Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Alternative Christmas Message

Christmas is almost upon us and it’s time for my Christmas message, so here goes…
We live in dark times at the moment.  We have little to look forward to and there are many who may not make it through the coming cold weather because of the levels of fuel poverty amongst the elderly and those on low incomes.  There are low levels of hope that the current situation will change for the better any time soon and it looks like the ConDem Coalition don’t really care who falls by the wayside because of their austerity measures, measures that are not doing what they are supposed to be doing and rescuing the UK from a mounting budget deficit.
Christmas may lift the spirits of the public for a while with the rush to buy presents for their family and friends but at what cost?  People tend to forget that, after the festivities, the good times have to be paid for.  Most people have credit cards these days and I have seen some instances where individuals have used their ‘plastic friend’ in a most cavalier fashion, running up huge bills that they either have not thought about or ignore the necessity of paying at some point.  Thanks to the austerity measures put in place by the ConDems, there are job losses on the horizon and even more people will be dropping into poverty.  How will they pay the credit card bills they have built up to celebrate Christmas in the hopes that the real world will somehow go away?
I can understand the need to celebrate Christmas although it is not a need I share but, at this moment in history, it would make more sense to celebrate in a more sensible fashion.  This necessity to restrain ourselves when buying presents is not one that is fair or universal.  I don’t think that there will be many MPs whose families and friends will suffer a cut price, bargain basement Christmas but they have the financial resources to not have to worry where they will find the cash to cover their credit card bills.  I don’t think they have even taken the plight of the electorate when they make their decisions, decisions that can make or break an individual and their family.
What really worries me is that the Government and society in general is doing nothing to stop the growing tide of personal debt that individuals create for themselves.  This would be less of a problem if there wasn’t a Government scheme that helps people wipe out the part of a debt that they cannot pay themselves which means that everyone else has to pick up the tab for those who thoughtlessly put themselves in debt.  This state of affairs cannot continue.  It is time we reset the financial system and went back to the days of using cash to buy what we need and want.  I’m not suggesting that credit should be abandoned altogether because there will be very few people who can buy the larger items we need these days but credit such as that should be reserved for those items and only one item at a time.  This is how I have lived, always within my meagre means.  This is how we should all live.
Until next time…

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

My little Christmas message...

I've taken the unusual step of posting this entry here as well as submitting it to Your Thurrock because I get the feeling it won't get posted over there.  It's a little strong for the silly season but, I have to say, it's been toned down from my original that invoked images of Nazi book burning!

So, let’s recap the financial situation we find the UK in at the moment…

We are in the middle of the most severe financial crisis in living memory.  We are suffering the most severe austerity measures in living memory.  The austerity measures that the ConDem Coalition forced upon us to solve the problem of the enormous budget deficit are not going to solve it in the five-year timeframe they thought it would; it’s now going to take seven years, which is longer than the current term of the Coalition.  Austerity measures on this scale have never lasted as long as the current ones have to last, let alone an added two years.  According to experts, it is now too late to stop the austerity measures without spooking the financial markets.  The banks that caused the global financial crisis seem to be carrying on as if nothing was their fault, paying their bosses huge bonuses for their sterling work of bring about a global financial apocalypse; banks who, indeed, threaten to move their businesses overseas at the mere hint of sanctions against them.  The previous Labour Government that allowed the banking system to take such risks with the money in their charge by de-regulation now fails to take responsibility for their part in what happened.


I have been rather vocal in my assertion that the ConDem spending cuts are a way of culling the human herd, of killing off the underclass of society – the people on benefits and the elderly who are seen as leeches sucking the blood from society’s coffers.  Now, according to the local media, pensioners are going to have to make the impossible choice between keeping themselves fed and keeping themselves warm because of the high cost of energy production that is being passed down to the consumer.  And I’m not entirely convinced that it is just pensioners who will be making that choice.  We have extremely cold weather forecast for the coming winter and, even with the poor accuracy of the long-range forecasts, I’m not sure they’re wrong.  So how can the ConDems say with straight faces that their spending cuts aren’t hurting the most vulnerable in society?  I don’t see any of the current intake of MPs making that choice but then, aren’t they just overpaid parasites feeding off the misery and suffering of the people they say they represent?  What I’d like to know is – what are the ConDems going to do to try and help those they have hit hardest with their austerity measures?

If I’m right about the cuts being a way of culling the human herd, can we expect to see the books from closed-down libraries being burnt on huge funeral pyres onto which we will toss the bodies of the elderly, infirm and vulnerable who die during the winter having decided that they would rather die of hypothermia than starvation?  All the Government would have to do is make sure that the pyres are kept dowsed in some flammable liquid to stop them going out and it will look like the Springfield tyre fire in The Simpsons.  The pensions crisis would be over in a flash and the benefit bill would likewise be reduced, leaving the ‘productive’ section of society safely protected from the harsh realities of living hand to mouth, not knowing where the next meal is coming from.  But beware; the lower classes will then be the targets of Cameron and his cronies until only the rich survive.

I may have painted a rather bleak picture but am I the only one who can see this being a real possible future?  I may have exaggerated a bit for the sake of shock value but we’re not far from that dark reality that I have fixed in my mind.

I was a little dismayed that the focus of the recent strike action was on the purely selfish concern of public sector worker pensions rather than the greater issue of how the cuts are going to affect the poorest and most vulnerable.  With such a narrow focus, even with two million strikers, it made for a pretty poor message.  If there should be a repeat performance, the strike should focus on the bigger issue and then more people might come out in support and deliver a message to the ConDems that cannot be ignored.

So, while those of you who are in a position to celebrate Christmas this year, please spare a thought for those who will be lucky to make it through the winter alive.  Be kind and reach out to those in need because one day it could be you.

Until next time…

Thursday, 1 December 2011

What's the use?

It's December and the UK is running head-long into the silly season with little regard to the financial river of shit we're currently swimming in.  Yes, people are moaning at the restrictions on the amount of presents they can afford but they still run up huge bills on their credit cards that they can ill-afford to do.  Those of us on benefits are waiting for the dreaded letter telling us that we aren't entitled to the small amount of money we recieve and that we will be getting less money or, in some cases, cut off without a sodding penny.

But then there's the bankers who are a big part of the reason we're in this mess.  They sit in their ivory towers along with the politicians who are the other partners in this country's misfortune.  All together, they sit there taking from the poor and giving to the rich like a contrary Robin Hood whilst they walk through the devastation they have and are still causing without a care in the world, untouched by the pain that they always say we are having to bear as a nation because "we're all in this together".

The platitudes that spout from the mouths of the politicians provide little succour to the people who, this winter, will have to make the terrible and impossible choice between feeding themselves and warming themselves.  Will Cameron and his ConDem cronies be making such a choice?  Of course not, because they are overpaid parasites feeding off the misery and suffering of the people they say they represent.

I would make this an open letter to all politicians and send it out to every newspaper in the country but they wouldn't listen so that leaves me with only one thing to say - what's the fucking use?

Unitl next time...