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Poverty is a form a Violence by Chase Sydnor

ccm

Ryan Harvey – Your Poverty is Our Profit.

In the UK huge numbers are stuck in low paid jobs or unemployment, living in squalid conditions and struggling to make ends meet.  It is common knowledge that sections of the population are resorting to food banks to feed their families. The Trussell Trust which operates food banks across the nation attacked the governments claims that it’s economic and welfare policies are fair and just.

In my own experience, it is not just people on benefits who end up at food-banks but home-owning workers who find themselves in such a position. As a veteran, I was saddened to hear about a recently discharged soldier who was suffering with visible signs of PTSD and had come to my local food-bank because he could not find a job and had a young child to support. He was demoralized and embarrassed by his predicament as most people would be. This is the reality of modern Britain, a society that allows its government to run policies that reduce people to poverty.

The vast majority of politicians and those in power are in willful denial of the vast scale of poverty and hunger in the world’s sixth largest economy let alone the rest of the world. They would have you believe that it is ‘poverty of ambition’ and fecklessness which causes individuals and communities to wallow in deprivation. The remedy prescribed by those in power is ‘tough love’, but poverty is a policy, a tool brought to bear on our society in order to extract maximum profits.

But there is an elephant in the room, the military. In the UK we have the fourth largest military budget in the world. We both spend billions on Nuclear weapons that we will never use. Billions fighting wars that impoverish other nations. Billions on propaganda.

Within the military there is a culture of waste. Whilst serving in the USMC I was detailed to open up and dispose of huge amounts of perfectly good food on at least two occasions. We were prohibited from giving it to charitable organizations or our poorly paid civilian contractors because it was “government food not to be given to civilians”. For our ‘warrior meals’ we had vast amounts of burgers, hot-dogs and chicken shipped out to us at the end of training deployments much of which was not eaten. These are just some of the examples I can recall of the huge wastage of food within the military whilst people back home are barely able to feed themselves.

Politicians claim we must spend less on welfare, yet they always seem to find the money to buy weapons and wage war. Militarism and war lead to many forms of violence, let us draw attention to the violence which is poverty and expose the lies which propagate it.

Chase Sydnor – Veterans for Peace UK

  • Sue 28/04/2014, 17:02

    I think we have been conditioned by the rich to fear poverty so they can use it as a tool to control people. If we stopped fearing poverty and stopped thinking its shameful to be poor we could stop being slaves to the rich. The military are not the only ones wasting food. Its endemic throughout our entire capitalistic society that runs on waste. The truly poor don’t waste food. I think this country doesn’t know real hardship as there is drinking water, food and places to shelter available to any who seek it. While there are food banks, free health care, social welfare services, bins overflowing with good food and charities in abundance we can’t complain about real poverty here. It is our selfish and decadent standard of living that has created the real suffering in the parts of the world we prefer to forget.

  • Garry Harriman 28/04/2014, 18:16

    Hi, Chase

    I whole heartedly concur with you on this issue. It seems that governments are `selected` rather than elected. Further, democracy is no more than an illusory façade. Indeed, the once overt divisions of right and left wing, socialist/capitalist political ideology are long gone as globalization and mass privatization have led to a generic convergence of all political parties with `New Labour` in the UK being a good and recent example.

    I now live in the United States and I am finding it difficult to find meaningful, even decently paid work. I am educated, a former RAF NCO with almost 20 years service, and all I can find is a low paid security job. If it were not for my small pension and savings, I could not live off it. My wife, a former police officer, is also in the same position. Politicians always refer to the `aspiring middle classes` and never, never `working class` people who are far more representative than the latter. My biggest fear was the privatized/for profit health care system over here that can leave people in poverty if they get ill, even if they have `insurance`. It bothered so much, that I almost left the Untied States. Strangely, I have to thank the President for the Affordable Care Act, if it were not for this, and as imperfect as it is, I would have retuned home, despite the current state of equally dire economic climate in the UK.

    There is today, a new class of working poor, and the disparity of such a new sub class has never been so visible to me than over here in America. I am dumfounded by the multitude of good, decent, respectable people who are reduced to comparative slavery paid wages that do not keep in line with inflation, no sick pay, no paid holidays, no health benefits (and what is offered is often too expensive and/or worthless) and no pension, irrespective of how long a person may have worked at a company for. I joined VFP for many reasons, and it seems that you, and all of our members care about more than objecting to wars and all the lies that are responsible for launching them. We care about people, humanity, right and wrong, fairness, equality, global cooperation, energy (oil and gas) dependency, and so much more.

    Garry Harriman
    Grovetown, Ga, USA
    Royal Air Force, 1987-2006
    VFP UK and USA

  • Garry Harriman 28/04/2014, 18:23

    Let`s start a list of the things the world can do without:

    I`ll start us off

    The IMF
    The World Bank
    Starbucks
    McDonalds
    Burger King
    Dunkin Donnuts et all
    Reality TV
    Consumer driven capitalism
    Mass consumerism
    Globalized financial institutions
    The stock market
    Oil and gas dependant economies
    `Celebrity` worship in youth
    University fees
    Insane mortgages disproportionate to the true value of the home
    Corporate media (including the BBC)
    Materialism
    ………………………..

  • Sue 28/04/2014, 18:43

    The list continues
    …Money,
    Greed…

  • Kenny Williams 28/04/2014, 19:54

    Hey Chase,
    Frustrating isn`t it? I recently sent a letter to David Cameron, and my local MP Jenny Chapman [shadow secretary for Prisons] which mirrors the letter below only adding £55,000,000 for a national celebration of ww1?
    These people have no idea what it`s like to work and struggle for a living, they are ALL multi-millionaires. They are so out of touch with the working class people of this country that they may as well be from Mars!! They have NEVER done a days graft in their silver spooned pathetic lives.
    This letter went to the councillor who is organising our local ww1 events, along with a Nato War crimes document. [which can be seen in our news item “stop this military worship”] points to note; nobody has even had the courtesy to respond to my letters speaks volumes.

    Dear Marion,

    Throughout the northeast there are thousands of families begging at food banks, and local support agencies being closed down due to lack of funding from local councils so called “austerity measures”.

    However, I’ve just seen the five local councils latest government sponsored campaign “Remember our war” with grant support from the “Arts council England?” to the tune of £400.000.

    Now I had to take a second look at this, and sure enough you [All the local councils] have been given £400.000 to promote [paint the picture] that the first world war was a great war to end all wars.

    £400.000, now Just think for one moment, and imagine what a massive difference that amount of cash could do to the children’s charities here in the northeast, or the many desperate families and elderly couples that are struggling right now to get by every day.

    Now that you have had that moment to actually comprehend just how much a difference that money could make to your neighbours lets discuss “Remember our war”
    “our war” Really? The word “our” resonates through me with such fury, how dare you call it “our war”.
    Anyone who sits down and does their homework into exactly what the First World War was really about, will tell you what a massive sacrifice of human life it was.

    The War to end all Wars, really? Marion, I suggest you read the attached document and then ask yourself this question about your government “What’s changed?”

    Peace and love

    Kenny Williams Veterans for peace UK

  • Len Lawrence 28/04/2014, 22:33

    Sorry it took so long Len.

    Jeremy Paxman in his book ‘The Political Animal’ describes some of the methods
    used by whips to ensure compliance. In describing the activities of the ‘keeper of dark
    secrets’ (the whips), he tells of one MP who had much to conceal, being asked to the
    whips office. The whip opened his safe, took out some compromising photographs
    and showed them to the MP. Paxman says he never gave trouble again.

    Other ‘tools of the trade’ include, powers to dispense favours, such as sending MPs on
    all expenses paid ‘fact-finding’ missions overseas and honours to be dolled out.

    http://earthlinggb.wordpress.com/2010/07/