June 29, 2022 | 3 minutes read | Tags: Class struggle in Britain

The Poverty Crisis: Who is to Blame?

Make no mistake about it: the cost of fuel, food, energy and electricity can all be placed on this government and their inability to address the failures of our current system, capitalism.

The Poverty Crisis: Who is to Blame?

The following is a speech from a Red Fightback public meeting on the Cost of Living Crisis in Toxteth, Liverpool.

Make no mistake about it: the cost of fuel, food, energy and electricity can all be placed on this government and their inability to address the failures of our current system, capitalism. No amount of backtracking or blame on events elsewhere can change the fact that the Tory Government and councils of all parties have sanctioned and driven working class people into poverty for years now. The current crisis is just the natural conclusion to the deliberate government plan of securing their wealth whilst the rest of us struggle to survive.

This city is no stranger to such tactics. When people in Toxteth rightly rose up and fought back against racist policing in the area, Thatcher herself urged to ‘let Liverpool decline’ and condemned the region to a series of cutbacks, and to a lack of jobs and public services.
Since then the relations between government, the institutions and ourselves have not seen any sort of transformative change. Relations between workers and bosses remain hostile, wages remain low and inflation rises once again. The terminal illness at the heart of the Westminster governments and their lackeys shows clear and ever-widening signs at home; austerity is reserved for working people, whilst police and the wealthy get evermore funding. These measures push working people into a more desperate state of poverty. With no sign of any real change coming from those in power, disruptions and crises will only worsen the effects of the current cost of living crisis.

The Tories blame events such as the war in Ukraine for the troubles we currently face - yet this is a bare faced lie. Rising living costs have been discussed by MP’s for years now, and all the while nothing was done, whilst food bank usage rose 25 times in the last 10 years from 100,000 users to 2.5m. The root cause behind all this is simple, and not at all to do with international events we cannot control. Rather capitalism itself is in crisis, as the bosses and the rich are squeezing as much profit out of working class people as they can. The energy companies, a degraded cartel of big business, have done the very same. As a tightly knit group, they know what low profits mean for their companies and so they seek to exploit ordinary people for as much as possible.

These crises are a regular occurrence within our current system. Many will recall the events of the 2008 crash and the “mis”management placed at the hands of the housing market and the banks. Yet it was not them who foot the bill but us, with huge bailouts given to those with friends in high places. And then when it came to the rest of us, we got austerity. This current crisis can be seen as the next such cycle involving different segments of the entire decrepit structure.

This decay is not rooted in events abroad. The rot we face comes right from home. It comes from the scab tactics of P&O cruises, it comes from the cutbacks enforced by the government, it comes from landlords who evict and raise rent at will, and it comes from the police who enforce it all with abject violence. All the while the false promises of regeneration fall short, being a mere gentrification process, designed to provide a clean image to a realm of tourists. In reality though, this city and its people face shortages and harsh fuel costs, with many having to choose between heating and eating.

The current system bases itself off profit and whilst the rich claim little can be done citing “market forces”, their place at the top of society remains unwavering. It is they who take our rent, profit off our work and cut our benefits. Like parasites, they will allow inflation to run rampant whilst they dodge taxes and place their vast quantities of wealth in offshore accounts. For them it's business as usual, yet for us it's a constant question of survival.

This is the context we find ourselves in. It is a bitter one yet not hopeless. The fightback can occur as it has done before and no doubt will continue. Our meeting here hopes to be a part of that. Our struggle against today’s abuses begins at home.

Red Fightback in Liverpool will have more public meetings in the future. If what was brought up in this speech interests you, you can contact them to find out when and where you can attend.