Typewriter Critical Mass editorial

G7 Summit fails the world

Last week the deputy head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Carl Scau, travelled the length of Gaza and tweeted: “Just spent two days in #Gaza. From the south to the northernmost tip of the Strip, people are traumatised and exhausted. The level of destruction is shocking. And the challenges our staff are facing when doing their life-saving work are like nothing I have ever seen.”

At the same time the WFP was calling on the G7 summit, a meeting of the richest nations in the world, to support sustainable solutions to end hunger. Over 800 million people in the world go hungry. Of these, 41 million in 43 countries are facing famine.

Wars like Israel’s assault on Gaza and the civil war in Sudan, the growing impact of climate change on food production and the widening gap between rich and poor are all contributing to the increase in food insecurity around the world. And this is driving the refugee crisis, with 82.4 million forcibly displaced people in the world, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). So it is no surprise that all this is driving up immigration. Just to keep things in perspective, while one tenth of people suffer from some degree of hunger, only one thirtieth of the world’s population are migrants.

So what is the response of the G7 nations who are supposed to represent the liberal democratic values? Instead of adopting the WFP Blueprint for Global Food Security they have declared that illegal immigration is a global emergency. Rishi Sunak, along with far right Italian leader, Georgia Meloni, led the discussion. Sunak claims that sending people back where they came from is necessary to prevent a human tragedy. The human tragedy is already happening, in no small part down to the policies pursued by the West. Rather than representing some shared liberal values they epitomise the worst of global capitalism.

Together with the G7’s complicity in the genocide in Gaza, this failure to tackle worldwide hunger is proof, if proof were needed, that the rules-based order of western liberal democracy is not only illiberal and anti-democratic it is inhumane and needs to be opposed. The big question is how. The current round of elections around the world offers no solutions. Disillusioned by the failure of democracy to reflect their wants and needs, many are turning to authoritarian, populist alternatives like Trump, Meloni or Farage.

For generations most socialists in the UK have believed in the Labour Party as the vehicle that could be used to overturn the system. Next week we will almost certainly have a new Labour government with a large majority. And it is a racing certainty that Starmer will use his mandate to uphold the rules-based order in defence of capitalism. If we want to avoid a Pound Shop Trump like Farage from reaping the benefits, socialists have to start thinking about how we oppose the next Labour government in the here and now. If we limit ourselves to planning for the next election, it will be too late.

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