better  for other animals and better for the planet – Go Vegan

How To Go Vegan
http://features.peta.org/how-to-go-vegan/

Go vegan in 30 days with the 30 Day Vegan Pledge
https://www.vegansociety.com/try-vegan/take-vegan-pledge?gclid=CLa797Hp7cUCFdTKtAodTRoASg

Capitalism and Global Poverty: Two Billion Poor, One Billion Hungry

More than 2.2 billion people are “either near or living in poverty,” according to the United Nations Development Report released July 24.The study also found that about 1.2 billion people survive on the equivalent of $1.25 or less a day, while 12 percent of the world’s population (842 million people) suffer from chronic hunger.

These conditions of global suffering and deprivation are not due to any absolute shortage of resources. The world economy produces enough to provide a decent standard of living for every man, woman and child. But the distribution of wealth makes this impossible: the 85 wealthiest people in the world own as much as the 3.5 billion poorest people combined.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/capitalism-and-global-poverty-two-billion-poor-one-billion-hungry/5393262

Don’t forget to SEND A TWEET if you have not already done so

Related links

Will the G7 make a down-payment on ending hunger?
https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/will-the-g7-make-a-down-payment-on-ending-hunger/

Credit

Graphic http://refe99.com/quotes/hunger/

Tory Voters: Is This Really What You Voted For?

Tory Voters this is what you voted for.

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This DWP voucher has just been posted on twitter by a foodbank volunteer in Glasgow. 

“John has not eaten since Friday of last week, recently found fit on ESA…” which is ‘Employment Support Allowance’ – which means he has some form of sickness or disability. 

Despite what ‘fit’ (as in fit to work) implies, usually nothing can be further from the truth. 100,000s of ‘fit to work’ decisions have been challenged because of the corrupt, incompetent system which handles claims (they have for example found severely disabled people, terminally ill people and even people in comas as ‘fit’. 

And being found fit means that financial support is cut off immediately!

Read More:
http://infernalseason.tumblr.com/post/119610715069/this-dwp-voucher-has-just-been-posted-on-twitter#notes

It is shocking enough that anyone should go hungry anywhere in this world of plenty, yes that right a world of plenty.

But in the sixth richest nation the fact that someone has gone without food for five days is an absolute disgrace, a grave social injustice.

This is not an isolated incident, the need for food banks escalated under the coalition government as a result of welfare reforms, low wages, zero hours contracts and benefit sanctions.

Do you know that the majority of food bank users are people in work!

According to Trussell Trust the largest food bank charity over 1 million people received three days’ food from Trussell Trust foodbanks, compared to 900,000 the previous year. Including almost 400,000 children:
http://www.trusselltrust.org/resources/documents/Press/Trussell-Trust-foodbank-use-tops-one-million.pdf

Don’t forget there are other food backs organised by churches and other local charities so the number of people forced to use this means of feeding themselves and their families is likely considerably more.

No one should ever be in the position that he or she has nothing to eat when supermarkets are jammed packed with food in abundance, the fact that they do and people go hungry is appalling.

Thanks to misguided Tory Voters this situation is likely to get worse. The article below written before the election concerns the predicted drastic rise in food banks should the Tories win.

If the Tories win on Thursday TWO million hungry people will need food banks, research reveals

“Labour analysis of Oxford University research shows that Tory plans to cut £12billion from welfare will drive an extra million people to food banks by 2017”

Please read more:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tories-win-thursday-two-million-5626462

Well as we all know the Tories did win as a result of manipulation by the biased press and distortion by polls that made people apathetic and quite simply down right ignorance.

I would hate to think that if people really understood the situation here in the UK that they would knowingly condone its continuance by voting Tory.

A related issue – Fuel Banks

If it is not shameful enough in this rich country of ours that people do not have the money for food it is becoming increasingly common for people to turn to fuel banks because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

Of course if you cannot afford to eat you cannot afford fuel and it goes without saying that food and fuel poverty go hand in hand.  The number of people who died last winter as a result of cold weather is the highest in fifteen years and expected to be around 40,000

Poverty forced people to turn to food banks and now it’s forcing them into FUEL banks

“A fuel bank has opened in a church in London to help those who cannot afford to pay for their energy bills

In a church hall in one of South West London’s most affluent neighbourhoods, Peter Ward-Miller talks about his fuel bill.

He hasn’t used any hot water at his council home for two years. He washes in cold water, keeps the heating switched off and uses only the bare minimum of electricity.

He has a tiny hotel room kettle, and doesn’t turn the lights on.

“I’m always cold,” says the 53-year-old former garage worker. “Sometimes my hands and feet are so painful.

“I’m getting older and I’m not the biggest bloke you’ll meet.”

His neighbour lent him a fan heater for dire emergencies, but he doesn’t touch his gas at all. He tops the ­electricity up when he can. And when he can’t, he lives in darkness.”

Read More:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/poverty-forced-people-turn-food-5726219

Is this the life anyone should be forced to live in 21st century UK?

Tory voters is this what you really voted for?  If so shame on you. If not wake up and take notice of what is happening to your fellow citizens under this despicable government who not only favours the rich but creates more and more poverty, destitution, misery and despair.

Here in the UK I rather think that the intent is to enslave people to low wages, destroy our welfare system and the NHS and consolidate the wealth and power into the hands of the few.

Frankly I think we are headed for a fascist/totalitarian state if people continue to be complacent, ignorant and apathetic. In Particular I am shocked how in general people have ignored the great injustice concerning the treatment of sick and disabled people and others claiming benefits and have fallen for the “scrounger” propaganda and the misinformation about immigration and other scapegoat tactics to deflect the blame of the so called financial crisis. I never thought people here in the UK would tolerate such treatment of vulnerable people.

Reasons Not to Vote Conservative in the 2015 General Elections: Rise in Homelessness

Homelessness is about more than rooflessness. A home is not just a physical space, it also has a legal and social dimension. A home provides roots, identity, a sense of belonging and a place of emotional wellbeing. Homelessness is about the loss of all of these. It is an isolating and destructive experience and homeless people are some of the most vulnerable and socially excluded in our society.
Crisis – The national charity for single homeless people

Since 2010 when the coalition came into power homelessness has risen by as much as 55 percent and in London people sleeping rough has risen even more dramatically by a huge 80 percent since 2010!

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Help in to Homelessness

The official figures claim that there are 52,000 homeless and that homelessness has decreased in recent years. Under the circumstances both claims would be nearing the miraculous if they were actually true.

Stagnant or falling wages, rising prices, severe cuts to in-work, out-of-work and disability benefits, the rising costs of living, the implementation of such evils as the bedroom tax and the DWP’s usually fraudulent use of sanctions: how could homelessness be so low, and falling? Of course it isn’t, anything but. The official figures are yet another example of the blatant lies concocted by this government (and governments generally).

Read more and download larger sizes
Flickr user Byzantine_K
https://www.flickr.com/photos/november5/16567317250/

Shocking facts

Today in affluent 21st century Britain 90,000 children are homeless

Homeless children ‘at highest level since 2011’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-29851119

Fifty-two percent of those seeking help with homelessness are under 25.
http://www.homeless.org.uk/facts/our-research/young-and-homeless-research

“…there are more people sleeping on the streets in our city centres than at any point since national records began in 1998.”
https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/the-homelessness-epidemic-gets-worse-highest-number-of-rough-sleepers-since-national-count-began/

“The homeless charity Crisis say the rise has been caused by cuts to benefits, government welfare reform, housing shortages and the legal injustice where homeless people are not a “priority for help.””
http://rt.com/uk/236231-homeless-figures-uk-cameron/

“On average homeless people die at just 47 years old.”
http://www.crisis.org.uk/

There can be few things worse than being homeless. No refuge, no sanctuary, no privacy, no hope.

“We should ask ourselves why it is acceptable that anyone has to sleep rough in Britain today.”
Rick Henderson, chief executive of charity Homeless Link quoted in the Mirror
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/homelessness-up-more-50-per-5235998

Indeed here in the UK the tax havan for the super rich and the sixth richest country it is unacceptable – well in actual fact it is unaceptable anywhere in the world that people are homeless or live in substandard accommodation and that only 1 percent own half the wealth of fifty percent of the entire population of the world.

In the UK people sleeping on the streets has risen by 55%  since the current Government came into power. This is an absolute disgrace, while the well off have second homes, such as the eight bedroom mansion that is owned by Lord Freud who is responsible for the bedroom tax,  people have to resort to rough sleeping.

Demand an end to homelessness in the sixth richest country in the world

For the sake of the poorest in our society don’t vote Tory in the coming election.

Wealth of UK’s Richest 100 Rose Last Year to Two Hundred and Nine Billion While One in Three people in the UK Live in Poverty.

The wealth of the richest 100 people rose last year to £297billion – more than the wealth held by 30% of the population. This rise in wealth could pay the energy bill for all 26.4 million UK households for over a year.
Jason Beattie writing for the Daily Mirror.

Yes you read that correctly: The increase in the wealth of a mere 100 people could pay all our energy bills for more than one year! While millions have shivered in unheated homes suffering the consequences of such with ill health even death, the over privileged in our society have seen an increase in their obscene fortunes. And that is just the increase in the wealth of these parasites who have become increasingly more rich while the overwhelming majority of us have suffered as a result of our unelected government’s austerity measures. Measures which moreover have fallen disproportionately on benefit claimants, including the seriously sick and profoundly disabled.

Did you know that the UK has more billionaires per head of the population than any other country?
The number of billionaires has risen to over one hundred with a combined wealth of £301 billion. This number has tripled in the last decade. Yet increasingly more and more people are pushed into poverty – in fact a staggering one in three. A study led by Bristol University, has revealed the following shocking facts concerning the rise of poverty here in the UK.

Almost 18 million cannot afford adequate housing conditions. 1.5 million children live in households that cannot afford to heat the home 2.5 million kids live in properties that are damp More than half a million children live in families who cannot afford to feed them properly 12 million people are too poor to have a social life 5.5 million adults go without essential clothing One in every six adults in paid work is still poor.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/breadline-britain-one-three-now-3721284#ixzz35cw9Rmld

The UK today is one of the developed world’s most unequal countries.

What are we going to do about it? And when are we going to do it?

If we do not take action to stem the tide of inequality, as inconceivable as it might be, we could one day finish up like India where millions live in abject poverty, were 20 – 40 million disabled people receive little or no support, where if you cannot work you do not survive.

Read the tragic story of a young disabled boy and his aging grandmother:
‘Invisible’ in India:
The story of the disabled boy tied to Mumbai bus stop http://childreninshadow.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/invisible-in-india-the-story-of-the-disabled-boy-tied-to-mumbai-bus-stop/

Gandhi once said “Live Simply So Others May Simply Live,”

Poverty, and lack of care for those unfortunate to be sick or disabled is a tragedy in India, a grave social injustice. It is a grave injustice anywhere in the world in any varying degree, including here in the UK , when sick and disabled people are discarded, when people have insufficient food, or die of hunger, live in poverty with poor or no shelter and frankly no hope while others live decadent lives gathering more and more wealth, squandering the earth’s precious resources for their own selfish ends seemingly with no conscience, no thought or care about their fellow human beings , other creatures or the every earth itself. We cannot allow this government or any other to destroy the progress of the last sixty years. We cannot permit the destruction of our welfare system that provides us all in times of need as a result of unemployment, ill-health or disability. A welfare system that we paid for with our National Insurance contributions. We want what we paid for and moreover we want a fair deal for all those who through no fault of their own could not contribute either as a result of ill-health, disability or unemployment.

No one should go hungry, cold or become homeless regardless of who we are or how much we have or have not contributed. In a land of plenty – well for the obscenely rich – where shops are brimming over with food in abundance far in access of our combined needs we cannot stand by and allow people to go hungry. The fact that they do is shameful. The fact that half a million children live with parents who cannot afford to feed them properly is a national disgrace, not only for our government of millionaires whose interests are for the rich, but for all those of you who condone the systematic destruction of our welfare system falling for the Tory rhetoric of scroungers and skivers, a shameful propaganda similar to the one used by the Nazis to turn people against the sick and disabled prior to World War Two. Be under no illusion, austerity is merely an excuse to plunge people into poverty, enslave them to low wages or no wages, as in the case of workfare, and discard sick and disabled people to a life of destitution replying on whatever charity can hand out.

We cannot stand by and allow the destruction of our free health care, the NHS, once the envy of the world. In a civilised society no one should die because they cannot afford health care. We should not allow the placement of our health care into the hands of the greedy private sector whose only motivation is profit. We cannot allow millions to silver in unheated homes riddled with damp suffering the deprivations of hunger – this includes 40% of cancer patients who can’t afford to heat their home properly

In short we cannot allow one in three people including children, the elderly, the sick and disabled, to lead impoverished lives while billionaires and millionaires accrue increasingly more wealth.

It has to stop now!

When are we going to say enough is enough before it is too late ?

More information

Hundreds of Thousands Of Households Staring Homelessness in The Face

Changes to Housing Benefits have led to desperate housing insecurity.  What this means is in practice is families unable to plan for the future, children going to bed at night frightened of losing their homes or desperate stress and worry for disabled people receiving help with the Bedroom Tax and knowing that support could be removed at any time.

http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/hundreds-of-thousands-of-households-staring-homelessness-in-the-face/
Welfare cuts one year on: Now Britain’s poorest are on par with former Eastern block.

Ros Wynne-Jones meets the people who are suffering a year after Bedroom Tax as rent arrears have rocketed, more families have resorted to food banks and now as Austerity Britain bites the Met Police have invested in water cannon

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/welfare-cuts-one-year-on-3713263

Rise in number of billionaires:
http://www.thisislancashire.co.uk/news/national/news/11205187.Rise_in_number_of_billionaires/