Monday, December 16, 2019

Danny Dorling - The biggest story in the UK is not Brexit. It’s life expectancy

Over the last few years British life expectancy has been falling. The Tories first blamed the weather, then the flu, but once Brexit got announced people became obsessed with it and so the Tories were able to bury the story. 

Britain has the harshest austerity program in Europe and people are dying because of it. More babies are dying and the very old may be left without help in their homes. The most devastated areas are the working class ones which voted Brexit. 

How did the Tories get away with this at the election? 

In the four weeks of September 2019, while Boris Johnson tried to force through a general election, 1,248 more people died in England and Wales than was usual at that time of year.

During the four weeks of the election campaign,  eventually called at the end of October, 2,124 more people died  in England and Wales  than again was usual for that time of year. At the time of writing – very late on general election day  – these are the most recent weekly mortality statistics.

The UK has reduced public spending to 36% of GDP by the end of 2019 from a peak of 41% in 2006. Today, rates of public spending in the UK as a whole are only a fraction above those of the US. Almost every other country in the EU spends more on its public services than the UK does; almost every other country in Europe now has a lower infant mortality than the UK. These are facts the British have simply accepted because we have been distracted by Brexit. These are the facts that very few British voters knew when they voted on 12 December 2019. Messages about them were either ignored or crowded out.

The Correspondent

No comments: