Analysis

Alston bows out as UN poverty rapporteur with damning verdict on Establishment ‘sleepwalking’ to disaster for poor – though UK walking with full intent

Alston slammed UK government in 2018 and his final report is no less damning

UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty Philip Alston during his 2018 UK visit

In 2018, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty Philip Alston travelled around the UK to examine reports of poverty and abuse of human rights in one of the world’s richest countries. His findings were utterly damning.

In his withering report, whose publication the SKWAWKBOX attended, Alston found that policies of the Tory government were:

Now, as he bows out and hands over his UN role to his successor Olivier de Schutter, Alston has issued his final report on global poverty – one which he says reveals ‘a decade of misplaced triumphalism’ and self-congratulation by elites ignoring awful poverty and hunger and sleepwalking into a disaster that will only be worsened by the coronavirus pandemic:

The full report, which was delivered by de Schutter, can be read here – and de Schutter’s presentation viewed below:

But the UK government, as Alston noted in 2018, is not merely ‘sleepwalking’ ignorantly into disaster. Instead it is marching with political intent and full knowledge of the misery the Tories’ policies will create – especially as Johnson and Sunak are deliberately shifting the burden of the impact of the coronavirus onto the shoulders of those least able to bear it.

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32 comments

  1. And where is the left response to the poverty-enhancing role of government measures under the cover of Covid-19?

    A sad dereliction of duty.

    1. Just put your mask on, do as you’re told and shut your gob, Covid rules or you’ll/we’ll all die, OK. Who needs a real productive economy serving the public and providing the wealth to pay for public services? Who needs normal human interactions in the techno age? I note luxury commi Bastani is saying us oldies are a drain on the system… a privatised neo-liberal Capitalist system that survives and thrives on the back of public funding/purse bailing it out, giving it public funding support, tax breaks etc. etc…. all paid for by the public purse. Modern woke Communists seem to have joined hands with Malthusians… what a state we are in.

      1. It’s interesting that two very different poles in the political spectrum, Peter Hitchens ( Daily Mail and true blood Tory ) and John Pilger defender of the oppressed around the world, both agree that Covid19 is hyperbole designed to cower the public, impose an authoritarian regime on the back of it and reduce the population to a point of servitude by destroying the economy as has been witnessed. The notion of left and right no longer in reality applies it’s them (being the 0.01% who actually control the levers of power) and the other 99.99%. Yet, the believers are authoritarianism are to be found on both sides of the political divide and on social media sites.

      2. So true Brianbotou…

        I wouldn’t call Hitchens a true blue Tory though, he despises Tories such as Johnson, a true conservative, yes. I admit an admiration for him, he is willing to defend his positions in a civil manner while so many quickly resort to abuse and smearing.

        I have been deeply shocked by the authoritarian tendencies of the wider so called left including so called Socialists I must say.

  2. What gets me – really gets me – is the fact that electorate voted in a Tory government despite the harm they could see had been done to the poor,disadvantaged and vulnerable.We had people dying of starvation or by suicide because of destitution caused by benefit sanctions, there were photos of food banks and children lying on hospital floors etc but the vile propaganda campaign waged by the establishment , elements of the PLP and Labour “grandees” , Labour’s paid staff, the BBC and most of the media won through.Jeremy Corbyn one of the finest people ever to represent Labour was totally misrepresented. Nothing was too bad to say about him and the electorate swallowed it – hook line and sinker The big problem with Jeremy is that he is open honest and principled and could not be bought and we couldn’t have such a person in No10. Much better to have Johnson who is neither open nor honest and who wouldn’t recognise a principle if it jumped up and bit him on the backside.

    1. ”…But the vile propaganda campaign waged by elements of the PLP and Labour “grandees” , Labour’s paid staff.

      ….and certain party members”

      THAT is the ONLY direction where the fingers should be pointing. The rest of the establishment sectors you mention were never to be expected to give socialism anything else but negative propaganda.

      You can’t blame Joe Public for going somewhere else if you A/ Renege on promises and flout democracy in the process.

      And

      B/ Openly plot against the leadership and ‘give credence’ to false allegations made by the hostile media.

    2. “One of the saddest lessons of history is this:
      If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken.
      Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

      ― Carl Sagan

      “We’ll know that our disinformation campaign has worked when everything the American public believes is false.” —

      William Casey, Ronald Reagan’s CIA Director at his first staff meeting, 1981

    3. Exactly this, Smartboy
      A year ago today I listened with such hope to Jeremy Corbyn and Laura Pidcock among others at the Durham Miner’s Gala
      And here we are today
      I will never ever forgive the enemies within Labour, our disgraceful msm, or this murderous govt
      I can’t put into words the frustration I feel towards those who voted Tory, who either because they swallowed the media lies and smearing without investigating for themselves, or because they were swept up in hating on immigrants, the poor and vulnerable and their hatred blinded them to the stark realities of more Tory horrors
      One stark example was the nhs report presented just before the election by Corbyn

      Ignored by those in need who still chose to vote Tory
      Ffs words fail me

      1. Helsbells 2022 Thanks for that. Like you I still cannot believe that people who were suffering at the hands of the Tories actually voted Tory.
        Many of the MPs who lost their seats were very vocal in their opposition to Jeremy Corbyn so I wonder if that had anything to do with the loss of their seats. I don’t live in a constituency represented by a vicious anti Corbyn MP but if I did I just don’t think I could vote for them and maybe others feel the same. Don’t know just a thought.

      2. Smartboy and how many such as myself who has a Labour MP who on the surface supported Corbyn but I know for a fact wanted him gone?

    4. My world is governed by logic, so aside from a strong belief in the right to free and fair elections in a democracy, my analytical mind was unable to process the patiently illogical result of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election. Science does not progress by refusing to even question significant anomalies, so I chose not to blame others, embrace hand-wringing or revert to myopic, flat earth thinking. As I wrote on our Elections Aftermath Discussion Forum on Craig Murray’s blog:

      “To honestly believe that droves of the working poor, subsisting on the pittance pay of a zero-hours contract, reliant on Universal Credit and food banks to make ends meet, living in squalid, insecure, overpriced, rental accommodation, worried sick about job loss and the possibility of eviction, courageously risked destitution and starvation to vote for Brexit is patently ridiculous! It is equally delusional to suggest that their more secure parents were so selfish that they blocked out the hardship their children were suffering under austerity for the pipe dream nostalgia of life outside the EU.”

      There are those on this blog who doubt my logic. Hey, forget a decade of austerity, the death toll among the disabled, the rise in child poverty, the surge in homelessness, food bank use and destitution. Forget the multitude of discarded Tory pledges about building that “Northern Power House” and “All that Green Crap” so easily jettisoned once the Tories were in power. No, it was the alternative Labour Brexit negotiation that would have put food standards, health and safety, unions, workers rights job security and human rights first that was probably a dodgy deal, right! It was threat that potential second referendum might no longer support Brexit that was such a heinous betrayal it was worth risking destitution and letting the kids starve! That really is delusional.

      “Certain facts are absolutely beyond dispute: in the past both well respected judges and politicians have publicly admitted, and documented in statements, that our Electoral System is wide open to vote rigging on an industrial scale. Nothing has been done to correct this problem which threatens to delegitimize our democracy. The decision to privatize and outsource our electoral services certainly didn’t make voting more reliable or secure, because the Electoral Commission were not authorized to have any control over the third party private companies who were to offer electoral services. A Watchdog that cannot watch is just a dog!”

      Our Electoral System remains extremely vulnerable to serious fraud, but if we do not challenge what was most certainly a highly suspect vote, it will stay deeply flawed or possibly deteriorate even further with the introduction of dodgy electronic voting machines adding to the limitations on our franchise. When commenter’s hurl unqualified insults and question the existence of evidence they know nothing about it smacks of desperation; so please let’s keep the discussion respectful even if you might disagree with my logic.

      An investigation would serve as a strong warning, but even if no corrupt practices occurred in the last election it doesn’t prevent fraud next time unless we are more vigilant in future. We cannot become more vigilant until we “Rescue our Watchdog,” so please read, share, Link to and sign this Petition: https://tinyurl.com/w4u9dwm

      I believe it was Cummings weapons grade PsyOps technology and his VICS, Voter Intention Collection System, that engineered the Tory ‘landslide victory;’ then stolen postal votes on an industrial scale secured the win in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, but it was the Tory compliant BBC and right wing media that sold us the ‘borrowed votes’ fallacy. Cummings holds all the information and he will blackmail Boris to stay in post. This was his victory, but if he could no longer control the PM he might expose them all and bring down this Tory Government. With such explosive evidence Cummings is the grenade; oust him and you pull the pin!

      1. I think if he exposes the Tories he exposes himself Kim – “They made me do it” won’t work either since he’s been running the shitshow since the Brexit con.
        People think of him as the devil incarnate but he’s just a PR man on speed.
        He and his kind rely completely on the fact that the great British public are retarded.
        I suspect what used to be a bell curve now has a wider, shallower left side and a very steep right side.
        Thanks for selling out education, Tone, you fucking traitor.

  3. If the election had been held two hundred years earlier, with universal franchise, Labour would have swept the board. In 1819. When it mattered much less because they were disfranchised, the working class was far too sensible to be misled into voting for Tories.
    The big difference is that, currently, the ruling class (which is not really a ruling class at all but a comprador elite serving the US based Empire) dominate the culture. They set the political agenda, they own the media, their ideas are dominant in the Universities, where future leaders of the Unions and Left are indoctrinated into the understanding the Capitalism and Imperialism are not up for debate. Every aspect of the culture is controlled by the Establishment, which increases the intensity of its control by insisting that, for example all MPs, subscribe to the increasingly extravagant and fanciful policy positions on Russia, the Skripal poisonings/disappearances, the Magnitsky Act, support of Israel, opposition to socialist reforms in Latin America. And, of course, an entire alternative universe of nonsenses regarding sex, sexuality, gender and desire.
    The Skwawkbox is one of a tiny number of media niches in which the verities of socialist ideas and opinions are available to members of the public.
    In 1819 the working class was led by people who were daily readers of anti-government, reformist culture. This was so clearly the case that popular agitation was centred around the idea that, given the vote, the working people would soon reform society according to principles of equality, justice and fraternal solidarity. At the time they, and the Chartists who followed them, were not wrong either. If they had been allowed to vote they would have elected socialists to run the country.
    Unhappily the vote was not allowed to the working class until it had agreed, as the price of admission to polite society, not to use it to upset those in power. Under the understanding that, were they to attempt to do so, the rules would be adjusted to ensure that nothing changed.
    If Corbyn had won the election he would still have been the equivalent of a revolution away from power. It might have been a peaceful revolution but it would have had to have involved mass action on a permanent basis until the real levers of power in society had been wrenched out of the hands of the powers that be and exercised by the democracy.

  4. For me it’s that triumphalism – the loud and proud celebration of their crimes – that makes it OK to string them the fuck up.
    In fact it makes it a duty.

  5. You believe that the Tories won a “landslide victory” because the Tory liars and the crooked right wing media keep telling you they won. For all the reasons you point out it was so completely illogical, totally unfathomable that I am still unable to accept that the Tories could possibly have won the Covert 2019 Rigged Election; we are still gathering evidence to force a full investigation. Please visit the Discussion Forum on Craig Murray’s blog: that deals with the Elections Aftermath and sign the Petition calling for an immediate investigation. Our Electoral Commission is powerless to protect our vote: A Watchdog that cannot watch is just a dog! Sign this Petition to “Rescue our Watchdog:” https://tinyurl.com/w4u9dwm

    No, it is not too late to do anything about it, but time is limited. After crash-out Brexit, with no recourse to the EU Court, Johnson will move swiftly to solidify full Tory dictatorship. But, you think there will be a chance to vote the Tories out in five years time; dream on. They already have the majority they need to change that or to hold an even more heavily rigged election next time; that is what ‘Elective Dictatorship’ is all about. Am I scare mongering? All of the classic markers of dictatorship are being put in place right now. If we do not act swiftly it will take decades before we are able to restore democracy.

    Do you ever wonder why Dominic Cummings has such a vice hold on the PM? I believe his VICS, Voter Intention Collection System, was the key to informing the Tories exactly where they needed to target with stolen postal votes. He promised them 80 seats and he delivered, but I think he might have anticipated that Boris would betray him, so he will have found a way to distance himself from the criminality if he has to pull the plug. He holds all the information and he can blackmail Boris to stay in post. This was his victory, but if he can no longer control the PM he could expose them all and bring down the Government. With such explosive evidence Cummings is the grenade, oust him and you pull the pin!

    1. Remember before the election rumours were rife that u would need photo id to vote
      Twitter was absolutely chock full of recommendations to apply for #postalvote if you didn’t have photo id….. well I didn’t and was terrified I’d be denied my vote. So like SO many, I applied for postal vote. I have wondered whether the fear around lack of ID prior to this election was a deliberate act to scare the poor into using postal votes and thus nobbling the vote, as sure enough come the election no ID was required, Just the polling card
      I could kick myself that I didn’t vote in person
      I wonder how many applied for a postal vote in comparison to other elections, and how many postal votes were counted…..

      1. The seeds of the struggle for Suffrage have been sown ,then more qualifying attributes then the return of Chartism.

      2. Polling votes stole the election.

        38% of all votes counted were postal.

        It would not be difficult for a company ran by a Tory to change the recorded vote…

  6. ”But, you think there will be a chance to vote the Tories out in five years time; dream on.”

    Most on here aren’t so naive as to think replacing the tories with stammer will result any real discernible difference.

    …But there is one. Besides, stammer’s doing what he can to ensure the (real) tories stay in anyway.

  7. Back on point
    Can’t wait for the the “Forensic One” to get his teeth into this with his usual empathic style!!!

  8. “with his usual empathic style!!!”

    I think your autocorrect may well be starmerite, it seems to have ignored ‘pathetic’ and chosen ’empathic’ instead. 🤔

    1. I got the sarcasm in SM’s comment Toffee.since nobody could possibly genuinely hold such an opinion surely.

      1. And who’s this ‘forensic one’?

        Is tony blert gonna campaign for their release like he did that deidre off constipation street?

  9. If postal vote was rigged then it should stand out like a sore thumb when compared to 2017
    Twas certainly the dirtiest GE in my lifetime

  10. It is simply amusing to see the Left Liberal uncritically pro EU, Labour Party members, represented so fully on Skwawkbox’s comments constantly, who were actually active collaborators with Mandelson, Blair and Campbell’s ‘People’s Vote’ weapon against Corbyn and the socialist Left in forcing Jeremy to suicidally adopt the Remain and 2nd Referendum position in 2019 which lost us all our Labour Heartland Leave voters – FOREVER probably. Rather than face up to the ‘Corbynite Left (Liberals)’ responsibility for us losing, the likes of ‘Doug’, ‘helsbells2022’, ‘Kim Sanders’Fisher, et al, have now retreated into a conspiraloon fantasy ‘explanation’, with no real evidence whatsoever, that we lost the General Election because of ‘Voting Fraud on a co-ordinated national Scale’ !

    Stop deluding yourselves Leftie Liberal EU-lovers. We lost the 2019 Election because YOU decided to collude with the neoliberal Labour Right to renege on our 2017 Manifesto promise to ‘Respect the Referendum decision’ .

    Without denying for a moment the huge reputational damage of constant Labour Right sabotage, the same goes for the rampant over-blown conspiraloon phobias about ‘Zionism’ on the Left Liberal ‘Left’. I’m not doubting or denying for a minute the role of the anti-Semitism smear on destroying Jeremy’s reputation with some (middle class) voters – but most of our lost working class Leave-supporting voters didn’t give a hoot about ‘anti-Semitism’. Own it , Leftie, middle class, Left Liberal ‘Corbynites, it was the constant cowardice of the PLP Corbyn Circle in watering down their lifelong socialist politics, their unwillingness to confront the saboteur Labour Right, the deep corruption and willingness of local Labour Councils to implement Austerity in solid Labour-voting areas, and our betrayal of our promise to ‘Respect the Referendum Decision ‘, and the failure to develop Momentum into a socialist mass movement within Labour, that lost us the respect and voting loyalty of millions of our heartland voters. All other ‘explanations’ are simply conspiraloon nonsense and/or an inability to analyse the crap politics of the Left Liberal’ Left’, that lost us the working class vote.

    1. jpenney. It wasn’t those in Labour such as Ken Loach and many others on the left who wanted to give voters a democratic choice to see if they had changed their mind over Brexit, it was you and your Zionist mates who did the intentional damage of sticking the knife into Corbyn. You and other Brextremists on the far right still try to draw the attention away from the Zionist racists determined that we will never have a Labour Party or government which stands up to Israel and its murderous activities against the Palestinians.

      As for the ‘Labour heartlands’, there are very few of them, many as in the North East, only voted Labour out of habit rather than conviction. Places such as Liverpool and Merseyside are an exception, there, it is conviction politics where right wing rags such as the Sun are shown the door. Consequently Liverpool voted over 60% to remain.

      https://debatingculture.wordpress.com/2017/07/29/exposed-luke-akehurst-saudi-arms-sales-shai-masot-and-the-israeli-lobby/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

    2. Bad Penny
      For the record I voted Leave
      For the record only a moron would attempt to fit Brexit or Covid19 into a left/right choice

    3. I am not a liberal leftie eu lover
      I was horrified when labour decided to flout the democratic brexit vote, so don’t think you know me
      I am a working class Geordie, and see this was a major part of our downfall, cheers keir… however
      I don’t think it “nonsense” to question the ethics, morals and legality of this govt around the 2019 election. The Russia report is still pending public consumption, usa have vested interest in tory govt, israel govt is anti corbyn, our billionaire msm were against policies for the 99%
      Lots of money and power swilling around and this govt doesn’t exactly ooze honesty integrity or love of democracy
      Also how did the likes of laura kuenssberg have access to postal vote numbers before they were counted

      I find the election results shocking despite the stupid peoples vote campaign

      I am I think within my rights to question the validity of the election despite knowing tthe decision re brexit impacted the result

      So please don’t assume to know facts any better than I do

  11. jpenney, even if there’d never been an EU referendum the Tories, most of the PLP, the Israel/JLM/BoD contingent and the MSM would still have lied, cheated, conspired and committed treason with just as much dedication to keep Corbyn out of Number 10.
    Brexit was only one of the tools in the box.

  12. Postal voting, as referred to above, leaves open the possibility of votes ‘going missing’ from Labour areas simply by bribing one person or a few people in the postal service.
    Of course the small risk attached to that method can be further reduced by having ‘friends’ own a small private ‘logistics’ type company to whom you then award the contract for counting the votes.
    Easy peasy if everyone in your circle is as dedicated to wealth and power as yourself – so no problem there.

    I believe online voting can be immune to corruption if properly done.
    Oversight by agents of all candidates used to be standard at the counts, in some of which I participated.
    Since that’s not possible online I think we have to sacrifice the traditional secrecy around voting. Voters simply need to be able to see their name listed alphabetically with all the others on their candidate’s total.
    The corruption and bullying prevented by the secret ballot can be prevented by other means in the digital age. Openness can prevent all manner of corruption in society.
    Like ‘they work for you dotcom’ makes MP’s accountable, knowing people voted for who they said they voted for prevents cheats, bullshitters, Tories and Quislings fiddling the books.

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