Many — probably most — Americans think we have the world’s worst government. We probably do have the world’s worst fool as our president. He is most likely the most narcissistic and stupid person to ever be elected to such a high office.
But the rest of the world is embroiled in equally bad government and an equivalent degree of poverty, corruption, and neglect. England and France and Australia, to name a few. Where you find a government, it will be corrupt.
It’s probably true that all government is corrupt and probably always has been to some extent.
Despite that, there was a portion of good people ready to fight corruption. Who held a desire to improve the life of the citizens who supported them. There were always enough people in power who wanted to improve the quality of life for the citizens who elected them.
Now? We can but hope!
Today, everywhere, the corporate bottom-liners are running the world. It is killing us. Destroying our climate, making it impossible to earn enough money to live on. Making our education useless. Failing to provide an education for the world that is coming.
This is one of those rare times when I’m not sorry I won’t be here to see how this works out. It isn’t going to be easy and I don’t know if we will survive the apocalypse we have made. I want to believe we will manage to overcome the adversity, but I don’t know.
No one knows.
We can hope. We can try, but we can’t make it work unless every nation puts its shoulder (so to speak) to the world. If we do not, it will not be long before we are living on a planet where there is no drinkable water, insufficient food, and air that is unsafe to breathe.
Last week, 16 November 2018, Professor Philip Alston, international lawyer, and UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights made his statement on the shameful state of Britain. He began by pointing out that the UK is the world’s fifth largest economy, yet one-fifth of its population live in poverty. Of these, 1.5 million are destitute. The reasons for this, he says, are largely ideological, and government ministers are so fixed on their agendas, they are refusing to acknowledge the evidence presented to them, or acknowledge the consequences of their policies. The problems, Professor Alston states, are set to grow worse, and especially for the most vulnerable: CHILDREN.
“14 million people, a fifth of the population, live in poverty. Four million of these are more than 50% below the poverty line, and 1.5 million are destitute, unable to afford basic essentials. The widely respected Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts a 7% rise in child poverty between 2015 and 2022, and various sources predict child poverty rates of as high as 40%. For almost one in every two children to be poor in twenty-first century Britain is not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster, all rolled into one.”
Amber Rudd, the new Work, and Pensions Secretary dismissed the report on the basis that its tone was ‘highly inappropriate’. Philip Alston’s response, as covered by the Guardian, was to tell her to take action rather than criticize.
You can judge Professor Alston’s tone in this introduction to his statement:
“The UK is the world’s fifth largest economy, it contains many areas of immense wealth, its capital is a leading centre of global finance, its entrepreneurs are innovative and agile, and despite the current political turmoil, it has a system of government that rightly remains the envy of much of the world. It thus seems patently unjust and contrary to British values that so many people are living in poverty. This is obvious to anyone who opens their eyes to see the immense growth in food banks and the queues waiting outside them, the people sleeping rough in the streets, the growth of homelessness, the sense of deep despair that leads even the Government to appoint a Minister for suicide prevention and civil society to report in-depth on unheard of levels of loneliness and isolation.
And local authorities, especially in England, which perform vital roles in providing a real social safety net have been gutted by a series of government policies. Libraries have closed in record numbers, community and youth centers have been shrunk and underfunded, public spaces and buildings including parks and recreation centers have been sold off. While the labor and housing markets provide the crucial backdrop, the focus of this report is on the contribution made by social security and related policies.”
You can read his full statement on Britain HERE
And his 2017 statement on the United States is HERE
Many thanks to Dear Kitty, Some Blog for drawing my attention to this video.