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31 July 2013

Benefits shock: London family on state handouts avoids the benefit cap and bedroom tax

Royal birth deflects from campaigns to save maternity services across the UK

As the Welsh government considers the results of the consultation into downgrading at least one maternity unit in south Wales the media has gone into a frenzy of congratulation over the birth of a new royal prince.

Of course it's not the fault of the baby. He is just like any other baby, totally unaware of the furore erupting around him. It will not be for a few years that he becomes aware that he lives an entirely different existence from the rest of society.

In his luxurious cot attended by servants in Kensington Palace, he will be oblivious of the fact that a short distance away other babies are being evicted from their homes by the government's benefit cap on families living in flats charged high rents by landlords in central London. He will be unaware of other young children unable to stay with one of their parents over the weekend because of the bedroom tax.

Normal families

The media is keen to promote the monarchy as a sort of normal family living a royal-celeb lifestyle. This serves as a useful distraction from real lives. Princess Kate's childbirth was nothing out of the ordinary, but its promotion serves to distract from the cuts being made in maternity services across the UK. There is something distasteful about the medieval way that both the media and the royals see princesses as breeding machines above all else.

Where was The Sun's coverage of the tragic loss of her baby by a mother in Caerphilly while she waited for an ambulance to take her from Ystrad Fawr hospital, where there is no consultant obstetrician to the Royal Gwent Hospital?

It is Socialist Party members, campaigning in the Penyrheol by-election, who are fighting for a consultant-led maternity unit at the hospital, while the royals continue to live a life of unimaginable luxury paid for by the mothers who need maternity services and are denied them by increasing austerity.

The Queen has declined the opportunity to join her subjects in cutting public spending - she has just been given a 5% rise - the royals total cost is an eye watering 200 million a year.

Wales Socialist Party