Hard Times Indeed

This morning, a young man I was working with needed an application from the local job centre. To my eternal regret I offered to collect it on his behalf. If Charles Dickens had visited Bootle Job Centre in 2013, he would have discarded his pen and jumped into the nearby canal to expire amongst the fast food cartons, turds and upturned shopping trolleys. As an exercise in despair, it was a booming success. Even Eric Pickles himself would have spat out his breakfast panini and wondered if only for a second. Ed Milliband could do worse than, for an hour or so, disguise his mediocrity and sit amongst the people who have been cut loose to drown by his party.
People can learn to cope with just a small hint of hope. They will fight on, rocking back on their knees, and at least dream of salvation and going shopping for tea without dreading the prospect. When they have absolutely no hope they have nothing but the mortal flesh which somehow has to be fed and clothed. I looked at a sea of faces and, without exception, they were beaten. Each individual was broken, humiliated and desperate. Only when that turns to rage will this obscenity stop. It hasn’t been enough to rob these people of security, dignity and belief. They have been demonised, betrayed and spat upon. A society which perpetrates this behaviour is bad enough. One that returns to the crime scene to villify its victims is reprehensible.
I saw a man in his early 30s speaking into a phone attached to the wall. At some point a decision has been made that these people do not warrant the courtesy of face to face human contact. He was shielding his eyes as if to blind himself from the position he was in and slumped against the wall. With no privacy, he was trying to convince somebody that he needed emergency money because he had not eaten for 24 hours and was hungry. This due to being sanctioned as the result of an administrative error. Stop and consider that for a moment. Not begging a flat screen television, detached house or foreign holiday as per the lies of Wapping and Broadcasting House. He wanted food to fill his hungry belly. After repeating his sorry tale three times he got frustrated and raised his voice slightly. The disengaged voice at the other end immediately accused him of shouting and hung up. I caught his gaze and he was in tears. I had to look away because I felt like a voyeuristic stranger imposing on a mans dying breath. He walked away, past the queue for the same contempt, beyond the machine printing out oversubscribed opportunities 80 miles away, and back to hunger.
We have reached a point at which we can only deal with each free market outrage one at a time. Consequently, it becomes a dripping tap of acidic capitalist poison. If you can stomach it, Its revealing to pause and flick through the entire catalogue of spite. When I do I feel like General Custer in his final moments awaiting the closest of shaves from the sons of his victims. Bury my heart at Bootle Strand. This isn’t an economic realignment, its a massacre. Designed to obliterate resistance for generations, this is an exercise in cruelty that will still be burning the feet of your great grandchildren. Torment fuelled by greed. We are enslaved by people who can wrest a million pounds out of a million and ten then fixate on the grubby tenner they left behind.
In terms of wealth to poverty, we are the most divided people in the western world. It is no co-incidence that, in recent years, we have seen an hysterical over reporting of royal events. An old trick that they have been pulling off, like a rich whore wanking a gullible peasant, since the 18th Century. At any time in which the masses are most likely to resist, the obvious strategy is to downplay ostentatious wealth. Instead, they put the pedal to the metal and celebrate unwarranted privilege, inherited treasures and undemocratic power. Replace security with pageantry, pensions with flag waving patriotism and job investment with chubby princesses. The British have been programmed to deference and servility for centuries. Up the nationalism, dumb down the culture and control the flow of information. The system is not damaged or slightly off topic. It is dead and the parasites that consumed it from within are picking the meat off the body.

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