Belts are tightened all over the country as debts threaten to overwhelm us. It is not a good time to be poor. It never is. But this recession seems to be going on forever. It started in 2008 and five years later many are still suffering.
And what do the rich do? They offer us loans at astronomical rates of interest, up to 4000%. No thought to helping a poor guy when down, Nah. Kick them in the teeth, and then empty their pockets. These extraordinary loans are akin to vultures picking at the down and out.
A few years down the line and the government thinks it might do something about it. Stable, horse, door comes to mind. The government let their mates rob us till there’s nowt left and then think of intervening. The government and the big boys call it market forces, the poor call it being dumped- on from a high height.
But the people won’t be browbeaten: part of a song by Labi Siffre
Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought my pride was gone, oh no
There’s something inside so strong
Oh, something inside so strong
At the moment the nation is being forced through a period of austerity, whereby ‘we’ have to endure severe cut backs in many areas. The government say this policy is essential if the country is to emerge from the recession; to get back to the good times. We are constantly told that ‘we’ are all in this together.
“That’s fair enough” said Joe, until he put on his reading glasses.
- By the hundreds of thousands people were laid off work.
- Many forced to accept part-time work.
- Around 1.5 million of those who have part-time jobs are looking for full time employment.
- Employees (workers) are restricted to a 1% pay increase.
- Many thousands are forced to take less than the minimum wage.
- Thousands are forced to accept zero hour contracts.
- Welfare benefits cut by £50bn according to Iain Duncan Smith.
- Ripped off on energy prices, interest rates; damn, the list is too long.
And what have the rich given up? Hello. Hello, I asked a question. Hello!
The richest 2,500 are three (3) times wealthier than in 2008. Dispatches Channel 4. The Bank of England introduced ‘quantitative easing’ (printing money) the rich were able to use that money at a very low level of interest and then lend it out at very high interest rates. It was a handout for the un-needy. The poor got food banks and the rich got fat bank….accounts. The poor live under austerity while the rich live it up in prosperity. We are in this together, right?
Ordinary people had no real part in the banking crisis that has led to this world- wide recession. The sheer greed of the big boys was the ultimate cause. Yet it is the ordinary Joe who has been forced to pick up the tab. How can that be ethical? How can that be moral? They just don’t give a toss!
Where are our political leaders in all this; shouldn’t they be looking after our welfare? I would say they are sitting nice and pretty with their new wealth. Throughout the length of the country people have seen their homes devalued in some areas heavily. Our leaders with their London pads have an uplifting story. George Osborne has seen his house go above the £2 million mark. Ed Miliband has a nice little earner going from £1.6m to £2.4 million, while Nick Glegg has watched his double.
Meanwhile, the top 2,500 households in 2008 had as much wealth as 5 million other households. In 2014 the 2,500 had as much as 8 million other households. So the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. I’m beginning to think that we are not in this together.
The economy will pick up again and hopefully those looking for a full time job will find one. It will help them pay off their debts. It will be a few years before the majority can feel as though they can now spend on a little luxury that will bring a smile to their lives. But for those genuinely in need of the welfare state life is going to get tougher.
With only a few months to go before the election, May 2015, it has been estimated that some 7.5 million have not registered to vote. This alienation is a wholly negative one. It illustrates a massive divide between the people and their political leaders. It is symptomatic of a gulf in trust and a belief in the system. A signal that many feel that democracy does not work; it’s a dangerous road to go down.
As inequality deepens so the voices of the decent must be raised to sing Jerusalem.
Do some good……join Robin Hood