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…

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