15th January 2019
Thank you for your recent letter. I’m sorry to hear that you are still being tormented by Brexit. You can blame that nincompoop predecessor of yours for that! I’m sorry, as well, to hear that you received short shrift following your overtures to Len McCluskey and the other trade union lads. You should have asked me to make the approach for you. It might have been better coming from a socialist than from someone who has participated in the wholesale destruction of trades union rights and of their members’ living standards in recent decades. Not that I want to get involved in anything to do with Brexit. In fact that’s why I’m taking the opportunity to write to you today – whilst the pantomime of the Brexit vote unfolds in the hallowed chambers of Westminster – to avoid even a glimpse of that dismal spectacle.
And while I remember, Happy New Year! How are you generally? All pigged out on the Christmas food and all maxed out on the credit cards? You’ll be joining the growing number of poor if you’re not careful. Ha, ha! There seems to be a lot more poverty around nowadays. It’s a burgeoning industry so to speak, with 120,000 social murders attributed to austerity since it began in 2010; including 3,000 deaths from hypothermia and 600 deaths of rough sleepers each year, with four million people resorting to food banks. Given that the UK is one of the richest countries in the world and the fifth largest economy this is a staggering achievement by your government.
I suppose one shouldn’t underestimate the important contribution which poverty makes to our national economy. Without those huge corporate charities our GDP would be significantly lower, unemployment would be up and the valuable opportunity to demonstrate our compassionate national character would be considerably diminished, as pointed out recently by the Keeper of the National Conscience, Jacob Rees-Mogg. Some liberal-minded MPs are even calling for the appointment of a Minister for Hunger. How progressive of them.
We in the Socialist Party have what some might regard as a rather quirky approach to poverty. There won’t be any. Under capitalism poverty is an inevitable, indeed an essential, component, arising out of the very essence of the way in which the wealth created by the working class is appropriated by a ruling elite, leaving the rest of us to scramble around for the crumbs. Socialism would end this modern day form of chattel slavery by ensuring that wealth is shared according to need and would benefit everyone, not just the 1%; thus rendering poverty an anachronism to be pondered over by bemused schoolchildren exploring the history of a bygone era.
Anyway, that’s all for now! I’ll drop you a line again next month. In the meantime, if you change your address please let me know . . .