At the age of 84, I wonder how many people can tell me how often I have heard our prancing political ballerinas with their fat salaries, generous pensions and lush perks, openly state that they will end child poverty and end homelessness? From the age of 17 I have ranted against these preventable injustices, this callous exploitation of the ordinary people. I get sick, disgusted and angry in varying degrees, as year after year this shit is poured over my head, and what is the result. The poverty, the injustice, the misery and deprivation stays with us.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has just released another damning report on the state of poverty in this country. Though I don't need the Foundation to tell me about the poverty that surrounds us, I have been there, seen it, and at times shed a tear because of it. For many years as a young man I earned my living knocking on doors in the poorest districts in Glasgow. I have entered homes where there was no bed, just a pile of coats on the floor under which a couple of kids were sleeping. I have entered houses where the only furniture was a couple of kitchen chairs, I have seen a young woman sitting on a kitchen chair in front of a fire, tearing up slices of "waxcloth" from the floor to keep the fire going. This and worse blighted the lives of many families as I made my way through life.
Well after a life time of promises, here we are in 2018 and what is the picture? 22% of the UK population live in poverty, that's one in five, over 14 million people. Of those 56% are in poverty despite being in a family where one or more are working. Our political ballerinas and corporate bosses always yap on about work is the road out of poverty, work hard and you will do well. of course the figures belie that false mantra as in-work poverty is now at its highest in 20 years, we, the ordinary people, are sliding back to the Victorian era. There is a continuous crime being committed as the system blights the lives of our children, more than half a million children in this country and mired in poverty, their lives chances diminished, thwarted, because of this system of exploitation, injustice, greed and profit.
After a couple of hundred years of representative democracy under the mantle of capitalism, you would think that we the public would have arrived at the decision that the system doesn't work.
It must by now, be clear that to expect a wealthy bunch of parasites who control the system that continues to feed them wealth and power, at the expense of the many, will somehow change the system to our benefit, is fantasy of the insane. The rise in poverty, the blighting of our kids opportunities, the stress of trying, in poverty, to hold a family together will continue to wash over us wave after wave. The only alternative, if we seek justice and a better life for all, is to bring this cancerous abomination of capitalism crashing down, by any means available, and replace it with a system controlled by the people, one that is free from the profit motive, and has the interests of all our people as its basis.