Millions of people in this country are struggling to pay for basic food bills. At the same time, they are being blamed for the cause of their own misery – because the official propaganda campaign from the government, the Bank of England and others who politically support them is that wage growth is the cause of inflation.
This is a classic and outrageous case of blaming the victims for their own misery. Ministers, the central bankers and the profiteers are gaslighting an entire population.
In reality, there is a crisis of food price inflation. Earlier this year the inflation rate for food reached over 19%, almost triple the level of wage growth at that time. Even this is an understatement, as the millions without a car or access to reasonable public transport or forced to pay even higher prices.
The effects are devastating. The Trussell Trust reports that 750,000 people visited one of their foodbanks for the first time in the last year, and that they provided a record 3 million emergency food parcels. But they also report that donations are drying up. This is because the overwhelming majority of all donations are from workers and the poor, and they are the ones feeling the worst effects of the fall in living standards.
Stories of a child pretending to eat from a packed lunch box at school, as the NEU recently reported are a complete indictment of the establishment who have brought us to this. NHS England has just reported a quadrupling of poverty diseases such as scurvy and rickets over the last 15 years, along with cases of malnutrition.
Of course, some bloated and well-oiled MP can always be found to blame fecklessness and colour TVs for these scandals, and claim they can live on a bag of pasta each week. The fact they are even given airtime is a measure of how far both politics and the media have degenerated.
The substantial campaign by the real authors of this misery is the relentless propaganda against wage rises. It is to deflect scrutiny of their role. Yet it is simple arithmetic to show that as real wages (after adjusting for inflation) are still falling they cannot be adding to inflation, let alone be responsible for it.
The purpose of their campaign is to disguise the real source of the crisis. Back in 2020 this country and the rest of the G7 decided that, coming out of lockdown, the way to revive the economy was to stimulate spending, without ever investing in the means of production to match that increase. This is based on the stupid and dangerous idea that we can achieve prosperity by maxing out credit cards.
This combination caused inflation globally. But it has since been used by major companies to massively increase their profits. Governments, including this one, allowed this profiteering to take place. On food, in recent weeks Tesco’s, Iceland and Sainsbury’s have all reported surging underlying profits. The same is allowed in other sectors, without any regulation or price controls, which are common in other countries.
Everyone is paying much more for their food, and some are going hungry to support the profits of these firms, and the government that allows them to do it. These firms, the ministers who represent their interests and the central bank that upholds the system all try to blame wage growth. They are lying.
By Michael Burke