‘Strip, hang your clothes on the hook, remember the number on the hook and give it to the orderly,don’t worry about your valuables, no one in here wants them.’
#Running Man (Stephen King)
Since 2008, a severe economic crisis (EC) has characterized the European Union (E.U.). The countries most severely impacted were those countries whose banking systems have been most exposed to the economic crisis; i.e., Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. However, there is growing evidence that the effects are seen well beyond these countries impacting a broad set of social, economic and health domains. It is within this context that the 2010 EMCDDA Annual Report noted that economic slowdown has produced “fears that this may be accompanied by an increase in problematic forms of drug use”.
~ European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
It took me two months to secure a Universal Credit payment but that’s probably not unusual (I haven’t spoken to anybody else so I wouldn’t know). I do know that it took far longer to get a payment of Universal Credit from the DWP than would have been the case had I been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.
As if that were not bad enough there appears to be a two tier system operating whereby, if you opt to go self-employed you are enrolled onto the jobseeker allowance/employment support benefits system and are dealt with far more expediently.The two tier system doesn’t feel so unjust if like me you were living at home with a pensioner at the time you claimed. If you have a family to feed and then find yourself having to wait months and months for a housing cost and living costs payment,that’s another story.
The point it seems is to differentiate between the deserving and undeserving poor. The deserving poor will see the wisdom of becoming self-employed (only to be eventually taxed into destitution by a very determined Conservative government, determined that is to evade holding wealthy taxpayers to account). The undeserving will accept the fallacy that there are plenty of well paying full-time jobs out there if they are prepared to work, and resign themselves to all the hoops & punishments the government foists on them to ‘motivate them to embrace the work ethic’.
That seems to be the idea, but the idea ignores what happens to a nation when a collapsed economy fails to reboot and then gets walloped by a government referendum result that has gone totally pear shaped as Brexit has.
What happens to parents under pressure to pay off those credit cards (they could once barely afford), keep up those utility bill payments, make the mortgage and desperately hunt down any & every viable job opportunity.
What happens to young men & women just out of local academy schools and stuck in neighbourhoods out in places (parts of South London), where no effort has really been made to build the kind of infrastructure, that would draw businesses and so create jobs.What happens isn’t just a surge in hate crimes, there will also be a resultant surge in alcohol and drug abuse.
The industrial collapse of the 1980s, the 1990s economic recession and the 2008 recession have all caused surges in drug sales, drug use and drug abuse and not just amongst adults.Walk into any supermarket and the same can be said of alcohol, saunter along the aisles selling cheaper booze and from the way it’s packaged it’s hard to tell whether or not these are children’s drinks stuck in the wrong supermarket aisle.
Booze sells well during periods of economic stagnation and uncertainty and so does drugs. Look at the 2016 increases in violent and sex crime, the increase in antisocial behaviour and you’ll start to wonder if there’s a link to increases in drug and alcohol abuse.
Where there’s a market you will find as many sellers as buyers. Such has been the case in Glasgow, Wolverhampton, Manchester and Liverpool.
In the past ‘tough on crime & tough on the causes of crime’ mean’t that the police were funded extensively by the government and allowed to get on with tackling Britain’s drug cartels and the resulting social disorder.
Nowadays? Police numbers are down 16,000, neighbourhood policing numbers are down 6,000, the number of police detectives is short by 17,000 & policing budgets have suffered cuts and are due to suffer £160m more in budget cuts.
So let us be clear what we are talking about when we talk a surge in drug & alcohol abuse and the attendant problems, as well as future depleted police numbers and the looming £160m worth of budget cuts to policing, which will lead to further reductions in the numbers of police officers Britain has on the ground.
We are talking a future increase in unimpeded serious organised crime, we’re talking deaths and physical injuries (police & civilian) that might have been avoided.We’re talking a surge in the numbers of honest, cold sober law abiding parents that didn’t choose this (the drug dealers/gang members life) and yet find themselves with a dead (and innocent child on their hands), or with a kid they will have to decide to support through a court case, and then visit for the next ten years in prison.
We’re talking academy schools having to deal with stressed staff increasingly taking days off sick may and also having to fork out money for school security (drug dealers have been known to murder their rivals in the most inappropriate places). Vast council estates (oh yes England & in particular Central London has them) that may suddenly become totally off-limits to the police, and the increasing use of ‘private security armies’ for those who are affluent enough to be able to afford them. We’re talking a return to the extensive utilisation of ‘snouts’ criminals within local communities, as the funding of extensive intelligence gathering, perfected by our police service, is hived off and then privatized by this government.
We’re also talking a drop in church numbers, would I care to attend an evangelical church that is passionate about everything except the increasing impact of gang & drugs crime on my children? I don’t think so.