No matter how you might feel about the role of the NHS during the Covid Pandemic, the ongoing calls for a pay rise by as much as 12% for employees has certainly brought the cost-of-living question into clearer focus. Especially as the Government is telling us all that 1% is all that it can afford.
The cost-of-living crisis surrounding all of us isn’t new. But like many of the problems that those on low pay, those living in the wrong places, those coming from the wrong backgrounds or those simply not having a story that the mainstream media can glam up negatively to sell, the harsh realities that a significant portion of society face each day are neither relevant nor understood by the people who should be thinking about them. Because the lives of those facing such difficulties are out of sight, out of mind.
We are living through an age where many cannot afford to live comfortably either without additional support or without getting themselves into debt. So, whilst a 12% uplift for an NHS worker might sound outrageous to those who should know better, for many with homes to run and pay for with spiralling credit card or loan repayment bills to pay, even an additional 12p earned on top of every Pound they earn today is unlikely to feel anything like enough.
Sadly, many of the MPs and policy makers that we have are not the thinkers that leaders they should be. Real life and what happens in the real economy is something that they neither understand, nor have the desire or motivation to do so either.
Over a period of five decades, politicians have bought into a range of misleading and dangerous monetary policies. They have actively encouraged what is little more than playing games with money with no consideration for the consequences of doing so. Indeed, the current Chancellor has driven a public spending bonanza by printing money in quantities and at a level that should only be considered normal in a time of war.
The Johnson Government response to the Covid pandemic and specifically their approach to what is in effect magicking money out of thin air to solve every problem rather than engaging anything near rational thought, has exacerbated an already serious problem. One that is making life increasingly difficult for the same people we are told all these fiscal measures are designed to help.
Not everyone is a financial geek or anorak – and neither should they need to be. Yet our MPs are elected to represent ALL of the electorate – whether people voted for them or not. And in the position of power and responsibility that they actively sought, the least that we can expect from ALL MPs is that they have a coherent and practical understanding of how everything that they collectively have responsibility for will actually work without causing more problems than they solve.
It simply doesn’t matter whether they are on Government or Opposition benches or somewhere in between. Representative responsibility for everyone is shared by them all.
Each and every MP should understand the real impact of printing money to solve problems, and the effect it has of devaluing the money that people like you and I have in our pockets. It means that the prices of the things we buy daily or each month that are necessary to survive, are quietly shooting up, whilst the media says very little or absolutely nothing about the struggles that even the so-called ‘middle classes’ are facing. MPs should not be playing any part – knowingly or otherwise – in this national travesty and the financial ineptitude of politicians is negatively impacting us all.
The other significant part of the problem we face, i.e., the key cause of the cost-of-living crisis, is the way that business and the banking and financial sectors have simply been allowed – often through deregulation – to inflate the prices of goods and services, often many times over as goods pass through the supply chain. These speculators calling themselves names like dealers and agents rarely add any value by what they are doing. But they have the effect of catapulting the value of end user prices, for no better reason than that they want more.
Common sense tells us that the way to counter the problem of rising prices is for workers to receive wage rises. But this is not how solving a massive problem like this works.
The financial problems that we face have quite literally been created by little more than greed. People in positions to play with prices, move manufacturing overseas and use many other clever, profit-focused devices that we are outwardly told will enhance UK business in some way. They are able to do so completely unhindered and do what they do, not because they have to, but simply because they can.
The reality underpinning this situation and the way money is being manipulated at every turn means that every wage rise given to the low and average wage earner is simply swallowed up by little more than profit-making of some kind. Meanwhile, the companies that directly provide the goods and services we buy put prices up, telling is that it is ‘market forces’ at work and that they have no choice to do so, whilst shareholder pay-outs and executive bonuses go on being paid handsomely. Not because its illegal, but because they can.
The instigators and people driving these inflated prices that are creating financial misery share one very clear thing in common with the Government and our politicians. They either have no idea what impact and consequences their actions and choices are having on the lives of others, or they do and simply do not care.
Either way, the misuse of such power either in the hands of business leaders or politicians is simply unacceptable. It cannot continue to go on.
The economic philosophy, ideas or textbooks that are being followed by politicians today have facilitated all of the money printing and financial wrongdoing over a significant period of time. Yet these really are just ideas that do not stand up to scrutiny over the long term, even if they appear to have worked over what has been multiple decades in time.
They do not work and are not working, because they neither exist nor operate for the benefit all. Here lies the biggest problem with how the financial and banking system, and our current system of government works.
Government DO have the power to change all of this no matter what MPs might say. But we are imperilled with the possibility of a very dark future for all of us, simply because the current ‘mainstream’ Political Parties have got the whole political system stitched up to the point that it seems impossible for any of this to work in any other way.
Politicians really do have the power to fix the way that money works and how prices are applied to essential goods and services. They can ensure that those on the lowest or average wages are earning enough each week or month so that food, clothing, transport, housing and the basic necessities of life are something that each and everyone of us can afford, without seeking help or going into any kind of debt.
They don’t, either because MPs and Politicians don’t understand the reach of their own powers, or because they have an interest in ensuring that the system continues to operate in exactly the same way.
If we want this to change. If we want prices and wages to work equally well for everyone. If we want everything to work equally well for everyone and in a mutually beneficial way for all, we must elect an entire Parliament filled with politicians who will represent us all properly, put everyone beyond themselves first, and most importantly not be afraid to do what is necessary or be open to any kind of influence that will have any kind of effect upon what they do.
The list of issues that need to be addressed is very long. It has been growing since long before the Covid Pandemic arrived, but that it was the public focus is currently all about.
There is no grand conspiracy at work. We just have politicians in power who are completely inept and very easily led, rather than being the leaders that they constantly work to try and convince us that they are.
People who have gained responsibility using the methods and the hand-ups that they have will not listen to or accommodate the needs, feelings and thoughts of others, especially when they perceive that doing so could risk the longevity of their position or role.
We can and will only achieve the very far-reaching changes in public policy that are now essential for everyone by changing our MPs and removing the Politicians and Political Parties that currently control almost every part of government.
This and the comprehensive reform of every part of government, NGOs and the Public Sector that we need so that they work for us all, has to begin with the change of the Westminster Government first.
The only way to do this democratically is to provide an alternative at the next General Election, because nothing else will democratically work.