By VIEWdigital publisher Una Murphy
How bad will it be in 2023? I was challenged by a friend on what we’ll say that’s new about the Cost of Living crisis in this edition of VIEW magazine.
As a journalist who has concentrated on covering social issues for the past 10 years, it’s a question I pondered when writing this editorial.
We’ve seen the growth of food banks and the visibility of homelessness on our streets. Through our journalism at VIEWdigital we’ve tracked the age of austerity and its effect on communities.
We’ve seen how the growth of poverty has been reflected in police reports in the Republic of Ireland as an increase in thefts and burglaries due to the Cost of Living crisis.
We’ve seen how the state in Britain prepares to outlaw certain strike action by trade unions.
I’ve just finished reading Hilary Mantel’s novel on the French revolution A Place of Greater Safety. It struck me that the neo-liberal economic policies which have been pursued with the determination of stormtroopers by those currently in power is now imploding.
People are afraid to go to the hospital due to a lack of beds, with patients being treated in public corridors. Nurses and hospital staff have had to go on strike to demand action, joining teachers, lecturers, postal, and transport workers on picket lines. The dogma of neo-liberalism has failed, and the next stage is to demand that changes will be made in society to reverse the inequalities inflicted on communities since the age of austerity began.
What I see that’s new in this edition of VIEW magazine on the Cost of Living crisis is the story of people showing defiance despite the struggle. Campaigners like our guest editors who have stood out in the cold, as well as in the corridors of power, to say end this hardship.
More and more people are courageously and determinately saying that the inequalities of this age of austerity must end. And in a representative democracy, we must question those who seek to lead us – irrespective of past loyalties to party or creed – on what action they will take. If we are not satisfied with their answers we must not give them our vote.
Now is the time to collaborate with those who seek to bring an end to this dreadful dogma which has led to record levels of child poverty, made older people afraid to turn on their heating and besmirched the democratic process by putting the needs to people in power and their powerful allies before the needs of citizens.
How bad will it be in 2023? Make this the year we get off our knees.