Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Dear Prime Minister
I wonder if you really have any idea of how people are struggling to cope in what truly used to be GREAT Britain, but now is a country seemingly being stripped of its cultural identity and history. Once Britain is culturally castrated and homogenised, surely there will be no outcry about being absorbed thoroughly into Europe?
I have just read the figures of cold-related deaths of the elderly in last winter's snow and ice, when temperatures where I live dropped to minus 17 in the river valley (and the river froze virtually right across) - but the thermometers for cold weather payments have to register below zero for 7 days before cold weather payments are made. When it's a choice of heat or eat, you can understand why there were so many deaths. Retrospective payments don't heat a house when you are frightened to use the heating in the first place, because of not being able to pay for it.
Youth unemployment has reached an all-time peak. Unsurprising really when Europe's youngsters move here for work and are employed ahead of our own in the job stakes, but apparently that's because British youngsters don't have a WORK ETHIC. Supposedly line bred in every man jack of them. I would beg to differ. A whole generation whose prospects of full-time work of any kind are blighted. Youngsters applying for job after job on-line, filling out forms that might take them a couple of hours to fill in properly, and not even an interview at the end of it. Soul destroying and demoralizing.
Well, I count myself fortunate that each of my children have a job. Sure, they're just part-time jobs, and my daughters appear to have got into terrific student debt to get a good degree which counts for nothing against EXPERIENCE in the workplace, experience which many companies are big enough to offer them as long as they are prepared to support themselves, possibly relocate, and work for NOTHING to gain, with no guarantee of a job at the end of it. What's the word meaning the polar opposite of philanthropic? Misanthropist apparently. . . Personally I call it exploitation.
And their jobs? Well, two of them are in different cities and have to try and live - no, exist - on part-time wages, but hey, it gets them off the official figures for unemployment which I understand have now topped a million for young people under 24 years of age. I'm sure my eldest daughter can manage really well on 20 hours' wages - she's always been able to make sixpence do the work of a shilling. Just as well really as there is NO help or safety net for those people working between 16 hours and 30 hours. Income support only kicks in at below 16 hours, and working tax credit at over 30 hours (when you need it MUCH less.) A clever notion - the biggest group of people really struggling and needing help don't qualify. We really love having our middle daughter home for weekends, so she can go back to waitressing on her days off to earn extra money. Insurance too high on our car for her to drive it on these weekends? No problem - we can have an early night and get up at 1 a.m. to go and fetch her if she can't get a lift.
As for our son, we'll have him at home a while longer yet as he can't afford to move out and at least a job in a warehouse is preferable to being on the Dole, which he was for over a year.
I was so pleased to hear that by not giving me my pension until I am 62, I am helping the country out of the gigantic financial abyss the previous Government deliberately dug for it. There's a lot of us in this age bracket think this way. The fact that I nursed my mother at home and saved the Government a mint of money in care home fee subsidies doesn't count of course. Perhaps I should have got a job working nights while mum slept and boosted my pension pot that way? Well, we didn't have a lot of choice, not exactly having much warning of this turn of events and no voice, no influence at all in Governmental decisions (it was ever thus). Perhaps a fairer way of doing this would have been a sliding scale with us oldies only having to wait 6 months longer for our pensions - but then, you wouldn't have saved anything like as much money that way.
We - stupidly it would seem - thought that we would downsize from the house we can no longer afford to heat, in order to cut our expenses and outgoings and give ourselves a little buffer in the bank. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but the problem was our house arrived on the market at the same time as the Recession, Banks won't lend money to customers trying to buy their first house, (too busy trying to feather Banking Nests I believe), and this has a knock-on effect right up the chain. We could be here for years yet . . . At least there will eventually be money in the pot for our children when we finally pop our clogs, which is a comfort when we know there is no way they can ever afford to own their own home otherwise. What - our final home was sold to provide funding for our care in old age? They just got £16,000 between the 3 of them? Well, I am sure that will be very fair and . . . just. The better-off should have to pay their way from cradle to grave so that there are handouts to the feckless and those poor sods who never ever managed to get their foot on the work ladder and are unable to pay their way.
We try not to think about "getting old". We are heading that way, but still feel in our thirties inside. Strange that. We are frightened by the prospect of a sudden illness putting us in a hospital where they are too busy to feed you, bring you a drink, take you to the loo and leave you laying in filth, where total strangers decide on whether you live or die by writing "Do Not Resuscitate" on your notes - or by then will it be involuntary euthenasia? Past 85? Nil by mouth . . . they're a waste of rations.
But don't fret, I'm sure a whole new raft of Quangos (aka monetary black holes) will soon be afloat and dealing with these worries . . .
I know - totally out of my normal blog posting remit, but these are things which DO occupy my mind. Perhaps I should be writing for the Daily Mail!!! I try not to dwell on them, but the facts cannot be ignored. Even the different parties are becoming homogenized now, and I don't recognize much in Mr Cameron which I would describe as True Blue Tory . . . I think they are ALL for political career these days, and party edges are blurred - even more than we perceive to be the case. Perhaps you share my thoughts? I would love to know.