Power in the state is justified only by the state’s ability to protect the people over which it asserts that power. British rule over the whole of the United Kingdom has been self-serving to the point of criminal inequality. Its power is no longer justified.
If you want power over me then you had better be ready to prove to me that you deserve that power. The sole justification of the state’s power over the lives of people is its ability to provide for the freedom, security, and the welfare of those people. Britain is currently ranked as the twenty-third wealthiest nation in the world, and yet, staggeringly, it is the sixth most unequal in the developed world in terms of income. After four decades of unchecked Thatcherite neoliberalism, with money being sucked up to the top of the economy, no less than twenty percent of the population are trapped below the poverty line. Income inequality in Britain is greater today than it was when Charles Dicken wrote Hard Times.
People working in ever increasingly precarious situations are often forced to choose between food and healthcare.—
Unit of Labour (@UnitOfLabour) June 01, 2016
No less than ninety-three percent of all the money in the United Kingdom is in the hands of the top half of the population, with twenty-one percent of this possessed by the top percentile. What this means in reality is that half of the people in this country have to make do with a share of seven percent of the nation’s wealth, with families at the bottom living on less than £8,000 a year. When we compare this to the OECD’s average of a household disposable income of £26,500, we get the idea that something is desperately wrong with the picture. Britain’s government has failed spectacularly to justify its power over the people of the United Kingdom. In fact, if anything, the British government poses the single greatest threat to life, health, and wellbeing in the UK. It is a failed state.
Life has never been so good for those with wealth and power in London. By operating an economic and social system that has successfully created a cash conveyor belt to their own bank accounts (often offshore ‘for tax purposes’), the British élite thrives on a diet of champagne while ordinary working people go without the basics to feed their children. In the past year alone the number of working families that have been forced to turn to food banks – provided for by donations from other ordinary working people – has doubled, and the numbers are rising.
The social effects of this criminal inequality are felt most on the edges of British society, where, for reasons of political disenfranchisement and alienation, democracy is powerless to positively address the situation. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the post-industrial north of England have always been and will continue to be the worst hit areas of the United Kingdom. When British unionism claims we are Better Together it has to be asked: Better for whom? Britain is broken, it is beyond repair. Putting things in order again can begin only with the complete dismantling of Westminster and the United Kingdom, a state which’s power is no longer justified. We have to wake up to this.
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