Is it me, or has everything shot up in price over the last few months? Around April/May I was able to afford one meal out per month on my modest salary, now I can barely make one end meet the other. I have cut back to the bone and will, in all probability not be able to pay my water bill this month. I wonder how many other people have made similar connections in the UK or even around the world?
In the UK this phenomenon can directly be attributed to the Tories getting back into government in May as there were enough gullible people who voted Tory, and are now beginning to regret this.
Public sector workers are being made to pay for the profligacy of the bankers who are still laughing all the way to their over-inflated bank accounts. The working poor across all sectors of society are being used as a scapegoat for all the ills of society. Those people who are unable to work through ill health are being demonised for being dependent on state benefits and help with daily living and yet instead of investing further in manufacturing and industry government has a “hands-off” approach and couldn’t give a damn. The only sector the Tory government are interested in propping up is the financial sector.
The slice of cake we all have in order to be able to live is getting smaller and smaller and we are told to make do with less and are a burden to society. I note sections of the press announced that the £100 heating allowance and the £10 Christmas bonus given to pensioners is going to be scrapped as “they’ll all be dead soon anyway and won’t be voting again” around the time of the Tory party conference didn’t even draw a murmur from commentators. I wonder whether that comment was to test the waters or whether government are seriously considering going one step further and culling anyone over the age of 65 regardless of their health. To which my reply is as long as the Royal Family are the first to be culled in such a manner I wouldn’t have a problem with it.
In the previous 5 years public sector workers have been had to take a pay cut in real terms (1% of fuck all is still fuck all), tax credits are being cut back, tax relief on pensions is seriously being considered by Osborne (the next step is stealing pensions under the guise of a tax, it will come) the housing market is so overheated the bubble is about to burst, however I have been saying the same thing for the past 15 years, but it seems saturation point has been reached, there aren’t enough millionaires, never mind billionaires willing to buy properties at present. If they do buy to rent, when the bubble finally bursts (and it will, sooner than later) they will still be unable to recoup their losses through the rental market. This is not a good time to buy property unless you are going to live in that property and aren’t worried about house prices.
Since 2010 MPs have awarded themselves a payrise in excess of 10% save for last year when it was “only”9%, the Queen has got a handsome raise in her allowance and a new state coach (why she can’t take the bus to open parliament I don’t know) and yet this week the EU and UK politicians have fiddled the financial figures to tell us mere mortals that inflation is at 0% – REALLY??? I have had to switch to using discounters in my weekly shop, I buy food I can prep myself, my list of “treats” has rapidly diminished and I still have difficulty in making ends meet. Osborne has had his nose bloodied by the House of Lords for trying to cut tax credits to the working poor, yet I wonder how much MPs will award themselves this year?
If it is the case that the financial sector is the only one worth government putting any effort into, then it should be taxed so as to be able to prop up the rest of the country that either has work in other industries and the rest of society. In short, everybody should have a bigger share of the cake. Payrises should be uniform across the board. MPs are less skilled than many workers in the public or private sectors and certainly have no greater skills that give them the right to award themselves more money than the rest of us.
Telling the working poor they must make do with less money while the rich swan around in their limousines is totally unacceptable. The rich have systematically stolen from working people and the most vulnerable in society and should return this with interest. I think the time has come to discuss the prospect of not just a living wage in its proper sense of firms paying people a real salary as they did before the Tories came into government, responsible capitalism I think it’s called. There should be a guarantee that anyone who is unable to work for whatever reason, bearing in mind there are fewer jobs around and less money to be spent in society, has a guaranteed baseline income they can live on to meet their obligations for rent, bills and so on. At present I would say that threshold is around £30,000 per annum in the UK. Public sector workers should also be supported as there will always be a need for these services, they are essential for the fabric of society to remain viable in all its forms.
I just have to post a quick comment on the anticipated results of the elections in Poland and the results in Portugal.
Whilst I’ve never been a fan of the Duck Brothers (Kaczynski)* when Lech and Jaroslaw were in parliament together, considering them to be country bumpkins who lack finesse in some of their ideas and in foreign affairs and in some of their views, Jaroslaw seems to be on the verge of pulling off a big result. As his views are rather more than simply eurosceptic as in the UK, he would be joined by other smaller parties in Poland advocating heavy taxes on banks and higher spending on welfare for the majority of its people. In this he seems to have hit a cord with the electorate. However it turns out, I wish Poland well in her pursuit of self determination.
Portugal on the other hand left me absolutely gobsmacked when Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s constitutional president, took the unprecendented step of banning eurosceptic parties and any move to the left, even though the anti-austerity parties won a staggering 50.7% of the vote. Led by the Socialists, they control the Assembleia
Anibal Cavaco Silva declared “Democracy must take second place to the higher imperative of euro rules and membership”. He is terrified that any deviation of the path laid down by the Troika will spell years of further disaster for Portugal, but 7 years of utter hell for the Portugese people and they, among others have had more than enough.
There seems to be a trend started in Greece at the beginning of the year and it shows no sign of stopping. It will gather momentum until each country in Europe can determine for themselves how they wish to live. It does not necessarily mean enmity, but a necessary respect that is currently not there and certainly not something any politician in Brussels bothers themselves with.
I have said this before, the financial experiment is over in Europe. The fiscal discipline is more than can be borne by any country other than Germany, in which case Germany is welcome to it. By trying to sneak in a kind of statehood of Europe by the back door is the most stupid thing that anyone could even think of doing, and yet, here we are. The Lisbon Treaty, the Fiscal Compact, the Growth and Stability Pact are works of fiction and unsustainable. Each country has its own history, culture, language, traditions and topography within which it works and lives and each citizen of these countries is very proud of, and rightly so. To think that Europe can be one homogenous mass beyond a trading partnership is an exercise in the foolishness of politicians.
*kaczka is Polish for duck, the name Kaczynski is a derivation of that.
So the Polish people have decided to elect a relatively young, ultra conservative party that espouses closer ties to NATO and having a permanent US military base as well as denying women the right to safe abortions on the negative, but on the positive has stated Poland will not adopt the Euro as currency, will lower retirement age from 67 which is currently due to come into force and spend more on welfare, while pushing for a permanent US military presence in Poland to bolster Polish security against an assertive Russia.
The latter troubles me as the USA has been pushing for WW3 for the past 2-3 years. The US economy is in deep debt which is why it is desperately entering into “trade treaties” that have nothing to do with trade but everything to do with the rape and pillage of the rest of the world’s assets for its own use. The USA is doing its best to undermine the Minsk Treaty between France, Germany, Ukraine & Russia where hostilities would cease, withdraw weapons and look at solutions to the various positions.
The USA is sending “humanitarian aid” to Ukraine in the form of weapons, armour, training and such like as well as stepping up NATO exercises along the Polish border. If that’s not undermining a treaty I want to know what is. What is the point of having treaties where one country decides it is above normal considerations of conduct between countries, it can do as it wishes to undermine and push forward its own agenda? After all, if its ok for the US President to ignore laws and treaties, can’t we all do the same? Doesn’t it underline the fact that laws are only there to control the little people and that we’re the only ones they are supposed to control while powerful, rich people can do whatever they want, especially when they are Americans? Such arrogance.
Poland needs to be careful who it chooses to be friends with, as it prepares to become the battlefield for the next world war Poles need to ask themselves why are they always in the firing line when it comes to being obliterated as a people? Polish people are a lot smarter than many other nations in many ways and the world needs the ingenuity of the Polish people as well as the hard work ethic. Not many nations have come as far in 20 years of independence as Poland has. Poland needs to remain independent in some ways and yet able to work with other nations in its own interests as well as common interests and not allow itself to keep looking over the shoulder at past ghosts.