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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.

Suing the Government over the Lockdown won’t solve the problems and end the crisis they have created for us all

May 3, 2020 2 comments

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Lone voices shout against the crowd, trying to stop everyone walking onto the beach to see the spectacle of a disappearing sea before the overwhelming horror and force of the tsunami returns, overwhelms and destroys everything whilst it kills or injures people indiscriminately and at will.

No, this is not the tragedy and disaster of Boxing Day 2004 in the Indian Ocean. This is what we are experiencing and living through right now. Albeit within what feels like a parallel universe where it has become necessary to attempt communication in metaphorical terms because it has become too difficult to communicate with people who have been taken in by the Government narrative in any other way.

You will either get it or you won’t. But just because you don’t get it doesn’t make it untrue.

Those that do understand the crisis that the UK is facing and has faced from the moment that the Lockdown began and are prepared to speak or act publicly even now, some 6 weeks in, remain very few in number. But that isn’t to say that a great many more don’t agree at least in part with what is being said.

Yes, the momentum appears to be completely behind the Government.

So successful has their media campaign been based on propaganda and the misuse of behavioural insights, that terms such as ‘social distancing’, ‘stay at home, save lives’ and ‘protect the NHS’ have turned the general population into a zombie nation . One that has become progressively more fearful of catching this virus since the COVID-19 Pandemic began.

Not only has the Government imposed an unnecessary and dubious Lockdown with physical distancing measures that has seen social distancing becoming common parlance and accepted terminology for the 2020 police state in the UK. They have failed spectacularly to mitigate and insulate our businesses and jobs against the fallout from their mistake. They are now consolidating the problems they have caused and are in the process of causing by doubling down on the steps they have already taken, using lie after lie in the form of hollow advice and directives to give credibility to the giant ones they issued to coerce the British Public to accept the Lockdown in the first place.

Of those speakers and lone voices I have already talked about, names such as Peter Hitchens who writes for The Mail on Sunday and Laura Perrins who is co-editor of the website Conservative Woman have consistently questioned the actions or motives of the Government over recent weeks, often receiving much vitriol and scorn from the usual suspects on platforms such as Twitter in response.

Such commentary appearing on my own Facebook feed via a friend who was commenting yesterday drew my attention to the Court Action and related crowd-funding request that is being initiated by businessman Simon Dolan.

Mr Dolan has instructed Solicitors Wedlake Bell and Barrister Francis Hoar to begin proceedings to sue the Government over the imposition of the Lockdown and already drawn much derision for doing so.

Having seen it suggested by the twitterati that Ms Perrins was experiencing a mental breakdown when she Tweeted that (as an experienced barrister herself) she might well initiate proceedings against the Government in the future on a similar if not the same basis, its not difficult to picture how the court of public opinion is feeling about anything that goes against the official narrative that still remains in place – no matter how wrong or how damaging it is or will soon turn out to be.

The difficulty for Mr Dolan, Laura Perrins or anyone else who wants to tackle the ineptitude and ignorance of the politicians our system tells us we must call a government, is that the tide of groupthink that is carrying the establishment will continue to convince everyone who is travelling with it that both the Government and they are right until the very moment of impact when it is too late to head off the disaster that is now destined to come.

Suing the Government and its abuse of its responsibilities and powers to impose the Lockdown upon us all is certainly justified.

But when you are dealing with a Government and an establishment that is drunk on its own power and obsessed with the sound of its own voice, doing the right thing and in this case attempting to use the very legal system against it that we know it controls is not going to achieve the result that those of us who are awake already want, even though it is precisely what all of us – including those who are currently blind the realities of the Government’s actions – so desperately need.

Every day that this Lockdown and any form of the complete injustice that is ‘social distancing’ continues will be another day too many that has added damage to real lives, our economy and our Country.

It was avoidable at the start, but has for many already become irreparable harm.

The false populism that the Government created with the Media’s help has ensured that too many people believe everything they say. The same people will regrettably not see it differently until the tsunami hits them personally.

In the same way, the majority of us will not hear the alternative message, reality and truth – that opposes the one the Government is foolishly doing everything that it can to reinforce and to repeat – until the physical impact of that message has actually arrived in our lives.

Using the Courts to tackle a Government that is failing in its job whilst legitimising stupidity is neither playing the same game, nor playing by the same rules.

Court action will regrettably fail in delivering any beneficial purpose – even if the action wins, simply because it will come too late to turn that tide. It will only succeed in making an already inept Government lie to us again and say they will do things differently if the same thing were to happen again. It will not change the people we have in power nor the way that they think in any way.

With the Lockdown now having been running for 6 weeks already, the options for anyone who arrives in power to clean up the mess that the Johnson Government has created are becoming fewer and harder by the day.

Domestic abuse, suicides, evictions, debt, job losses, unemployment, abuse, safeguarding issues, divorces, anxiety, depression, long-term mental health issues, deaths, reduced standards of living, poverty, hunger and much more besides are already inevitable. They will not be changed or headed off in ways that they could have been if we had good politicians and a responsible Government from the start – One that would not have opted for the Lockdown as the route out of the COVID emergency in the first place.

To limit the pain from the problems the Johnson Government and the political culture they are part of has created, we need different leadership right now.

Democracy will not solve the crisis. Democracy cannot repair the damage that has already been done. Democracy will not put the UK back together and rediscover our place in the World once the fight against Covid is won. Because democracy in this Country has become a lie.

We need a government that will literally impose all the changes and direction across all areas of public policy that will be in the best interests of all, rather than trying to court public opinion and that of a media that will only appreciate the steps that have genuinely been taken in the best interests of all once we have weathered the storm. That can only come when everything has been fixed and the changes made have had adequate time to run their course.

The regrettable reality is that it is too late for this Government and the Politicians that we have to get any of this right. They are not wired the right way. We need people taking the lead who will weather this storm for us and on our behalf who really are ‘in the same room’.

Whilst we should wish Mr Dolan and his legal team all the very best with what they plan to do, the reality is that we will need the money that we have and our time and our support will be better spent placing focus and effort elsewhere.

We will only see the end of this narcissistic Government and stop the process of damage and harm this political culture is doing to us all once they are removed from power. They and the kind they represent must never given the opportunity to return to pay lip service to responsibility in the way that they are doing now.

Rioting, violence and public unrest will serve no purpose in the fight for our freedom and justice for all.

That doesn’t mean we have to continue to maintain our consent for the politicians we have to continue to lead.

We have to recognise and then break the herd mentality that we have all unwittingly become part of that has given legitimacy to the Lockdown and everything wrong with what the Government has done and will continue to do.

Their words mean nothing. They have no value to us all.

It is only by embracing herd immunity and the process that it will take to get us there that we can together again become strong.

So when you see local businesses reopening in whatever form the might choose, or see people out and about walking or in their cars in whatever way or at whatever time of the day they choose, support them. Applaud them. Encourage them to do more. Even if you are not yet ready to do it yourself.

The only way that we can be rid of this Lockdown, the police state known as social distancing and begin to turn all the problems in the UK around, is to ignore the politicians who no longer have legitimacy in power to lead us and ignore all of the ridiculous messages, actions and rules that this out-of-touch establishment continues to impose.

We need leadership that respects the realities of public consent rather than abusing it to extend their own purposes and selfish cause.

There was a time when it didn’t feel like it really mattered who was in charge because everything would always stay the same.

Now we know different.

We must withdraw our consent for politicians, who through a process of self-gratification, are masquerading as our leaders whilst getting way with treating us all like fools.

Let’s focus all our energies on doing what needs to be done to limit the damage before the tsunami that has swallowed the sea that is the Covid emergency returns.

Some workers want this amount of money whilst others want more. But our needs are the same and government support is favoring some over others when we should all be getting exactly the same – not just in money but also support

April 12, 2020 1 comment

If you dare to look at the headlines or glance across the editorial of any of the national newspapers that might be worth reading, you will see today that there is talk within Government of there being Ministers who are doves and others that are hawks.

The growing argument between them is the subject of when the COVID-19 Lockdown should end. The so-called Hawks want the Lockdown to begin to end at the beginning of May, whilst the so-called doves want to wait until the Whitsun Bank Holiday at the end of May before even a loosening of the current restrictions can be allowed to begin.

When you have been writing about the massive holes and inadequacy of the financial support that the Government is providing since the Lockdown began like I have, as well as questioning the cost of the Lockdown vs. the benefit too, you might think it would be natural for me to be happy that at least some of our MPs are looking at all of this in the same way too.

I’m not. And the problem is that they are not even in the same room.

Whilst certain Ministers are clearly aware of some of the issues already being caused by the Lockdown – as they are being flagged by Civil Servants within their Ministries, they are not aware of others whilst many MPs are clearly unaware at any meaningful level of the real crisis that has been started by the Lockdown.

A personal and costly disaster is now starting to unfold in front of more and more of the people just like you and I and it is going to slowly but surely soon come into full view.

We have been conditioned to think and view certain behaviours as acceptable by the world around us. The behaviour of self-serving politicians, an Establishment that cares not for anyone other than its own, and a media that is so obsessed with the sound of its own voice have all contributed significantly to the selfish approach to life that we have which we don’t recognise as being wholly self serving – because right now its just the ways that life tells us things should be done.

As we look at the Locked-down COVID-19 UK, our thoughts will inevitably be about how the Lockdown is effecting us personally and the people around us, whether it is our jobs, source of income, the business we own and operate or any one of the large number of ways that each and every one of us has had our life affected or compromised in some way since life as we knew it changed in March and the Lockdown got under way.

No, it isn’t wrong to think about any of this chapter of our lives in this way. But as we fall over ourselves to shout about treating gig-economy workers the same as employees or to sign petitions to specifically tell the Government that we want directors of small limited companies to receive the same money as if they were an employee, we are collectively falling into the trap of thinking that different help and support for different people based purely on how differently they are employed will equate to the same thing. It won’t.

What we are overlooking is that all people share something very distinctive in common that makes us all the same. We all have regular bills that we need our incomes to pay and  the amount we pay is relative to what we normally earn.

It doesn’t matter what they are or how much those bills are for. Whether you are young, a Millennial, middle aged, retired or very old, there will be bills that you have to pay or have paid on your behalf.

Beyond the fact that we are human beings who live and die, what we all have in common is our shared reality that we always have to pay a bill each month and in some cases many of them. That’s how we are all the same.

If we were to genuinely be treated the same by the Government and a situation were to never to exist where any individual, social group of business sector were to fall through the gaps, the Government would by necessity be targeting the help they can give at us all in a way that was proportional to what we earn or the situation that we are in – but in a way that would actually treat us all fairly because it would support and help us in the very same way.

The very same rules apply for businesses and business owners whether they are limited companies or sole traders too.

For us all, the flow of money into and out of our bank accounts is what makes life turnover. And for business – who in this sense are exactly the same as people, cash flow is king – unless of course you are the bank or finance house which creates all the money and to where all the money we pay out in the form of each and every bill we pay will ultimately flow to and end up.

We pay our bills to a service provider or company that has provided us with goods or the finance to do it. It might be a mortgage, rent, for a car, our phone, TV, electricity and gas or many other things that we might either want or need.

The company, person or business to whom we pay that bill and the money we use to do it will be in exactly the same position as you and I are. What we pay them is their income, just like our job or business is ours. From all the combined income they receive, they too have to pay their bills.

In many cases, this payment of different bills and transfer of money happens over and over again at different levels in what might be a very long chain, until the flow of the money ends up in the same place: the banks and finance houses.

If the Government really desires to treat us ALL exactly the same as it should – that’s equitably and in a way that is completely fair – it would temporarily stop the need and requirement for that money to continue to flow where the chain is no longer complete or simply has no start, so that none of us have to earn anything at any level or any stage of that chain to keep paying bills to the people, businesses or companies that are in the next link of the chain above us.

With the need removed to pay our bills for items that we wouldn’t order or commit ourselves to having during a time that we couldn’t afford to or would be willing pay for because they are a luxury and not a necessity, the only problem for the Government would then be a question of how people pay for food and essential items that we simply need to meet our real everyday needs – not our ‘wants’.

If the Government did this, it would create a genuine level playing field in a time of National Crisis that would benefit us all.

Stopping the need for monetary flow would significantly reduce the chances that businesses will not reopen and that more and more people will lose their jobs and income permanently once the Lockdown actually comes to its end.

Be under no illusion. This action would prevent misery for many and save a significant number of lives.

Without a universal financial support solution of this depth and breadth in place to counter the effects of the COVID-19 Lockdown, the problems and very challenging life experiences that many people would not have been suffering before it began, are going to get much worse. The impact of what the Government hasn’t done will affect more and more of us as the length of the Lockdown rolls on.

The Government should End the Lockdown right now. But if it refuses to do so, it must at the very least change direction with the financial support that it is giving all of us and do it right away.

  • Job losses
  • Suicides
  • Hunger
  • Business Closures
  • Evictions from homes
  • Administrations
  • Domestic Violence
  • Abuse and safeguarding issues
  • Debt
  • Insolvencies
  • Repossessions
  • Loss of custom and business
  • Debt and borrowing
  • Bankruptcies
  • Mental Health issues
  • Depression

And the issues that are the cause of any or all of these horrific life experiences are already on the rise as a result of the COVID-19 Lockdown.

No considerate and caring person would ever wish any of these experiences upon another human being. But the Government’s decision to implement the Lockdown, then failing to treat us all in the same way will ensure that a rise in these real-life horror stories is exactly what the UK is going to get.

No matter what the Media messages tell you or how unpopular TV presenters and Journalists may insist that the alternative to what the Government is doing will be, the Government MUST change direction and handle COVID-19 differently by bringing the Lockdown to a decisive end as soon as it possibly can.

If the Lockdown continues for any further time at all or not, the current system of financial support that the Government has issued doesn’t work as it should. It is creating many problems for individuals that not only include those mentioned or referred to above, but will in time be known to have caused many more whilst creating a national financial crisis and the accompanying personal hardship that none of us alive today will consciously remember having ever seen.

These wholly inadequate measures MUST be removed and replaced with a system that ends the requirement to pay bills for anything that has not been ordered or committed to during the Lockdown – with the exception of things like car insurance if you are continuing to use your car.

Despite the complication of doing so, the system should also be backdated to the start of the Lockdown (at least 23rd March 2020) and those who have been paid some or all of the £2500 per month average wage equivalent excluded from any weekly essential goods and food payment scheme until the equivalent of what they have already been paid through the current payments system from the start has been reached.

A £100 per week payment per person is enough for food and essential items for those who have lost all their income, have been furloughed or are not being paid during or as a direct result of the Lockdown.

Everyone who has been able to continue to work is doing a great thing to keep the Country moving when everyone else cannot. For them, having their bills stopped would be a payment holiday nonetheless. It would therefore be a financial bonus for doing their bit that would be fair and acceptable both to them and to all.

The damage that the Lockdown has already done to lives and businesses is already on target to be very severe indeed. But the cost of the Government failing to treat us all equally and in the same way will be catastrophic for us all.

Beyond a financial depression that is likely to be worse than the Great Depression of nearly a Century ago, the patience upon which civil order sits is already painfully thin, and the moves by the Police and even Supermarkets to behave like we have already become a police state does not bode well for the future of the UK if the Lockdown continues or continues without meaningful change to the system of financial support that is currently in place.

The lack of care and consideration for the impact of this Lockdown that has been driven by the advice of medical specialists, and measures to counter the impact that have simply not been thought through tell us that there is already a vacuum or absence of leadership at the top of the Government. This absence will help even less if that wafer thin patience is broken and the leadership void could easily be filled by alternative leaders who would happily expand and assert that police state deliberately.

Please don’t allow this to happen whilst we still have influence and a choice.

Let’s join together and tell the Government that the measures they have been taking aren’t helping us all in the same way that they would if they were fair.

Let’s also join together and tell the Government that its time to End the Lockdown now and treat everyone like we have the same value, whether or not we get talked about a lot on TV!

 

 

 

 

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