Champagne and strawberries for the rich
When I look at town centre shops, I see charity shops, pawn brokers and pay day loans. Then there are discount stores like Poundland. I also see some signs of wealth in this photo, some posh shops and expensive take-away food. I also see a pedestrian area that must have cost a fortune to lay out. The blue signs of the local council are evident everywhere. The top council officers and the top councillors probably don’t use the charity shops. Do they?
The divide between the haves and the have not’s, is very evident. The people with good jobs and nice homes can’t even imagine what it’s like to need money to keep warm in winter or to buy food. They have forgotten what hunger is like. They are in Costa Coffee or Starbucks looking down their noses at the lesser mortals passing by.
It is true that many people find life so bloody awful in Britain that when they get their state benefits they go out and get drunk. They are so screwed up and have so little support; many do resort to crime when the money runs out and they’re hungry. They do get desperate and shop lifting from the privileged is seen as a necessary evil, not really a crime. Well, it’s hardly in the same league as robbing old ladies is it? That isn’t out of the question if people get hungry or desperate enough though. The streets aren’t safe. Greed by some people in society leads to poverty for others and their poverty leads to unsafe streets. You scorn them, call them names and they start to believe that they are scum; not worth anything. They give up even trying to live a normal life and just try to survive in a dog eat dog world of poverty. They live from one benefit day to the next, caring little about themselves and even less about others.
The children of this sub-culture in British society will grow up just like their parents or worse. They grow up with a primitive survival attitude to life. They rely on drugs and alcohol to numb the pain of existence.
The rich believe the answer to poverty is to cut down, introduce and maintain austerity. The poor must have incentives to work, be checked on and pushed into work. They are to blame for society’s problems, not the better off or educated.
We have food and wealth for everyone, but why should the better off share what they have with the feckless, uneducated and stupid? Why should the better off care? Why should the poor care when they see you attacked in the street or having a heart attack? The world produces more than enough food for everyone, but some people would rather see others starve than give them food. The means of exchanging wealth is money, that is being hoarded by multinational companies and the rich. They are afraid to spend it, they are afraid of poverty and have so much wealth they don’t know what to spend it on.
The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. The rich control the media, the government, the education system and the internet. They have all the power, the poor have nothing. The rich, the old Etonians, the Oxbridge set and the Chipping Norton set have their champagne and strawberries. Students trying to get a better life through education are frying leftovers and having beans on toast. The disabled are having their benefits cut, while the rich get tax cuts. The poor are told to move somewhere smaller if they have a spare room, while the rich get grants to do up stately homes.
The problems aren’t just in Britain, they are global. The more the poor try to get out of poverty, the more they get slapped down. In America the rich fund their politicians and try to cut welfare and medical care for the people. They support the big companies and the elite an show off with grandiose affairs. They say show the poor all the glitter and tell them they can have the stretch limo too, if they work hard. They also need to have the right parents, the right upbringing, the right heritage and inherit a fortune, but they don’t tell them that. In China, the whole country is corrupt. They have a power house economy, but like in many other countries, the people hate the government. Not all of them though, only the ones that aren’t in good jobs working for the government. Governments around the world are corrupted by money and power, the more money and power there is, the more they are corrupted.
Do we really want some people to live in a sub-culture where all they have to think about is survival and have nothing to look forward to? Do we want a society where no one is safe? Please comment if you have a view. There is another blog today on a zillion ideas about preparing for winter. Are you ready for the cold and snow? Many people are dreading it…
- how to write about poverty (3quarksdaily.com)
- Unjust debt goes to the heart of inequality. We need a new jubilee | John Sentamu (guardian.co.uk)
- Charity shop blues (bbc.co.uk)