by Emily Fletcher
As a result of Queen Elizabeth II's death on September 8th, 2022, protesters were arrested,
hospital appointments were cancelled, food banks closed, and taxpayers’ money was spent
on the funeral... So, what does the queen’s death mean for Britain?
It is estimated that Queen Elizabeth II's funeral was the most watched event in history,
garnering billions of views. Despite this, many people did not feel it was appropriate to
grieve for a woman who personified class oppression and hereditary privilege. Shock.
It was also judged as a reminder of the ruthless exploitation of countries by the British
empire throughout history, which resulted in decades of suffering, death, and financial
collapse. Many people agree that a call for reparations is in order.
The reaction in the U.K. was immediate when the news broke. The queen's memory was
memorialized through billboards, posters, and transportation services almost instantly.
Yet, where was this sense of urgency in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic? Where is
the urgency to address the cost-of-living crisis? You know, the same cost of living crisis that
is killing people…
STATISTICS, STATISTICS AND MORE STATISTICS!
- In the UK, more than one in five people (14.5 million) live in poverty, and the use of food
banks are becoming more common.
- There has been a 94% increase in the price of a food shop
- An 82% increase in gas or electricity bills
- A 77% increase in the price of fuel
- Around 16 million people (35%) whose cost of living had gone up have cut back on
spending on food and essentials.
- Approximately a quarter (23%, roughly 11 million people) used their savings to
cover costs and 13% (around 6 million people) said they were using more credit
- Roughly 4 in 10 disabled people whose cost of living has increased, has cut back on
food and essentials.
- People with disabilities are more likely than non-disabled people to have reduced
their spending on food and essentials because of their increased costs of living. This
is a comparison of 42% with 31%.
- As of August 2022, it was revealed that the average household’s disposable
income had dropped by 16.5%. Resulting in 2 in 5 cutting down on eating out,
travelling, and social events.
- The number of households that became homeless in England between January and
March 2022 reached 74,230, including 25,610 families with children. Representing
an 11% rise in three months, and a 5% rise in the same period last year.
- As of May 2022, according to the Food Foundation, around 7.3 million adults live in
households affected by food insecurity, alongside 2.6 million children.
- 13.8% of adults have said they or someone in their household had been unable to
afford or get access to food in the past month.
It is heartbreaking to see these statistics. While families struggle to feed their children and
hesitate to turn on the heating this winter, we're paying between £8-20m for the
Queen's funeral. There is a petrifying sense of injustice here.
People queuing to see the queen's coffin had access to portaloos, freshwater stops were
installed, and The Salvation Army served hot drinks and food. Yet, where is this type of
urgent treatment for the 74,000 homeless people in the U.K right now?
As Queen Elizabeth II's death has demonstrated, some people's lives matter a lot more than others in this classist society.
This absurdly wealthy family mourns the death of its matriarch and avoids paying
inheritance taxes, while working-class families suffer the consequences of funerals and
hospital appointments are being cancelled/postponed during this national “mourning period”.
The crisis that is stopping people from heating their homes this winter has been
overshadowed by media coverage that is focused primarily on the Queen.
We must put aside this outdated, unjust concept of royalty and start treating everyone