At the tail end of last week, Britain finally woke up to the war that began in 2010 and has been quietly and mercilessly raging against anyone who doesn’t make their living on the backs of their fellow citizens ever since. That would be the hourly paid, the faux salaried, gig workers, self-employed conscripts, the working, the working poor, people who require and rely on government support - that latter group of people are to all intents and purposes destitute and unable to freely and fully participate in society; the institutions that might make the present livable and the future brighter - schooling, healthcare, childcare, the arts - all under assault for more than a decade. Or since David Cameron was elected Prime Minister in 2010.
What happened with P&O Ferries felt like a pivotal moment - when the media was moved to report on the three minute video of 800 P&O workers being fired without negotiation or notice and then even their severance payments threatened should they raise their voice in protest while reported balaclava masked security (who are these people who perform tasks they as so ashamed of they wear masks) moved to remove them from their ships. And now it might be true that the replacement workers will be paid £1.83 per hour? I think at that moment a lot of people in Britain began looking over their shoulders at who owns their job for the first time.
This week, the boy king, chancellor Rishi Sunak, will undoubtedly make life for the majority of British citizens tougher to endure. The poorer you are, the more miserable life will become. Life though for the underserved in the UK, will be shorter at least, maybe that is something. You might not be around to see child poverty climb further.
Crumbs to assuage dire need should there even be crumbs, will be celebrated like manna from heaven in the media this week. A bonanza like we all just made off with the winning euromillions lottery ticket without paying for it. Which papers will dare say “You’ve never had it so good.” More than one most likely.
Tax rises for everyone except those who are making bank from the energy crisis then. Windfall taxes would ‘hurt’ EnergyCo’s our PM T-1000 told us, and prevent their investment in green energy. Preposterous illogic of course. If you are buying that you are actually dumb. This is money they never expected to have and never intended - and won’t use to go green. Green energy puts them out of business - they are obligated by their shareholders to do everything to reverse any green energy policy and there are groupings at the heart of the gov right now lending a hand to see that that green crap don’t happen.
Energy Poverty in the UK. Let’s hear it for some Nottinghamshire punk musicians who can take that title way up the charts. Shamefully it’s going to have a record number of weeks at number one.
Oh and why do why do the daily standing charges for energy have to double at this time?
Small businesses that have done so much to re-populate the barren high streets - the new hubs of coffee and communication - have been offered an impossible combination of soaring uncapped energy bills, massive wholesale hikes and impoverished customers.
The reality of life in Britain is that this is a poor country with most citizens holding their hands over their eyes with their fingers jammed in their ears. Our clothes are cheap and shabby, our shops are boarded up, we can’t afford heat and food at the same time, many of us can’t afford either.
Lies from the top aren’t the answer.
The trams are off the rails again in Birmingham
Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]
If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]