Early last year Jeremy Corbyn was roundly laughed at in the House of Commons for suggesting food poverty, inequality and climate change should also be included in the Government’s national security review. The list of priorities had been reserved to armed military responses in the event of an attack and increasing spending on Britain’s Trident nuclear detterent from £25 billion to £31 billion. The notion that a deepening crisis was happening right in front of our eyes was, in the eyes of our esteemed MPs, laughable.
But research today revealed that despite living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world almost eight million people are living in households which struggle to put food on the table. The study found up to five million of us regularly go without eating for a whole day because they can’t afford to buy food, with some households in the country having just £3 a day to spend on food for the family.
While we spend tens of billions of pounds combating terrorism the UK is in the midst of a domestic catastrophe. Over the last four winters, according to the latest official figures, nearly 120,000 people in England and Wales have died because, in many cases, they can’t afford to put the heating on – that’s one older person every seven minutes during the winter. Conversely, there were as many deaths caused by bees than terrorism, and yet we still find it of vital importance to pay 10,000 armed military personnel to be on standby at any given time while volunteers man food banks across the country.
Today’s Knorr research shows that the Conservative’s victory in Copeland may be the greatest trick they have ever pulled. After two terms of crippling austerity cuts, dismantling of the welfare state and a referendum that was used as bait to secure a second term the Tories made the first by-election gain by a governing party since 1982. Wake up Britain, wake up.
Commenting on the results of today’s survey Adrian Curtis, Foodbank Network Director for The Trussell Trust, said: “Working on the frontline across a network of 428 foodbanks means we see the psychological impact of food poverty in the UK.
“It doesn’t just lead to hunger – it can also lead to loneliness.”
So here’s some questions to our “thriving” government who, while facing threats overseas both in governance and defence, might want to take a moment to what is happening in Britain:
Why in 2017 is it acceptable for 4.7 million people to regularly go a day without eating?
Why are people dying each year because of fuel poverty?
And why, Britain, do we keep voting for a party who is so patently running this country in to the ground?