Memoirs Of A Fire Hazard has never been so productive. Following on from my last two depressing entries on the subject of the whole country going to shit and nobody caring any more I’m compelled to spew out more political musings which are likely to be just as bleak.
The biscuit has been well and truly taken this time, as one Facebook poster informed me (presumably with a straight face, I don’t know because I couldn’t see him) that my view is all wrong because actually….and get this……..there is no such group as ‘the poor’ in the UK. So that’s it then, we’re fine. Everyone pack up and go home. Crack on Theresa you are doing one Hell of a job. We've obviously never had it so good…
Except. Except that there is evidence to suggest that there are some people in the UK who might reasonably be classed as distinctly wealth defficient. The number of visits to foodbanks has gone up from the tens of thousands into the millions in the last seven years since the Tories came back to power under pig-ploughing former Premier David Cameron. Now, some people may need to visit a foodbank more than once so the fact that something like 1.2 million food parcels were handed out in 2016/17 doesn’t necessarily mean that 1.2 million people are poor enough to have to resort to this desperate measure. But if people are going more than once doesn’t this show just exactly how poor they are? The poor, it seems, are very real outside of the entitled, spoiled world of your average Tory. Consider what the Facebooker believes exists instead of poor people;
“What we do have are a massive range of citizens... the majority of whom make life choices the consequences of which dictate an income level.”
Which is another way of saying that if you haven’t got any money it is your fault, so don’t expect the billionaires of this country to bail you out. They already pay enough tax remember, since the top 1% pay 30% of all tax. Aye, but firstly that is not enough and secondly that is 30% of all tax collected. What about tax that is not collected, dodged, swerved? How many people would have to use foodbanks if the rich paid their tax? I’d venture to suggest the figure would be significantly lower. This country can afford to rid itself of poverty, there just isn’t any appetite for it to do so amid the clamour to acquire more, more and more for yourself. Worse than that, this is money that these people don’t even need. They already have more money than they know what to do with. It’s a status symbol and nothing more.
Oh but it’s not ‘fair’ to make them pay more. Bollocks it isn’t.
Our Facebooker went on;
“Cruel Tory austerity" has been an effort to balance the books... to make sure as a country we are living within our means.”
No it has not. It has been an effort to make those with less foot the enormous bill because if you are a Tory that seems like the fairest thing to do. We’re all in this together, after all. For an encore he hit me with;
“We want to sustain the level of state assistance for as long as possible for people "genuinely" in need. That's only possible with financial prudence and Jeremy does not seem to understand that.”
I could tell you that I have had to correct his grammar but that would be just cheap points scoring. We don’t need that as you can see because he’s outed himself as someone who really believes it is fair and right to turn a blind eye to the greed of the rich and instead bash the poor (less wealthy? Under funded? I don’t know but we obviously can’t call them the poor any more) over the head with more austerity measures. In this context living within our means equates to the people with less living within their means while the mega-rich crack on snorting cocaine off the backsides of expensive whores. It is cruel and heartless to ask them to give that up.
His final point was that all that my previous post offered was “nothing more than ‘it's our fault because we don't believe it's possible.’”. But as I said in my post it isn’t so much that they don’t believe it is possible but that they don’t believe it is desirable to have the things that Corbyn aspires to provide. You can question his maths all you like but what kind of human are you if you question the desire to have fully funded schools, a free NHS and an end to tuition fees? And four extra bank holidays for feck’s sake. Who doesn’t want that? As someone else pointed out, there is a whole section of the Labour manifesto which talks about ending elderly loneliness that is simply sneered at by the me-first sub-species that has been created by Thatcherism. It’s a desperate state of affairs, but it now seems that people want markedly different things than they did in years gone by. Somehow, some time during the Thatcher years, everyone became a self-centred arsehole in reaction to the late 70s winter of discontent. And if you are still left wing after that experience you are branded ‘naive’. Naive as in compassionate and capable of empathy. Incidentally, if the right wing are that worried about a return to the 1970s why do they want blue passports, imperial measurements and no immigration?
Empathy towards others is something that is now in very short supply. Another contributor to the debate on Twitter informed me that psychologists estimate that there is a global empathy deficit of about 50% compared with just a few years ago. What this basically means is that nobody cares about anyone else any more, or maybe more specifically only half as many people care half as much. And that is from a few years ago when if you had asked me I would have guessed that there was a heck of a lot of self-centredness about even then. Years before that we used to have a sense of community and caring for others until Thatcher taught us not to, that all for one and one for all was the very definition of evil and that you were on your own in a dog-eat-dog world. Since then capitalism and greed have got worse through successive governments (including Blair and Brown’s Labour, sadly) to the point where now there are actually real, living and breathing people who believe that there isn’t any such thing as the poor and if there is then it is their own daft fault for failing to ‘make something of themselves’.
It is hard not to despair from this point. All the signs are that the greed is good mob are the majority and that we can therefore expect another five years of obnoxious Tory-ness in our lives following the forthcoming General Election. The number of people using foodbanks will grow, the most vulnerable will be denied the funding they need to continue living independently, and a load of posh twats on horseback will once again be allowed to chase a terrified fox through the countryside before ripping it literally to shreds with total immunity in the name of ‘sport’. All that I will have for comfort is the knowledge that I can vent my spleen on these pages which, to my knowledge, have not yet been shut-down for being a Communist vehicle.
It’s a fairly depressing scene and enough to make you want to move to another country. Somewhere sunny in Europe perhaps. What? Oh…