Where are all the good people? Not in Westminster...

Oh gosh brace yourselves, this is a very political rant but I had to get it out of my brain, ignore if you have no interest in politics (although imo you should): 

There is a contest going on in the UK at the moment for the Conservative Party Leadership. It’s horrifying to watch these people (who will never understand how ordinary people live) just itching to be in charge of us all and tell us how we should be doing things better- when they’ve existed in a privileged bubble all their lives. Some of them like to pretend they've had humble beginnings but it's a load of cock and bull. Look for footage of a young Rishi Sunak and you'll see what I mean. Just listen to any of them, and tell me you think they have any empathy for anyone who might be struggling to survive in this economic climate. You might think, "every person for themselves, I've struggled or worked hard and done ok so why shouldn't it be ok for other people to have to struggle?". If you really couldn't work for some reason, do you really think it's reasonable for us as a society to let you die in poverty? Would it really be all your own fault or could more be done to help you? (The Tories might say "we're all in this together"- but what they mean is "you're all in that shit down there together, phew, glad it's not me, although you could be more grateful for everything I'm doing for you like cutting your wages and letting food costs spiral, perhaps you should eat less, have you thought of that?"). They exist in a world of privilege and carry with them the assertion of a divine right to rule over us cap-doffers.

 I’ve met some brilliant people doing blooming hard work as volunteers and local councillors and it often seems a pretty thankless task- most of these people want to improve their communities and saw the only way to make change happen was to step up because otherwise their people do not have a genuine voice at the table. Why don’t you see these people at at the top end of the government? Because it takes a particular type of deluded ego to believe you can or should “rule” over other people in the "democratic" system we have. But never fear, there is a wonderful training ground just for this purpose- in our exclusive private schools you too can grow up wondering why anyone would ever choose to be poor; feel baffled as to why people don’t take the amazing opportunities that you were able to take advantage of and then think it is your duty to go and lecture these poor unfortunates on how to improve themselves so they can strive to be just like you. 

They will never be just like you. They never had parents who paid for extra tutors if they needed it or made sure they did IGCSE’s if they were struggling (did you know about this? Many private schools do IGCSE’s which are easier than GCSE’S but students don’t get remotely penalised for it by universities.) Most people who grow up “poor” do not feel that every opportunity is open to them, because they know it is not. I don’t wish to tar everyone with the same brush as me but I dragged and failed myself through GCSE’S and A levels despite suffering domestic abuse as a child and having an undiagnosed neurodivergent brain. I didn't know how to study or apply myself but I had aspirations attached to education, despite no one in my family having gone into higher education I managed to talk my way into a redbrick university... but had no sense of what to do with the opportunities once I got there, I didn’t understand the world I was in, I didn’t have the right language or clothes or ancestry, I didn't know you were supposed to network, I didn't even know what that meant. Rich people have two assets at their disposal, money (or the ability to get money/capital) and connections, both of which give you stability, belonging and a steady sense of your place in the world and both of which you don’t have when you’re “not rich”. Talent can give you access- ie you can get a scholarship to a private school but are you really “one of them”? If you can’t sustain the lifestyle which is alluded to in the places you say you go, where you go on holiday, what you eat and drink, where you buy your clothes... if you don’t fit then you’re not one of them.


If you’ve ever come across someone demonstrably stupid in a position of power and wondered how they got there- they are either rich or connected or both and why would anyone want to be connected to you if you were poor, what value do you have? It’s this lack of ability to trade value with other rich people that means you’ll never be one them except to serve them in some one-way capacity. Example:  “Hey can my son do the internship with your company for experience? I’ll fund it and I’ll let you use one of my premises for a meeting/storage because I think you mentioned you were having a problem with that when we were skiing...?" or “Hey would you like to invest in my daughter’s company?” “Sure if you’d be able to sponsor the local rugby team I'm on trustees board for- get your company name on the shirt next season? Good for business?” Etc etc. I’m not saying people who don’t have money have no value btw I’m saying this is the view of the upper classes- who are you? No one? Not interested.  My opinion is that people who view other people as commodities (such as the whole Tory Party) need to go back to (normal) school and learn some humility and how to develop empathy for people by walking in their shoes. How about we have a training programme to be a politician or prime minister, open to all, something transparent, that teaches the right combination of leadership skills, financial management, diplomacy, national pride (possible without deporting refugees to foreign countries) being emotionally intelligent, climate management etc etc. All the good people do not seem to be in Westminster and it is truly saddening, more than that, it's a travesty- this government have effectively killed massive amounts of people mismanaging the first waves of covid and have made life so much harder for people stripping out all funding from everywhere and using it as excuse to privatise everything... and we're just supposed to be ok with it. And people keep voting for it. 

I didn’t grow up with money (bet that’s a surprise after this tirade!) we were reasonably poor but not necessarily in poverty.  But I have certainly known poverty as a young single parent, I've been temporarily "homeless"; I’ve eked out a tin of spaghetti (with ketchup and water) for three meals in a row for my daughter; I’ve gone without food (despite a food addiction); I’ve lived in fear of the bank taking away my overdraft because I lived in it permanently and had no way of getting out of it; I’ve had to borrow money from people to get through and I’ve had to use my credit card to live on day to day (for years) including withdrawing the full cash limit on it. I’ve experienced the amazing circular conundrum of having to apply for benefits and say you are available for work, when you don’t have any childcare (and are therefore not available for work) because you’re alone and know all childcare has to be booked and paid for in advance and you can’t afford it, hence being in the benefits office… When you’re in a hole, you need reliable help to prop you up, a one off payment helps to pay for deposits and give some breathing room but enough regular “income” to live on is more reliable and reduces stress over all- allowing you the financial space you need to be able to make plans to get out of the hole. The government/Daily Mail would have you believe that giving “poor” people more “undeserved/free” money would mean they would just spend it on new tv’s, vapes or drugs but the truth is the majority of people claiming benefits don’t want to be on benefits and would prefer to be self sufficient. Because of low wages and the cost of living, even if you get a job you still need to be propped up by the government (whether you like to see it as government money or not- tax credits are still benefits) because your wage alone does not sustain your cost of living. And if you think you’re middle class, you’re wrong- if you have to work to be able to live then you are working class. 

  I consider myself pretty privileged these days- privileged by proxy through marriage and the daily hard work of my husband- although I have been the main care giver in our family for over a decade (I am trying hard to build up my own music business so that he can put his feet up a bit and work part-time/be a trophy husband/tinker in a shed) and we are not “rich” but we are certainly not destitute right now. However, living on one person’s income means that I have also been penalised for being a care giver despite this being essentially unpaid work- like many women who have not earned enough National Insurance credits because of this I will have a smaller pension than most people- already and I’m nowhere near pension age! What if you are not able to work but "aren't bad enough" to qualify as "disabled?" There are other indirect downsides to not being employed such as the inability to get credit based contracts, like mobile phones etc. 

I am saying that for me some of my financial management skills (or lack of) is a legacy of growing up poor and experiencing poverty and also my undiagnosed ADHD. There is a pervasive fear and instability around how quickly things can change from one day to the next and how easily you can slide into debt and not be able to get out. There is not one Tory party candidate or probably not even one Conservative Party member who understands this or has even a modicum of empathy for how quickly peoples circumstances can change. Why would you? If you’ve always had a “comfortable life” because your parents were “comfortable” and arranged things for you so you had opportunities through their own network and got propped up financially when you needed it, why would you think anyone would struggle to live? 

I’m not really sure what this rant is about. This is just a moment in time and I just wanted to state how sickened I am by all the candidates, because unfortunately one of them will be our new prime minister. I'd like to say at least they will be better than Boris Johnson but actually they are all cut from the same cloth and move in the same circles so why would it be any different? I'd take someone real, normal and principled like Angela Rayner or Andy Burnham as PM in a heartbeat, the current candidates can get in the sea.

I wish it wasn’t like this right now but here we are, with people unable to afford basic supplies and victimised by the national (right wing populist masquerading as centrist) press because of it- with every single potential leader of the Tory party as revolting and removed from reality as the next.

I can’t believe we have another… how many years of this? Sort it out Labour/Lib Dems/Greens!

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