Last Week in News (with Ruby)

The opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and are not representative of the views of The Hysteria Collective as a whole.

In last week’s news, we see Universal Credits being cut, a new 888 safety number being launched for women walking home late at night, a ‘whistle blower‘ exposes Facebook and the climate crises continue. A definite conclusion we can draw from this is a growing distrust in the government and the rich – the rich are left richer, whilst the poverty gap in the UK continues to grow.

The £20 boost to universal credits has been cut. This was originally used to support low income families during the pandemic. Despite the end of furlough and the constant risk of losing your job, this change has been abandoned. This officially ends on the 6 October, meaning universal credit income will drop by 25%. This will impact more than 5.8 million people across the UK. Once again, (sadly) proving the uncompassionate approach to politics that the government take, which solidifies the poverty gap in the UK.

The 888 emergency number has been set up for women in order to protect them when walking home alone late at night. Although supported by politicians in the Tory party (such as Priti Patel), this number has been justifiably criticised by women’s groups and women across social media. This number provides a ‘tracking feature’ which is the last thing anybody wanted. Instead of providing an onus of safety for women, this feature simply helps detectives find the body more quickly. The amount of money that the government are pushing into this app could have been used to help the crisis at its core through education and women’s support groups etc. Instead of tackling the misogyny in society, the government create another app which does nothing to support women. It’s simply a performative choice from them.

The Facebook ‘whistle blower’, Frances Haugen, accuses the giant of putting profits ahead of safety. She claims that while Facebook could adopt changes to make the platform safer, they don’t, all due to the financial gains from avoidance. This case is ongoing as she will appear in front of UK Parliament, and is a definitely a story to keep up to date with.

With Cop26 on the horizon, climate change is making the news everyday. With temperatures rising, the chances of crises are becoming more and more likely. In the next week or so, these stories will top news outlets and is important for the future of everyone across the world.

All we want is transparency from government bodies and giants in tech firms but we are not getting this. Hopefully next week’s news will include something more ‘uplifting’ – but under a Tory Government this feels unlikely.

Image courtesy of Marcus Winkler.

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