Yet another reason I’m a red…
If I am asked why I am a socialist I have many answers. Some based on books read in the past, others from lived experience, a lot from observation. But generally it is stories like this that convince me I am not mistaken in my beliefs:
This story if the headline is to believed is all about the cost of heating a house. Yet buried in it is this startling fact:
On average 30,000 people a year die because of the cold.
THIRTY FUCKING THOUSAND.
10 times the direct death toll from the World Trade Centre attacks in 2001.
Let me repeat that number again- on average 30,000 people die a year in the UK because of the cold.
The UK, which has one of the most temperate climates in the world.
People are dying because they cannot afford to pay for heating or are on the streets, simply because the existing system of exploitation will always have victims. Pensioners who faced and fought fascism are dying, cold and forgotten because they are no longer econmically active and of little consequence. And yet still cuts.
More and more cuts.
More and more job losses leading to more and more people being unable to keep warm or keep a roof and four walls around them.
And the cuts are hitting the services that these people depend on.
But of course it is easy to treat these people without care and compassion- they have no spending power nor do they have a say in how society runs. They are the losers in the game of capitalism, where if you are an essential cog, greasing the wheels with your labour, you can just freeze for all the ruling class care- does David Cameron lose any sleep thinking about those shivering and getting sicker just a few miles away from his salubrious home bought with inherited wealth?
And 30,000 is going to get higher- “you can no longer be a useful contributor to a consumerist society since you have no money- why not go join the others over there- that shivering mass of humanity trying to keep each other warm but failing”
That, my comrades, is why I am a socialist- I believe firmly that the existing system will only lead to more preventable deaths, more becoming vulnerable, more being written off because they were unwilling or unable to exploit their fellow humans for their own advantage- a change needs to come- and as we look to Tunisia and Egypt we see that people power can achieve change, can reject the motions and machinations of the exploiters and oppressors.
Better red than dead.