Just wrote to my MP

Dear XXX MP
Why have I just had to give my takeaway meal to a homeless woman by xxx bank in xxx tonight. Why is she sitting there with a wet duvet, in the cold. Articulate and desperate. Crying.
She didn’t ask for our help, she was just desperate.
Why do I need to take pity on someone? Be a good Samaritan. Why isn’t your damn government doing something Christian to sort things out?
Oh we can’t afford it? But you damn well won’t charge taxes to the rich!
Yours Sincerely
Xxxxx Mallaband-Brown

But I shouldn’t have to write this. Our MP doesn’t seem to be in touch with the local population. I don’t even know if she lives here. When she was first elected she answered my emails, then one of her staff answered. Now I expect silence. In the meantime people are suffering. If I’d had somewhere for her to go I would have offered her somewhere to stay.

Carrier bags

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I was asked to give some carrier bags to the local food bank today. I’m very bad at remembering to take bags with me when I go shopping and I didn’t want to throw them away to go in landfill.

I handed them over to a friend outside the local supermarket. She had started a couple of years ago getting almost out of date, unsold food, and dry goods. But as austerity had increased and now the devastating effect of covid 19,she has found herself getting food for people seven days a week! She is a volunteer and decided she must do something as the local Councillor is not at all helpful.

I asked her how she copes, she’s been ill recently, she says she just has to. She cannot give up on people.

I wish I had her commitment. All I did was hand over a few carrier bags. I have to ask why people are in this situation. How have we got to this. The sixth wealthiest country in the world? But cruel to people in poverty. Who are seen as useless and not worth the money. Another Councillor has called people from my city ‘peasants’ this week. Remind me to tug my forelock!

Citizenship test!

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I’ve just done the British Citizenship test practice questions. Something people who are coming to live here have to take.

My family is British and the family history is British. So I should have got 100%…24 out of 24? NO ! I got 16 out of 24…or 62%…a FAIL.

Well if I can’t score a pass why should someone coming here from abroad be able to score better? In fact native Britons who did it are posting their results, and most FAILED!

So why? A lot of the questions are based on dates. The date of when the battle of Agincourt happened for instance, or where places are, for instance Maiden Castle. Some I knew, others, no idea.

I had an education at a comprehensive school. Unlike Gammar schools or places like Eton, we didn’t learn dates by rote. My education was not cramming facts in my head. We had to think.

Anyway, if there is anywhere in the world that would like me, perhaps you could let me know? I feel really sorry for people taking the test. It is biased towards native British who have had a grammar school, or posh university, education!

Money….

Money has become the grand test of virtue. By this test beggars fail, and for this they are despised.

George Orwell.

Well, I wanted to say something about money (or the lack of it), and then I saw this quote. I also found the map of deprivation in and around the area where I live.

I don’t mind admitting this area is poor. Lots of jobs have gone over the years as local industry has closed. Families that had three generations working in the same industry together have lost such a lot. Not through their own fault, but through lack of support and outsourcing of work. Factories have closed, and been demolished, when perhaps they could have been reused. With global warming they wouldn’t necessarily have been able to keep going, but something could have happened to make people’s lives better.

What is missing? Money, investment, something more substantial than the short term, selfish, unfair world that we seem to live in. When governments fail to help and support their people, and rely instead on charity we have come to a bad point in life. The poor become the despised for not ‘getting on’. People start to identify undeserving poor, and blame them for their miseries instead of seeing that the system is broken. When people who care are called snowflake or whatever other derogatory comment that can be hurled at them, we are in a bad place.