It’s not the politicians’ fault.

Most of them have never experienced any of the things they pronounce upon. They’ve rarely actually worked for a living (by which I mean a job that actually involves work, where they have to rely on a salary, and it makes a difference how they perform), or tried surviving on the benefits they deride or the minimum wage. I doubt many of them have cared round the clock for a child or an elderly relative with no respite, budgeted to feed a family, chosen between food for themselves or their children.

Is there any way to find out their backgrounds? How many of them went to private schools, oxbridge, found a job on a nod and a wink, sailed into parliament and the accompanying cushy consultancy roles? I have little respect for them, can you tell?

Mainly is because of their disassociation from the people they are supposed to represent. We have a parliament of people cushioned from the every day reality they casually side swipe by trust funds and consultancies, expenses accounts that wouldn’t be allowed by many firms, and working practices that quite frankly, are impolite and laughable. You try behaving in your next work meeting the way they behave in the commons and see how long you last.

So then they pronounce on the rest of us. And slip their nonsense into the media, controlled by the same people who bankroll the political parties. Strivers versus shirkers. Benefits scroungers. Carefully not mentioning that some of those people are actually working, and some of them even work for us. State employees such as nurses, firemen and so on getting tax credits to boost their wages is just ludicrous. Why can’t we pay them enough to survive on in the first place (which is what tax credits are supposed to achieve I believe) and cut out the bureaucracy – thus saving money all round? Because the tax credit system has to be the most wasteful way of handing out money possible. We can’t be the only family who has in the past received up to eight letters from them in a single day, all saying slightly different things?

Tax credits are a way for us, the taxpayers, to subsidise companies, many of whom are then exporting our money and not paying taxes. Yes, we are supporting people like Starbucks – who then pay our money to their parent corporation abroad without paying taxes here. Anything in that little arrangement strike you as wrong?

You know what? It makes me very very cross. How about instead of cutting benefits including tax credits, we insisted that companies pay their employees a living wage? The money paid to the lowest paid workers would go straight into the economy, these are not generally people who save what they are getting. It would be good for all of us. And as for housing benefit – this is not something that people on low wages ever actually see. It goes straight into the pockets of landlords, who may include some people struggling to make a living, but I suspect include rather more who are raking it in by increasing rents to take advantage of what is there to be handed out.

Rent caps. Would they work? I don’t know. But the system we’ve got now isn’t working. Instead of housing benefit, perhaps we need more social housing. I used to live in social housing. It was great. If something went wrong, someone fixed it. I didn’t worry about being evicted at the drop of a hat. The other people in the street were lovely and friendly. It was a good place, and I think most social housing is actually – you get proper community.

There is plenty of everything to go around in this country. Plenty of money, food, fuel. It’s time the people at the top stopped hoarding and started sharing. They are not islands. This idea that they pay more into the community than they take out is complete twaddle. If the lowest of the low disappeared, the people at the top would suffer hugely – no more binmen, no cleaners, no nurses, no admin staff for the police. Would they like that life? If we weren’t shopping with their companies, drinking their overpriced coffee, living in their rented properties?

It’s time to share. The world has plenty of resources. We just need to stop people being so stingy with them and get them to deal with it nicely.

There’s a worldwide campaign started today to share food fairly. If you’re interested, check it out here.

About Jax Blunt

I'm the original user, Jax Blunt I've been blogging for ten years, give or take, and if you want to know me, read me :)

Comments

  1. Great post. All so true and some great ideas on how to fix the economy. I hope someone listens
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  2. Jane Smith says:

    Politicians make the choice to stand for election for complex reasons. Some want to make a difference, in an altuistic way. Some want to be in thre club, some liek the power and priviege it gives them. For too many the route they take is asyou say, school, Uni, research post, SPAD, MP. Even on the left wing this is becoming true. I have a scheme which would make available a certificate of public awareness which would be given to public schoolboys who lived on the minimum wage for a year on an estate in a poor part of town. For state school candidates a year living on a banker’s salary in Epsom would qualify them. There would have to be careful assessment to make sure the year was spent in the most contrast to the background of the candidate. Also it would have to be carefully policed to ensure no cheating went on – no bank of mum and dad. Sadly I think it won’t happen!

  3. chrisotherwise says:

    “We have a parliament of people cushioned from the every day reality they casually side swipe by trust funds”

    Is that such a surprise? You can (easily) earn more than an MP working as a computer geek in central London. Why would an intelligent high-achiever want to take a substantial pay cut to do a job in which everybody hates them?

    “How about instead of cutting benefits including tax credits, we insisted that companies pay their employees a living wage?”

    Wouldn’t that mean that the companies would then have to put their pay up for *all* employees – not just those at the bottom? And wouldn’t that also make them horribly vulnerable to competition from foreign businesses that didn’t have the same restrictions? It would be fine for the Tescos and Vodafones – but I think it would drive a very large number of small to medium firms into bankruptcy – particularly in the manufacturing sector.

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