When I was 10, my mum and dad sent me and my little brother out to play. As was the way in that time we disappeared out for a handful of hours into the sun.
When we got back we were confused to see a double bed in one half of the already small living room. My parents were giving their room to me. We lived in a 2 bedroom flat. My 2 brothers would have the other room. My mum said it was because I needed privacy “now I was growing up”, she gave me that privacy in exchange for her own-both my parents did. We lived like this for another 2 years before being re-housed and then only because mum was pregnant and would camp out at the housing office daily, fighting to be heard.
That was almost 30 years ago and nothing has changed. We are no further forward as a society. The bedroom tax is the poll tax with a pen name. It’s the same story, just ghost written by the usual suspects. It’s wrong on every level but yet again the tide of opinion has been turned by the systematic demonisation of the poor. It shames me to be part of a society that allows such victimisation to happen. It should shame our government-but I doubt it does. I doubt they give the pain, fear and anxiety a second thought.
I saw Iain Duncan Smith’s home (one of them, the more palacial of them) being discussed yesterday. I don’t begrudge him wealth, I don’t know the man-but I do want to know this; how can he possibly under any circumstance be able to empathise with a person in abject poverty? He has never had to struggle, never had to make ends meet. He can’t and he doesn’t. No-one in this government of independantly wealthy “visionaries” does. Without that insight they should never have been let near the levers of change in the first place. The fact that they were given the keys to the castle at all is galling.
Please, please remember the decisions they’ve taken-decisions impacting so negatively on the most vulnerable of our neighbours. Remember it THIS time when you head out to the ballott box, I’ll accept the lack in judgement the last time. To do so twice will be hard to forgive.