Without drawing attention to the fact it’s been over a year since the last post (tut!), there are loads of topics to cover right now. With Brexit, council elections and the General Election all on the go, all I need is to find the time to post!
Having never been one to shy away from saying what I think, Election time gives the ample excuse to have opinions, shout them, and stand by them. I have personal ground rules, mainly that I will always try and quantify my beliefs with facts, which sometimes can cause friction because people can’t disagree with a fact (by its very nature), and that really annoys some people!
Another core rule I try and adhere to is to not be directly offensive. Sometimes cheap shots are easy, but rarely are they beneficial. On the flip side though, sometimes simply speaking a truth can offend, and I will never apologise for offending someone by speaking the truth. Do I seek out ways to offend people… no! But do I offend people by speaking truth and fact… yes! If you are easily offended, stop reading right this blog now.
So, what opinionated, fact-based topic can I briefly cover here to finish off my ‘welcome back’ post?
Why is honesty so important?
You would think this is a pretty cut and dry topic… honesty is obviously important so that people can know what is really going on… right?
However, our country ( and society, culture, and the world…) all appear to have adopted at their highest levels people that simply aren’t honest. America has Trump (he tells the truth right?), the UK currently has Theresa May (she’s right up there with straight talkers right?) and I won’t even begin to breakdown populist figures such as Farage and Johnson!
How can it be that we as a population have succumbed to the acceptance that “it’s just the way it is” and that for the people that govern us and decide our futures are free to not just “no comment” but actively lie about things. How?
Some may say I’m being alarmist and that the politicians are just “playing their games”, but I retort… “their games are our lives”. A good example of this in action is the current introduction of the benefits system “Universal Credit”. Did the benefits system need an overhaul to meet the demands of today.. sure thing it did, is the ideal solution a simpler, more robust system a good one… sure it is!
What is the reality of the introduction of “Universal Credit” though… it is not one of simplification… it has not made it ‘simpler’ at all. And.. why…..
Because it has been introduced without proper testing, without an in-depth consultation period into its effects, without any care or thought into the “test subjects” it has been inflicted upon.
Quite simply, Universal Credit is a failed social experiment, with the test subjects being the most vulnerable in society. The outcome of the experiment is quite clearly that the system is not fit for purpose, evidenced by the deaths of may of the most vulnerable, the totally 3rd world increase in the use of food banks, and the draconian slave labour mentality that “work”, regardless of the reality, is best.
The Conservatives have been repeating the mantra of “work is the best way out of poverty” for a while now.. and they are right. However, the system they have constructed actually opposes their rhetoric. They boast record numbers of “people in employment”, without explaining that most have been forced into unstable, low-paid jobs, having to supplement their incomes with food bank parcels and payday lenders. They lie… not my mistake, but deliberately, and with an aim to divert attention from the details.
If you are reading this and you have agreed with the conservative changes to the benefits system.. then I say “shame on you”, you have agreed not with the aim of helping people, but rather with the larger social construct of “the strong survive”. If you can truly look at what is happening in the UK and feel that because “you’re doing ok” that everything is fine… ‘shame on you’, a society should be defined by how it looks after it’s most vulnerable.
At a time when we are reported to be the 4th most powerful nation on this planet, how can we be proud to have such a rise in food bank use? In a time when we can invest billions in a Nuclear Deterrent, yet we can’t provide a proper kitchen for a lifelong wheelchair user. In a time when the largest companies negotiate tax reduction deals while the poorest can’t afford fresh vegetables. I ask you, where is the fairness.
So to close, I give you a challenge. In a time when honesty and integrity are at an all time low, choose to do something different this week. Contact a food bank and find out what you can do to help, with the resources you have to give (money, time, storage…), get involved in a local befriending group (pensioners, bereaved, isolated)- just do something. If you’re “doing alright” financially it may seem easier to just throw cash about, but I would urge you to devote time as the primary “giving”. Not only with you gain a deeper insight into the cause you are helping, but you will also meet and mix with people you may not otherwise encounter, and in doing so, learn something about living a life you are not.
Become the positive when someone is having a negative. Be the hope, when someone is hopeless. Just don’t be what you have always been, don’t be the person that just carries on because ‘everything is fine’.. it isn’t. If you can’t see the problems in this country then I would urge you to burst that bubble and look around.