Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/774/17114
Who are the real criminals?
Desperate poverty drives some people to desperate acts. The Hull Daily Mail reports that 40% more people seem to be stealing food for personal consumption in Hull than last year.
The police believe this is directly linked to the fact that more and more people cannot afford to pay for life's essentials. As the bedroom tax, council and benefit cuts bite, more and more will be pushed towards tough decisions - "Do I pay my rent and bills or feed my family"?
The article says austerity is the cause of increased food shoplifting but sees the main victims of crime as the small businesses being robbed. In a time of austerity most small shopkeepers are squeezed by the giant corporations who can afford to undercut them and by sections of the working class who cannot afford to use their shops.
Austerity hits sections of the middle class badly - see how many independent shops have gone broke. Local butchers, bakers and greengrocers went bust and were replaced on the high street by pawnshops and payday loan sharks.
A determined working class fightback against austerity would draw in support from large layers of the middle class including small shopkeepers.
Tory media cry crocodile tears for the poor. The Hull Daily Mail's scandalous 'solution' was to name and shame six local offenders caught stealing food. We do not support theft as an answer to poverty. But who are the real criminals here?
Is it the mother who has just had her benefit cut through bedroom tax who steals baked beans worth a few pence to feed her children. Or fat cat businessmen who legally rob millions of pounds a year through exploiting tax loopholes?
The real criminals are the ruling class who run a capitalist system which robs the poor to give to the rich. Join the Socialist Party and fight for a socialist society.
In The Socialist 17 July 2013:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns