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Mid-week moan | Times are a changing


SANDWELL VALLEY 047

Do you remember hand carts? People used to sell flowers from hand carts years ago. They often grew the flowers in their gardens and they made a living out of selling them.

Do you remember those shops in the front rooms of terraced houses. The woman would run the shop, keep house and bring up 8 kids while dad went out to work. Do you remember Stan Ogden in Coronation Street, he had a hand cart to carry his window cleaning ladders around.

I don’t watch Coronation Street any more  some of the actors are so old, I’m frightened they’ll keel over before the end of the episode. I remember Ken when he was an over-educated young oik.

Those were the days. No housing benefit in those days. No council tax benefit either, because there was no bloody council tax. There were a few jobs around years ago. You could get a job with British Steel, British Gas, or go into industry. A job on the post was better than walking the streets. After the war they built cheap housing; lots of it. Where I live they used German prisoners of war to build houses. There was a sort of can do attitude then, after all they won the war against the odds. I suppose after that, building homes for people to live in seemed easy. We even helped Germany rebuild. Rents were cheap and included rates and even water and sewage. The town hall was Victorian, but it seemed to work. Now we have a bloody Civic centre, it’s miles away and traffic around here moves so slowly. The average speed on normal roads is about 15 MPH, you have to keep going over humps and stopping at traffic lights. The pony express would be bloody quicker.

We seem to be going backwards sometimes. Pawn brokers seem to be coming back and that other modern day evil, the pay-day loan. Credit cards with obscene interest rates are bad enough, but 3,000% on a pay-day loan? The railways were once run by all separate companies and then they were all British Rail and now they are all separate companies again with far fewer lines and far fewer trains. They keep trying to bring back toll roads. How long before we start putting people in straight jackets and consigning them to the lunatic asylum? Many of the privatised prisons are like lunatic asylums anyway.

The government can’t afford the interest on the national debt. Who do we owe all the money to? We managed with a national debt after World War II and got Britain back to work by building council houses.

Do you remember that song, “Who wants to be a millionaire?” Being a millionaire was something years ago, now the rich think that’s just comfortable. They want to be bloody billionaires now. They are not only greedy now, they just can’t get enough money and they don’t know what to do with it all. That’s why they buy government bonds. It’s not just the super-rich that are greedy for money and power. It’s also the judges, lawyers, bureaucrats, civil servants, consultants and even some top doctors. They all want mansions, expensive cars and all the status symbols, but above all they want power. But are they happy? Do they even know how to enjoy a summers day?

Maybe we need to return to basics. Bring back hand carts and brew houses, corner shops and decent fish and chips. We need new homes, proper homes that are secure that no one, not even government, can force people to leave. We need to bring back compassion for our fellow human beings. None of this crap about charity begins at home or the divide and conquer doctrine of skivers and strivers. There are people who get so depressed that they do stay in bed until midday with the curtains closed. They need mental health services, not an appointment with some officious little prat with no experience of life at Job-centre plus. We need care in the community, not fascism. This is the 21st century, a technological age. People aren’t counting on their fingers any more we have calculators and computers. Technology can create wealth. It provides us with the means to record and distribute entertainment. It adds up our shopping bill in the supermarket, it keeps tabs on our bank accounts, it makes our cars work, it allows us to communicate. Don’t listen to the morons who think that wealth is only created by humans, they want humans who will be subservient to them, doffing their caps and begging for the right to exist.

That is social elitism in it’s worse form and it appears to be taught at our most prestigious universities.

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9 responses

  1. Mike for Prime Minister! You make a lot of good points, Mike, bordering on, dare I say, common sense? I really think you should get into politics, I’m sure many agree with you.

    I also want to say how much I love that picture above. The simplicity of the lovely flower cart on the brick terrace is contrasted nicely with the car park and trash bins in the background. I thought of the AfterFocus app that I wrote about Monday for this photo. I would like both versions of this photo, the one with the contrasting background and the one with the contrasting background blurred out so that the flower cart stands out.

    I’m off to pin this photo then check out your NeoDigital Art posts!

    3, April 2013 at 11:12 am

    • Hi Carolyn,

      My blog gets more political everyday, but we do have a very right wing and elitist government. Those photos where the background is blurred out remind me of my brother’s photo of a bride and groom, perfectly focussed with the background out of focus. He was very proud of it until the bride said she didn’t want it because it was all blurred! There are effects like that in PhotoScape, but you have to be careful using them. They can send your eyes funny!

      3, April 2013 at 12:01 pm

  2. I would be interested to see the photo with the blurred effect. It may not improve the photo because I do love the contrast in tone, but it would be interesting!

    3, April 2013 at 12:36 pm

  3. I agree we ARE going backwards..solid fuel fires, chickens in back gardens, allotments are supposed to be the next big thing!!
    even Rag rugs are chic now…But the problem is we are lacking a sense of community..how many of us can name 3 people in our street? Do we pop into our neighbours like our parents used to?
    I think we are slowly losing our sense of who we are, and are being drowned in H&S and nanny state ‘you can’t do that’
    I could go on, but i’m afraid I may burst!!!!

    4, April 2013 at 9:56 am

    • One of my friends has a stove that burns logs and heats her water. I wish I had one! She was growing lots of vegetables too. My neighbour does pop around and ask if I need anything! I’m still in the house I was born in and so have the advantage of being here a while! I’ve always wanted to keep chickens too. Someone was going to turn the local allotments into a community farm. I think it was only to make a job for themselves though!

      4, April 2013 at 12:28 pm

  4. Pingback: Weekend review from the heart of England | Mike10613's Blog

  5. I suppose I’m one of the lucky ones now, although it has taken almost 50 years to be able to say that.
    I live on the coast and have a wonderful uninterrupted view of the sea.

    I’m now able to afford a car less than 15 years old, and I don’t have to pay for the car insurance in monthly installments any longer (or the TV license come to think of it),
    if I want a bottle of wine, I can afford to buy one (not so 5 years ago).

    But there is nothing more enjoyable than popping outside to dig up just enough potatoes, pull up enough carrots & leeks, pick off enough sprouts & Broccoli that i need to make a roast dinner.
    Or maybe i fancy a salad? then a quick snip of lettuce leaf, pull a couple of spring onions etc …
    i could buy them I suppose? but they will never compare with the taste of home grown.

    (This is not going backwards, this is the way the way forward)

    I haven’t got a massive garden, so I had to make some wooden boxes out of old bed slats, and yes … I could have brought them from B&Q for £50 each, but I have got 6 big ones that cost me nothing but time.
    And I’m not a lady of leisure with time on my hands, (In case anyone presumes you need loads of time to grow veg) I work 18 to 20 hour days (admittedly with those kind of hours I can only work 3 or 4 days a week).

    Maybe having ‘nothing’ and living in a cold, unheated, rotted windowed, privately rented House in Wednesbury, where I went outside in the snow to chop more wood and collect coal for heat,( right up until 5 years ago) makes me hate buying things I can make or grow …. i don’t know?

    But this is far from going backwards … It simply makes sense!
    and also ensures that if I were to ever be back in that position again …. i would cope quite well thank you!

    But I so miss my coal fire …… (I hate central heating).

    6, April 2013 at 6:43 pm

    • Hi Tina,

      I used to grow runner beans and things and they tasted great. I can’t do the garden now because I have lupus and a few other things. I might still have a go this year though. I would like a log fire you get warm without heating the air too much. I have central heating but have the gas fire on some times.

      I used to make wine, it’s not hard. I’m trying to give up the booze again though. I think I drank too much when I was young!

      I write about whatever I want on a Sunday too, so I’ll be doing that again tomorrow. I’ve been out taking photos today, but if it’s sunny I’ll be out again tomorrow. I’m quite happy photographing around Wednesbury and I hope to do the Black Country museum soon.

      Thanks for the comment. 🙂

      6, April 2013 at 9:54 pm

  6. Pingback: Mid week moan | Who is to blame? | Mike10613's Blog

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