Here in the UK, we are in a deep dark economic hole. It all started when the traditional party of power became high on Brexit. However, it turned out to be not a golden ticket to a brighter future but a one-way ticket to being a third world country. After the party in power knowingly voted for a serial liar and cheat to be their leader, there was never going to be any happy ending. Despite everyone trying very hard not to see the enormous elephant in the living room, they kept on supporting him. Lie upon glib lie and they all cheered. That was only until their leader, bloated with corruption and power, tried to protect a serial sexual predator, one that he put into a position of great power knowing what this awful man was like, only then did the party finally find any sort of conscience and finally vote him out of power.
What followed made all this look like a mere molehill. The new leader, fired by winning and a streak of sheer lunacy, put all our money on a mad bet in the global casino and lost big time. In a matter of weeks, the UK’s global economic reputation was in tatters and we are all the poorer for it. Why someone isn’t doing prison time for the enormous suffering they are causing is beyond me. Ordinary people in their millions will freeze, go hungry and become homeless as a direct result of this reckless act. Children will go hungry this Christmas.
However, the party who perpetrated this monstrosity are still in power and are now saying that the only way of balancing the books is austerity, that is, cutting services, benefits and everything else that might even slightly help ordinary people in these hard times. Not one of them is suggesting taxing rich corporations or the super-rich. As I said, someone should be doing prison time.
However, it is how we respond as individuals to such trying times that will define us.
I am an unashamed Christmas nut and I would normally be digging out my outside lights and projector in a few week’s time so as to make a good light show for all the neighbours. This will not be happening this year for several good reasons. One is that energy might be in short supply, another might be that it will also be incredibly expensive. However, the deciding factor for us was how hard our neighbours might be hit over winter. We live in a working-class estate, a place that we love, but showing off the fact that we can afford the extra money for Christmas lights might be rubbing our neighbours’ noses in it. Many of them may not be able to afford to keep their lights and heating on and also eat.
How on earth has a first world country come to this sorry state?
We can despair or we can do something. We have decided as a family to do what we can. We won’t have lights this Christmas nor will we have presents. We have decided to have a dark Christmas and to give any spare cash we have to support food banks and homeless charities. It is all we can do.
I am angry. I am seething. People who already have too much money have gambled on all our futures in order to get their grubby hands on yet more money. I am old enough to know that the wheels of justice can grind very slowly in this world of ours but I sincerely hope it catches up with this smug, self-centred and self-absorbed elite who are willing to ruin the country in order to attain their right-wing lunatic pipe dreams.
What goes round will hopefully come round. In the meantime, all we can do is be kind to each other and support the most needy in these perilous times. If it is all we can do, then it is still something. Give what you can.