Letter from the editor- Readers, Unite!

3rd March 2020

Dear reader,

Firstly, thank you for joining me in this project. We’re just beginning so please give us feedback on any articles you read! 

At the moment we might be distracted by the coronavirus but recently the news has told a truly damning story about modern Britain.

Some bits from the past couple of weeks that we should all be talking about more:

  • Life expectancy has worsened for the poorest women in the country, reports the Marmot Review (Read here:Guardian, BBC).
  • Homeless people sleeping in bins have died after being trapped in rubbish lorries. At least seven are known to have died in the last five years… (Read here: Guardian, 24 housing magazine).
  • The DWP is alleged to have covered up secret enquiries into the deaths of benefit claimants who took their own lives. (Read here: Independent, The Mirror).

 All of it is shocking and we should all be red with rage but the question is, what can we do about it?

First and foremost, it is high time that we started to question the cultures that lead to these sorts of political catastrophes. We should question the government and then we should also question ourselves. Are we fair, do we actually act like we are part of a society?

Let’s take a look at the story about regional health inequality, which has been linked to both poverty and underfunded services. Then there’s the reality that, to quote the website Full Fact, ‘Whether or not you count inflation, the funding that’s been announced for the NHS won’t be enough to address future issues the service will face, according to expert think tanks’. So this isn’t about ideology, it is about the fact that categorically it is not enough.

Next up, and it makes me shake as I type it because it is so disgusting, homeless people resorting to such desperate measures that they risk dying crushed among rubbish in a waste truck. What does that say about us? Why do we live in a country that allows this? No one deserves to have to sleep in a bin, everyone deserves a roof over their head.

If we want to live in a good, fair, just and humane society we have to be clear about it. We’ve got to show it through our actions as well as our words.

We need to be united not divided, because the top 0.001% like us to argue with one another, rather than them. It is divide and conquer, and right now we are being conquered. We need to move beyond ideology. We really have to stop refusing to talk to people because they are a ‘Blairite’, ‘Corbynista’, ‘champagne socialist’, ‘Remainer’, ‘Brexiteer’ or ‘One Nation Tory’.

It is time to move beyond the labels, because when pricked we all bleed. That’s a message I want this magazine to give, I just want it to showcase that as a collective we can make change. Even if it is just with a keyboard.

Thank you for joining me in this endeavour,

Yours,

Scarlett Sherriff, Editor-in-chief

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