Being of a certain age, I remember the Thatcher years. I remember the austerity, the protests, demonstrations, picket lines and the destruction of whole communities within some of our most oldest and established industries.

Now we are back there. Only this time it seems the spin doctors have managed to coat it with a wonderful varnish of  how the economy is improving. One of the curious things of that improvement is to ask do the publicity weavers ever leave the London bubble? Do they visit the low income, crowded areas of London to see how the policies of this government have effected people?

I don’t live in London. I live in the Midlands. The East Midlands to be more geographically correct.

The community I live in is low income, social housing.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, DESPITE THE WORKINGS OF THE CONSERVATIVE MEDIA MACHINES NOT EVERYONE IN THOSE COMMUNITIES IS UNEMPLOYED OR SCROUNGING OFF BENEFITS.

Here in my community there are a very great deal of hard working honest people just trying to get by. They find life hard. The majority of those working are still having to claim a type of benefit due to the advent of the wonderful zero hour contract, employers ducking and diving, finding ways to pay so much less than a living wage.

Does anyone care?

The local food bank, an amazing place to call into, some really great characters and some very disappointed people sharing a single space and a joint cause… to feed their families and themselves. Not all are unemployed or unemployable, the very fact that they have to use this sort of environment to survive in an economy designed to make those who are well off even more so seems a little unfair…..after all those they employ are having to turn to  the benefits  with no thanks while they increase their employers profits.

I use my local food bank, and each and every fortnight I put what I can into a collection bucket when I visit to collect my food. Every fortnight I visit and understand that even though I need the bag of groceries I still have to help where I can.  As do those who also use the food bank. I see them put their donations in, I also see the faces of those who are embarrassed and rather shy about admitting the dire straights they are living in.

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So the image above maybe says it all, the lady at the check out at one of the most popular supermarkets in the UK hoping that people will share some of their shopping to help those who are struggling. Someone who can honestly say they are doing something about the way that things have and are going with this government.

 

The Government (yes a capital G this time!) have reacted wisely and efficiently to this problem, the changes in benefits, the tax relief for those who earn millions each year, a further reform and push for low income society to become even poorer, amazing stuff.

THE REACTION FROM THE TWO WHO ARE MOST RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS POLICY WAS QUITE DRAMATIC WHEN CONFRONTED. IT HAS BEEN IMMORTALISED IN AN AMAZING PHOTOGRAPH.

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This month is the 100th anniversary of my grandfather, one William Davies going to fight a war in the trenches of the Somme battlefield.

 

William Davies, Village Blacksmith.

William Davies, Village Blacksmith.

This village blacksmith, gardener, father and husband went to fight in a war that meant a change to how things would be for future generations of his family.

This man fought in the First Battle of the Somme  and went on to fight in the Dardenelles Campaign until the end of that war, the First World War to us, at the time, the Great War to him and so many others.  He came home and the world was different.

Some years later, and another photograph, this time William Davies is not alone, this time he is stood next to his son, Phillip Davies, my father.

Father and son, William and Phillip Davies.

Father and son, William and Phillip Davies

This time as a proud father, William stands next to my father, Phillip Davies, in uniform ready to do his share of military service. This photograph was taken around 1934, so neither of them had any idea of what was to come…..again.

 

So we have two generations, both doing their duty. My grandfather had fought his war and at the time of this being taken probably did not think that he would be sending his son to fight in another.  My father went through the Second World War, only with a difference. He went through it as a prisoner of the Japanese.

Regardless of this history of war in my family, both men went through hell, both men emerged into what would be a different world, a payment for not just their pain and sufferance, a payment for all the pain and sufferance that many endured and that many did not survive.

They came from, in England, a classist society, where one doffed their cap, respected wealth and both saw a massive change FOR THE BETTER afterwards.

My grandfather saw a relaxation of the them and us systems that ruled his early years before his war, a greater freedom to vote, own, move upward in society.

My father saw the creation of the Welfare State, where no man or his family should go hungry, where the poor would be treated with respect and helped.

My point is this, we now have a government that is, it seems, wanting to put us back to the pre-1914 state of being, a them and us, a rich and poor class system with massive divides, so why did so many of the men and women during those two periods bother? They must be turning in their graves in abject horror at where the coalition government of David Cameron and Nick Clegg are taking us.

Do we have to hang our heads in shame over this? Perhaps the general public should start to make their feelings felt and out of respect for those very many people who worked, fought, died and suffered for something better, those feelings should be SHOUTED AT A VERY LOUD VOLUME OTHERWISE WHAT WAS THE DAMNED POINT.

While drinking a marvelous pot of tea with a friend, they casually asked the following question –

‘Why don’t you blog? You write a lot so why not blog more?’

OK, here at 3.45 am, instead of sat at a desk with pen and paper I am blogging…….my real return.

 

Asked to blog about my experience with social media, the creation of the Leicester Peoples Gallery and it’s networks, how they work etc.

 

I will probably get onto those as the blogs grow.

This early morning blog is going to be about something very simple. It is about getting up at 3.15 am and going into my back garden for a cigarette and a cuppa!

Not much of interest there, except there was.

Sitting there I was able to reflect, a stupid ridiculous dream got me there so reflection seemed like a plan. Totally foiled! Instead I was transported back to a childhood on the south coast.

A small flock of seagulls, yes, seagulls in a city in the British Midlands, started their morning chorus as they flew overhead. The steady rumble of the motorway in the distance became the sound of  the distant sea and there was a similarity to the sounds. Magic, transported to the pre-dawn of sitting on a south coast beach waiting for the sun to lift above the dirty line that is the horizon at this time.

So for a few minutes, my childhood of 40 plus years ago returned.

AND FOR A BRIEF FIFTEEN MINUTES I REVELED IN IT.

What could have been missing…..the salt air smell, lots say that it does not really exist. I can assure you it does, in my minds nose(?) it was there, the freshness, the tang, whatever it is, it was there…and still the constant drone,rumble of traffic on the motorway continued to play the tune of the waves on the beach.

Any photographs or images to go with this? Afraid not this time, unless I can plug my brain in to give the one I held for that brief fifteen minutes. A cobble beach, a wooden groyne and a breeze that lifted and swayed the small flock of seagulls, that brought their cries to me, that lifted the spirit as the day approached. So no, sorry no image, just for once, allow your own mind to make the image, perhaps of you sat on a beach at a time, at a place when the world seemed the right place to be.

Back to Blogging.

Posted: April 29, 2014 in LIFE AS IT GOES

Just a quick note, I am now going back to blogging on my own blog…….its been deserted for far too long.

I am unwell, actually the ‘big C’ has reared its ugly head in my life. OK. So now where do I go with this thing that nestles and nurtures itself within me?

Perhaps it is a matter of acceptance?

Maybe it is a point of order in the scheme of life?

Seconds to rethink and consider?

Time to take stock?

A process of feeling sorry for ones self?

BULLSHIT

What it means to me is to catch up and do all the things that are life.

Catch up and overtake the things that I should have done in my life.

It now shows me that life is fragile, one minute a certainty, the next minute debatable.

The weirdest thing is that I also inhabit the ‘heart attack decade’ and that worries me not at all.

Let’s just get on with living, giving, learning and teaching. After all, the best thing we can do or I can do is pass on lessons learned.images

 

Sometimes the weeks are appalling. This one is definately going that way. So I have decided to cancel the rest of it and return next week.

The whole picture is one of being rolled by a government who wants to create a new class of poor, remove rights that have taken decades to put in place and generally give a message of : –

IF YOU AINT GOT SHITLOADS OF MONEY THEN WE ARE GONNA MAKE SURE AS HELL YOU AINT NEVER GONNA GET ANY, POOR NOW, YOU AINT SEEN NOTHING TILL WE HAVE FINISHED F***ING YOU OVER.

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For me, on a personal basis, how can so many abusive and idiotic people be on one persons life?

How many does it take to really put something good under pressure and threaten its existence?

Not too many is the answer.

So this brief blog is really a rant.

I leave with this image.

'So then Cleggie, now we have nearly screwed the hard working LOWER CLASSES, where do we go next? Any ideas?'

‘So then Cleggie, now we have nearly screwed the hard working LOWER CLASSES, where do we go next? Any ideas?’

 

Fine words for some.

So Cameron allow the bedroom tax to come into force and what will it produce. Hardship. Strange that this man should do this, the man who supports the ‘BIG SOCIETY’ or should that be re-termed as the ‘BIG LIE’

To me it goes something like this, in 2009 we had :-

Cameron: Ease regulations on empty homes to reduce social housing waiting lists

24DASH.COM Logo

Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing

Friday 13th February 2009 – 1:41pm

Then we had the benefit reforms which mean that it is harder for, not just those who live on those payments, those who rely on those payments, the everyday working man. The average family will now worry and stress about which cut next reduces their standard of living, which cut creates a vacuum that can not be filled or a gap they cannot breach.

Those with assisted incomes living in social housing, its ok for the bedroom tax to come in is it? They are on assisted incomes because the LAW states they do not earn enough to meet living standards. Well forget that, the law does not matter in this case, just the CONDEM alliance.

Perhaps 380_Image_PA_david_cameron_empty_homes_editedwants to seeempty homesin social housing areas, and 201033_124533

massive budget requirements to fix these DESERTED UNAFFORDABLE AFFORDABLE HOUSING or 1private homes being left derelict and abandoned due to cuts in assisted working benefits.

YOUR CHOICE MR CAMERON, JUST REMEMBER BACK TO 2009, AND THE CRAP YOU SPOUTED TO CHEAT YOUR WAY INTO POWER

Nuff said.