Even the true blue tories are throwing their hands in the air in horror at the cruelty of the cuts inflicted on the poorest in our society. 'That wasn't what we mean't at all', they cry, as the thought of their own offspring moving home. Forever....... kicks in.
'We just wanted to punish the feckless, those living the life of Riley on the dole' they whine. They didn't want their hard earned taxes squandered on the rejects from the Jeremy Kyle queue. Only, it doesn't work like that, the work shy, the scroungers and the ne'er do well, have existed throughout history, they always will. They are however, comparatively few, and those few are usually shameless enough to court publicity. However, such is the power of the media, it can seduce people to believe that we are all under attack from the track suited lost its, queuing up to sign on.
For most people being out of work is not a life choice. It is usually the knock on effect of a series of events that are often out of the individual's control. You can be rich one moment, then destitute the next, and so too it can happen to those you care about, no matter how honest or cautious you have been.
I don't feel the need to defend the majority who are caught in a trap of low wages, high rents and now employments contracts with zero hours. Sometimes you need to step back and look at the situation as a whole. There are not enough jobs to meet the needs of the unemployed. And the army of the unemployed young people is growing rapidly. We need to re-assess what those employment needs are, in our constantly changing society.
Manufacturing has mostly been taken over by machines or sourced out to child labour in third world countries, so thats out. The building trade - yes still needed, ditto plumbing, electrics etc. Even the retail trade will be hit, because more of us are shopping online. The reality is, a lot of the traditional jobs have gone.
We must create new jobs, new industries. Invest in education, invest in leisure and invest in the care industry. Creating employment revives the economy, if workers have spending power, that stimulates other industries.
I am no economist but I can see that our problems are worsening, and I can remember the Thatcher years. The town of Dartford, is a great example. Looking through H.G. Wells' Time Machine, I can look back on faces of those shop fronts, and remember them as they used to be. Dartford has a very small, but symbolic town centre, and in the 1980's I remember my dad coming home moaning, that nearly every shop in the Centre was a jewellers, and he groaned 'some people have got a lot of money', and he put a little tut at the end as if to say 'what is the world coming to'. He had a point, he was talking about Dartford. I think it was before Ratner opened his big gob.
I mention Dartford, because it was recently used as an example of how bad the recession is on a late night news programe. It looked terrible with all its boarded up shops and I was half expecting balls of tumbleweed to blow through it. People have no money to spend Mr. Cameron, giving them even less money to spend, will make the situation worse. Do you see where I am going with this?
Investing in the future, is the only way forward. For those particularly irked at those families with 18 kids and umpteen fathers, one of those kids might in the future be your Doctor, your nurse, your carer, or your yoga instructor. Perhaps even your painter and decorator. In any event, those childrens' wages will pay the taxes that pay to take care of you. Taking away EMA was a false economy in my opinion.
For the hangers and floggers, I was thinking of starting a random survey, entitled 'Ways in which to punish the poor'. I think hunger has been tried a few times, though I don't think its ever been effective. Stocks would at least bring visitors back to the town centres, so shouldn't be discounted, but just musing. The problem is, when you run out of village idiots to throw things at, you have to start moving up the social scale.
But back to Dartford, apparently the local Council has great things planned - I liked the French market if I get a vote!