Between December 2011 and February 2014, 2,650 British beneficiaries died shortly after being found 'fit to work'. Capital, and the governments that represent the interests of capital, kill people.
IN THE AFTERMATH of another terrorist atrocity, which claimed the lives of seven innocent people and dozens more injured, the British Prime Minister stood, once again, outside 10 Downing Street and talked about the urgent need to fight religious extremism. "Enough is enough," declared Theresa May.
Some of us will have listened with cynicism and disgust to May, given that her government continues to make lucrative arms deals with one of the world's main exporters of terrorism - Saudi Arabia. In 2015 82 percent of all British-made weapons were exported to the Saudi regime.
And while we rightly grieve the lost lives of innocent people struck down by the terrorists in Britain, probably not many of us have grieved, or even know of, the lives destroyed by the extremist economic polices of the Tory government, of which May has been a significant member.
They may of not been killed by bombs or knives, but they still died. Consider the fact that between December 2011 and February 2014, some 2,650 beneficiaries in Britain died shortly after being found 'fit for work' . These shocking figures only came to light after the Conservative government made strenuous efforts to bury them.
Among the 2, 650 who died was disabled 58 year old Dave O'Meara, who also suffered with diabetes. He was ruled 'fit for work' as he lay in a hospital bed. He died just two weeks later.
His daughter told the media: “The cutting of his benefit definitely affected him. I think it’s disgusting they stopped somebody’s benefits who genuinely needed them.”
How many people have died, the victims of the extremist neoliberal polices and ideology that have driven more and more people into poverty? Like, for example, the 15,000 British people who died "unnecessarily" - the description of The Daily Mirror - between December and March 2015 because they were living in homes they couldn’t afford to heat.
In New Zealand 1600 people die every winter because they can't afford to heat their homes. I don't imagine though we will hear any outrage about this in the corporate media.
I think some people will be unhappy with the depiction of Theresa May and her government as terrorists. But I will remind them of what Pope Francis said last year:
"Terrorism grows when there is no other option, and as long as the world economy has at its centre the god of money and not the person. This is fundamental terrorism, against all humanity."
Francis then, unfortunately, asked God "to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor."
But the power to change things, to create a better world, lies with us - the ninety-nine percent - not a supernatural being who lives up in space somewhere.
When people are the victims of the violence of an unjust economic system, and when that system is defended by politicians so that a small class - the one percent - can maintain its economic and political power, it is difficult not to interpret this as terrorism. Capital kills people. But united as people, we can forge a new alternative and a world not burdened by capital and the demands of a ruling elite. We can bring the machinery of death to a halt.