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No Energy Company has the right to Guaranteed Profits #costoflivingcrisis

The story that we are repeatedly being told is that the price of wholesale energy is shooting up because of supply issues, not least of all our relationship with Russia over Ukraine.

We are told that we have to do our bit. That Ofgem has no choice but to raise the ceiling of the prices that energy companies can charge. Even though government cash handouts aren’t going to help within the much wider price rises within cost-of-living crisis context. And a ridiculous number of us are already borrowing, or going to foodbanks in the middle of summer, just so that we can have access to food.

And then we are told that the energy companies are enjoying profits that aren’t just wafer thin, but are actually obscene when put in the context that the government regulator Ofgem, is facilitating nothing less than a system that is clearly not only covering any genuine supply-side cost rises that might exist, but is also ensuring that the profits and dividends paid to the private interests that own what should be public services are being continually guaranteed.

Words cannot explain just how wrong and unjust this system and the processes that our politicians have allowed to be created and that are now punishing us all, really is.

Our politicians could stop this madness now and have the power to do so. But they won’t, because they don’t even understand how the system they are responsible for actually works.

What horrific. What terrible. What unnecessarily unjust times we are living in. Just so idiots can look good in public, create a place for themselves in Wikipedia and shout to everyone ‘don’t I look great in my elected job!’.

The cost-of-living crisis our Politicians created: Can they fix it? No, they can’t

February 8, 2022 Leave a comment

Inflation, cost of living, fall in living standards, foodbanks, debt. These are all terms that we are set to see and hear regularly on the news and across our social media feeds from now on.

In the past few days alone, we have had mealy-mouthed responses from the establishment to the news of skyrocketing inflation across prices and the cost of the goods and services that are basically essential for people to live.

On one side, we have had celebrity Kirsty Allsopp telling young people that dropping their Netflix Subscription will make buying a house something they can afford.

We have heard former Tory MP and Minister Edwina Curry evangelising that green living is easily affordable because a battery powered car only costs £249 per month.

Then we have the Chancellor and would-be-world-king, striding to the rescue of the very people he threw overboard with a solution to the obscene energy price hike, dressed as a subsidy that is in fact no more than a loan.

In amongst all of this sits the reality and truth. It has been these very same Politicians and the establishment that supports them who have created and facilitated everything that is now going wrong economically for normal people, our communities and the UK as a whole.

They are from amongst the team of architects who have built or paid lip service to the economic house of cards that is now crumbling. And we must ask the question, ‘Can the people who created this and the problems that are coming really be the people with the solutions that will ultimately put it all right?’

It is perhaps a little too easy to see everything that is happening today within the frame of the Covid Pandemic. In fact, our Politicians – who are proving themselves to have a rather distant relationship with the truth – are relying on it.

Yet, Covid itself has very little to do with the problems we now face.

Whatever the real genesis of the Covid Pandemic turns out to be, time will tell us that it was the Lockdowns and the Covid Measures that the Government imposed in response that were our real undoing.

These wholly avoidable Measures have proven to be the catalyst that brought together systemic problems with the way that our economy works that had been building up for years, creating a perfect storm that is set to explode.

The house of cards that I refer to, is one that has been building for decades. One that has been established on self-serving ideas. It does not have a foundation upon fact.

The ideas come under the guise of terms such as Neoliberalism, Modern Monetary Theory and FIAT Money and in all likelihood many other esoteric terms.

Yet they all funnel into just one thing: A system that works expansively to favour only the rich, adding money to their pile, whilst continually taking the value out of everything for everyone else.

The pivotal moment or crossing of the Rubicon came when the last Labour Government bailed out the mistakes of privately owned banks in the Great Financial Crisis of 2008. It set the precedent and created the false belief that Politicians could print just as much money as they liked to get out of trouble, without fear of any consequences. And it is this that has brought the situation to where it is today.

OUR FINAL BILL for this Government’s management of the Covid Pandemic is not even in. But in September 2021, the National Audit Office projected it to be a total of £370 Billion.

Without adding a penny more, this is rather troubling figure. As the fact remains that this expenditure and the National Debt is has created was unnecessary, and it was stupidity and mismanagement at the highest level that was its direct cause.

Its important to know and to understand this. Because, contrary to what our inept Political class believe, no decisions on public policy can be made without consequences.

When a Country prints money of an amount so big, the consequence is to push the boundaries of an already unequitable and broken system to breaking point that is set to make life unaffordable if not unliveable for many and potentially for us all.

That’s why the prices of everything that we need are now spiralling out of control.

Einstein said that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. Yet that is what our Politicians are doing now, each and every time that they reach into the UKs empty pockets and try to solve an escalating inflationary problem – where people can’t afford to live, by printing money that neither exists, nor can it be tied to parallel production or economic output of any kind.

Our Politicians, the advisors, the experts and the establishment behind them don’t have solutions or answers to the problems they caused or contributed to and what is coming next.

They have got away with so much for so long, that when it really mattered, they simply went too far.

The question now is not if there will have to be change both at the top and how we do government and politics in this Country. It is merely the question of when.

When we’ve had enough of the pain that self-serving interests have caused that we will be collectively ready to decide.

Poverty and hunger will not be addressed in the UK until politics is the means to solve our problems rather being accepted as the end

January 24, 2022 Leave a comment

Balancing news input has become an unwitting challenge for a great many, simply because of how polarised and partisan the mainstream media has become. Whether it be to champion the right, the left or to further the destructive and forceful narrative of wokeness, there is very little that really encapsulates all or does a good job of sitting in between.

The environment that a world of echo chambers creates wouldn’t be quite as problematic in terms of societal problem solving and the legacy that it bequeaths if it were not for the seemingly population-wide absence today of critical thinking skills. The troubling truth is that we are navigating a phase of our history where real life problems are elevated or suffer scorn within the public view, depending on where the story was broken and the following assumption that the readership will be voting one way or another depending on who’s who.

Over the weekend, I read the article written by Jack Monroe in The Observer / The Guardian ‘Were pricing the poor out of food’ (which I cannot link at the time of writing as it appears to have disappeared). Beyond the timeline and list of things that Jack has arguably achieved by drawing attention to the realities of what it costs to eat when you are either temporarily or long-term poor, it was striking just how obvious that for the past decade, a failure to gain real traction in the fight against food poverty in the UK is in no small part because it is a subject championed only by the left.

That this Conservative Government has been out of touch with the uncomfortable realities that people right across the UK face is a given. Not because the Tories are consciously cruel. But because in the minds of the people who write their policies – who are unlikely to have had a free school meal, hand-me-down clothes or even experienced the joys of playing outside in a housing estate street – they genuinely believe that poverty and unemployment are one and the same thing – and the wannabe yes-men that follow them do not have the integrity to question what they are told.

This reality is borne out in the news even now. Public figures such as Chancellor Rishi Sunak champion the number of new jobs created and the number of people back at work, whilst forgetting to mention that the non-jobs that have been created pay the absolute minimum. That the ‘work’ is in all likelihood part-time or similar. Worst of all, that in many cases securing a ‘job’ just creates a minefield for those who were beguiled into signing up as self-employed only to find that overtly reasonable pay also includes all of their expenses and that the real hourly rate is a lot less than anyone can or should be expected to afford.

It’s a brutal reality that the people leading this Country are in a shocking state of denial about the circumstances and experiences of the poor. Their lack of appreciation is bolstered by the self-righteousness they fool themselves with as their head hits the pillow each night, hiding behind measures such as the minimum or living wage; all the time believing that this is as far as the legislative powers of the legislators need to extend in order to make life affordable for all.

At this point, it might be easy to read this Blog as a left-leaning. Labour and all of the left-wing pretenders such as the Liberal Democrats talk a good story about poverty and hunger and the unfolding cost of living crisis too. But their words – and actions – when their time in power has allowed, also shower them with something a lot less shiny than glory and that leaves behind a very redolent cloud.

The solutions the left offer, based on money and levelling down, don’t actually solve or even begin to address many of the wider issues that their own impractical and ideological approach to policy making have created. And this issue today has never been more relevant as we collectively stare into an abyss of what could genuinely become a financial Armageddon where throwing money at all of these problems will not be something that even a new Labour-led government elected in the coming months or years could now afford to do.

The problems which leave people unable to afford the food to feed their children – even if they starve themselves are massively complex in nature.

The cold, hard reality is that giving people more benefits or throwing money at charities such as the Trussell Trust – which really shouldn’t have to exist in 21st Century UK, is no better than coming up with creative schemes and misleading headlines that suggest everything is alright if you are ‘officially’ classified as having a job.

Wilful blindness on the part of our entire political class has contributed to a situation where politics is no longer the means to solve societal problems. Politics is now the end in itself.

The evidence that any good politician needs as the basis to start building the list of questions, the arguments and the recognition of how many areas of public policy are actually involved just to begin the process of dealing with these problems is there for all to see.

Hiding ominously in plain sight is the truth that no one with a public voice speaks and no one with the public gaze upon them will dare open their eyes to see.

We need politicians to be dealing with the questions that arise when people earning the basic wage that they have championed can only afford to live if the public purse continues to subsidise them.

How did this happen?

Why is it continuing?

Who is responsible?

How much do people need to earn to be able to support themselves without help?

When production is now arguably more efficient than it has ever been, why is any food on a supermarket shelf a luxury that one person earning a full-time wage cannot afford?

The truth is that the politicians we have would not like any of the answers to just these few questions and many, many more. That’s why they don’t listen. Its why they don’t look. Its whey they look for quick fixes and highly disingenuous soundbites that are there only to mislead and to hoodwink the very people that they should be helping into thinking that it is a problem of their own making.

Yet the reality is that the people who should and could be dealing with these problems are not.

These are problems that we have elected people to deal with. People who have taken our votes and our trust that they fulfil their responsibilities to us and always put them before their own.

They are there to find and deliver the solutions to the difficulties in life that we cannot do so ourselves – such as making sure that we all have the basics that we need available.

Instead, we have the wrong politicians. Politicians who are in politics for politics sake. And because they are completely unsuited to what they do, we have a situation where the fat and bloated are getting richer and richer, whilst everyone else has less and less whilst even having their status devalued as those in power play games with what it means to be poor.

Food banks are here to stay for as long as Politicians keep acting as if poverty is someone else’s problem

December 15, 2013 Leave a comment

download (18)Fill yourself with festive cheer, for the deficit should be defunct in just a few more years!

The Government does indeed seem to be peacock-proud of its fiscal management which has manifested itself in the form of great optimism during the recent Autumn Statement.

Strange then that little mention should be made or focus placed upon the spiralling debt mountain that as a Nation, we the UK currently sit upon, or what might happen if economic forces beyond Osborne and the Bank of England dictate that borrowing money can no longer remain so inordinately cheap.

However, insulated as we may seem from the realities of an economic meltdown bluffingly put on hold whilst politicians still have the ability to do nothing more than concentrate on the next election, the fact is that the only real difference between the debt that the Government ‘manages’ on our behalf and the financial problems facing so many of the Voters who unwittingly put them there is that people living in the real world have no elaborate schemes or devices to hide the problems that they currently face.

Being in touch with the painful realities of UK life for those who have the worry of meeting their monthly bottom line is a gift which seems to have eluded many of the Political Class.

Only this week, Lord Freud intimated that Local Authorities should pick up responsibility for funding food banks; an act which in itself demonstrates the severe lack of understanding that those in Government have of the problems which people genuinely face.

It is all too clear that they have no idea what steps really need to be taken simply to arrest the backward slide in living standards which is already stretching far beyond the realms of the financially poor. It is an unspoken truth that is changing the way that just about everyone without the joy of having a surplus income before pay day are having to cope with, each and every month.

Localism has of course given the lie to the idea that more and more services and methods of support will be provided at local level, by local organisations for local people.

What the Localism Agenda doesn’t contain within all the talk that has gone with it however, is that whilst Westminster politicians audibly pass the buck to their Local Authority counterparts with one hand, they are systematically stripping them of the resources and ability to maintain their existing responsibilities with the other.

Without cutting existing services, raising Council Tax beyond 5%, using savings, cashing in publically owned property or borrowing, there is simply no way that Local Authorities can take on a National problem locally without outside help to do it. And when the only politicians that have the ability to tackle the causes of the problems facing so many people head on are sat in London, it is at best disingenuous if not bordering on pure fantasy to even hint that the real cost of living crisis is something which confines itself to communities at a very local level.

People would be starving right now, were it not for the tremendous efforts of the organisations and individuals who are working so hard to help those many people who are already experiencing a regular sequence of hours in need.

Food banks are a treatment for a problem, but by no means a cure.

Ministers really must start recognising this now, rather than seeming to be content to do little more than pretend that the problem doesn’t exist; or worse still, to behave in such a way to suggest that the many people experiencing both the extremities and day-to-day realities of contemporary poverty have somehow knowingly chosen to be there.

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If you have found this article whilst researching food banks, further information about Tewkesbury Food bank can be found at www.tewkesbury.foodbank.org.uk or for those in other areas, please see this link on the Trussell Trust Website.

Top Image thanks to source unknown

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