Thursday, 31 March 2016

Today I am going Political.

In the UK, Ok in England. Under the Feudal system, a lord or member of the aristocracy owned the land, and all on it, including the peasants. He had right of life and death over his subjects and could call on them to become cannon fodder in his disagreements with other lords. Among his tenants were Freemen. these were Men who had Earned their freedom, they could move to another lord’s land or anywhere without having to seek their lord’s permission.
Fortunately, most of this is gone now. But how fortunate are we.
Tenants or peasants had to give their lord 3-6 days’ work a year. That’s right 3-6 days a YEAR.
Let’s move forward a few centuries.
In the late 1900s there was a social movement rising in Britain. One of its most famous advocates as Dickens, his graphic descriptions of the conditions that the poor and destitute lived under, his bringing to the forefront the Tenements, the open sewers, the child labour, gin palaces, Workhouse and homelessness, helped to shape the Labour movement and social conscience.
After the first world war when so many of the best and fittest young men were killed due to incompetence and arrogance of the aristocratic generals. Followed by the depression, then the Second world war. Ordinary men and women had had enough of the bankrupt assumption of high birth being always right. Great social engineers like Bevin produced a National Health service, built on the premise of Free healthcare from cradle to grave, paid for with National Contributions. Free dental care for the young, the poor. Free eye tests and subsidised care for those that could not afford full price. Councils were given the order to provide affordable, well built, social housing. Council houses, as they came to be known replaced Many of the tenement houses that were such a blight on the cities.
This social contract produced a benefit of workers fit to work, who went home to decent shelter. Trade unions fought for and got decent living wages, so the men and women could afford to spend on other produce which increased the turn over for the whole country.
Then along came the swing to the other way.
The right to buy, decimated the housing supply for poor and less well of people, 70% of ex council houses are now owned by Buy to let private Landlords.
The systematic reduction in funding to the NHS, the introduction of a Whole level and more of burocracy and management, to the detriment of front line services, the undercutting of NHS trusts to allow private businesses to pick and choose parts to buy, like vultures at a dying body. all this has brought the NHS to the brink of collapse.
And the NHS is not the only part of the Social contract that those in power have whittled away.
The police are underfunded and overworked, forced to target the motorist to find funding for the tasks they are charged with doing.
The fire Brigade has been pared down, and pared down.
Councils have had their funding from government reduced to the point where basic services are cut and even stopped. Garbage collection at two week intervals, Social services reduced, Council buildings and property sold to reduce costs. Parks and recreation areas cut back.
Yet whilst this has been happening, it’s time to look to the other end of the spectrum.
Wages in the Big banks have risen to astronomical amounts, Utility company bosses are on 6 figure sum wages, NHS managers earn more in a year than most departments get for their running costs. Whole wards could be financed for a year, inclusive of operations and drugs, nurses and junior doctors, with what a manager takes home in wages and bonus.
Our Politicians have floated the gravy train to such an extent that some claim expenses in excess of 3 times their actual yearly wage, before tax!
The disabled and sick get more and more money taken from them to Incentivise them to work, yet the same people who voted for this took and voted themselves a pay rise of 10% plus. excuses for this took the form of " It is to discourage fiddling expenses", " people need to be given an incentive to work harder, a pay increase does this " one rule for the haves, another for the have nots.
If all this has not made you angry, then there is no hope for you.

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