Friday, December 13, 2019

On this blackest of black mornings (updated)

What to blog on this blackest of black mornings?

I am stumped.

Does the majority of the electorate really not care about the suffering in the country - poverty, homelessness, the reduction of public services, the crisis in the NHS, the appalling conditions in the GIG economy, the severe lack of funding in education, the increase in racism, the likely future infringement of civil rights?

And how can people be willing to vote for someone they admit is a liar?

I am horrified and baffled and full of dread for the future of our country. 

Lovely loyal blog reader, Jenetta, has just commented on yesterday's post with this:

Jack Monroe’s post this morning gives me hope. She finishes with “But first we rest, we grieve, we hold one another and we never ever give in" worth finding and reading the whole post.


So here is Jack Monroe on Twitter this morning:

We get back to basics - read our local news. Fight like hell for all the seemingly small things in our own areas and communities - every library, every children's centre, every school place, every youth club, every refuge, every firefighter, every post office. Yes, you. Who else?

We stand up for one another. We put decency and society at the heart of everything we do. We take the anger that's boiling inside and use it to fuel real social change. But first, we rest, we grieve, we hold one another, and we never, ever, ever give in.

And here are Andrew Boyd's thoughts on hopelessness that I have quoted before:

You are faced with a stark choice: do you dedicate yourself to an impossible cause? or do you look after your own, making do as best you can?
The choice is clear: You must dedicate yourself to an impossible cause. Why? Because we are all incurable. Because solidarity is a form of tenderness. Because the simple act of caring for the world is itself a victory. Take a stand – not because it will lead to anything, but because it is the right thing to do. We never know what can or can’t be done; only what must be done. Let us do it.
Andrew Boyd

What can we do?
A good start would be to donate to a food bank today. This morning. Now.

Here is a link to the nationwide food bank charity - the Trussell Trust.


Anonymous said...

You do not have the monopoly on caring for others. However much of the poverty you speak of is
about people making the wrong life choices. i.e. a young couple with seven children on benefits. Why should the rest of us pay tax to support feckless people like them? If people did not spend benefits on drink, cigarettes ready meals e.t.c. there would be no need for food banks.
Thank goodness we no longer have the threat of a Marxist government hanging over us. I don't know why if Corbyn, McDonnell and their cronies think the system is better in Russia they don't go and live there. They'd soon change their minds. It's a pity you can't see the common sense of a Conservative government which doesn't spend money it hasn't got. The Labour party always left a massive deficit when they left office. If very many former Labour voters can see sense why can't you !!

Anonymous said...

Feckless ? You mean like philandering Johnson who won't even acknowledge the number of children he has, and seems constitutionally unable to keep any promise he makes ?

Feckless ? You mean like the growing number of people actually in work who need to use food banks to support their families ?

Feckless ? Like the irresponsible homeless who dare to lay their inconvenient bodies in your shop doorways and back alleys in filthy wnter weather ?

Did you never read Dickens ?

All governments spend money they haven't got: that is what the deficit is about. The trouble with the Tories is that their priorities are not focused on ordinary people. If they were, that poor child would not have been lying on a hospital floor after years of Tory government.

Sadly, legitimising the neglect of people in need by labelling them 'feckless' is a familiar strategy: victim blaming. Any moral government would recognise with abject shame the fact that there are so many people in poverty, and so many children in poverty, in a country we are told is amongst the richest on the planet in the 21st century.

Sometimes it turns out that 'common sense' is not only uncaring self-justification, but uncommon nonsense into the bargain.

Sue Hepworth said...

I am responding to the first anonymous person who commented.
I am sure I don't have a monopoly on caring for others.

And you cannot know how I have voted throughout my life, even though you might guess at how I voted in this last election.

It may be that a tiny number of people going to food banks are feckless. The vast majority however are ordinary people doing their best and working hard, but due to illness, disability or misfortune - which is not self inflicted - find that they cannot wait five weeks for universal credit, and that when they do get it, the benefit is inadequate. Perhaps you could watch the recent Channel 4 programme Dispatches called 'Growing up poor' and then you might understand what the truth is.

In the UK, more than 14 million people are living in poverty – including 4.5 million children. The vast increase in poverty and the need for food banks is due to the policies of the Conservatives over the last nine years.

I am a Quaker and the Quaker ideals are peace, truth and integrity, equality, social justice, simplicity, and sustainability. The current incarnation of the Conservative party doesn't even attempt to meet these ideals.

I don't think you are going to change your mind, and I am certainly not going to. So I am not going to respond further.

Anon said...

Anonymous, Sue is a caring, polite woman. Perhaps I can say what she is far too good natured to:

A monopoly on caring for others isn't a necessity.

If the competition on that front is an anonymous troll whose understanding of compassion means castigating the choices of society's most vulnerable members, then a mere scintilla would appear to be more than enough.

In addition, I would suggest that if you're to invade someone's blog to make wild claims you should at least have a basic grasp of the facts. Russia is not a marxist state. Tories have massively increased the UK's national debt.

Rather than reading and arguing with a blog that clearly doesn't resonate with you, why not infest another forum with your bullshit?

For you, I would recommend Breitbart.

marmee said...

Oh dear sue! Make sure you have activated your shields a la star trek! Such a deeply retro comment above. For a second there I wondered if the sixties had made a return. What you say above and the comment from Jack Monroe allows me to think that already the resistance is forming. After all, the truth is within, we more than ever have to be the change we want to see. I do not understand what has happened there with you or in the US but I think that something so ...I want to say cataclysmic can waken one to what is good and true and to the fact that it rests not even with us, but with me. This little light of mine.....I have lived through the darkest of times here in the land of my birth. Injustice and atrocities , fear in the air we breathed. All things truly are possible. In love and hope

Anonymous said...

i.e. a young couple with seven children on benefits. Why should the rest of us pay tax to support feckless people like them? If people did not spend benefits on drink, cigarettes ready meals e.t.c. there would be no need for food banks.
You have all chosen to ignore the above point. I am merely trying to understand why you seem to feel the above situation where people continue to have children they cannot afford to feed and cloth themselves is acceptable. I acknowledge the fact that you are all kind and caring people but many people take advantage and sometimes a line has to be drawn.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure why you think your every word is worthy of a response. Perhaps if nobody responds it gives you a clue about the relevance of your argument. Your example of the feckless family would be forceful if such a family were typical statistically, but it isn't. If I see a three-legged poodle, it doesn't follow that I can conclude that all dogs have difficulty peeing on lamp-posts.

The noticeable thing about this blog is that it is largely bucolic, rural, peaceful. Small parts have political comments. But all of it, all of it without exception is humane. Humanity and empathy are enviable hall-marks.Humanity powers this gentle blog.

You patronise us all in complacently labelling us with your condemnatory description: 'caring'. Maybe we just admire humanity, and want to defend it wherever we find it. It is not such a common quality these days, and when it is abused it gets dented. The value of blogs is seeing a slice of someone's life. It is personality tourism, a chance to see how someone else thinks. And thoughtful, reflective humanity is a refreshing and restorative antidote to clumsy politcal knock-about that poisons the environment for us all.

I think you may be simply reading the wrong blog. You are wearing the wrong clothes for the climate here. You are wearing your dressing gown for a country ramble. If you can't admire what you find here, at least respect it. If you can't respect it, stop reading.

At least leave us to enjoy the delights of this blog undisturbed by the strident perfection of your views.

Sue Hepworth said...

Comments on this post are now closed.