National priorities

Two current statistics: Britain has the tenth biggest economy in the world, according to IMF: and one in 7 British households (around 11 million people) lack food security, according to Trussell Trust, which organises a majority of our food banks.

If you don’t see something institutionally disgraceful in that, then you must be blind. People rightly talk about the “metropolitan elite” and its disconnection with the common people of the land. Apparently our average standard of living is worse than the state of Mississippi and around on a par with Poland. It’s true that our economy is built on debt rather than actual assets, but that debt is certainly not owned by the ordinary people – just owed through the tax burden and borrowing to get by.

Nearly every burning issue and official policy that fills our newspapers looks vaguely obscene when the Trussell Trust’s stats are added in.

“Bank of England raises interest rates again … but 11 million people still have to choose between food and heating.”
“We must continue to support Ukraine militarily and financially for as long as it takes… even though many of our own people are forced to use food banks.”
“Pay rises must be affordable, and strikes are selfish… but James Dyson must get unique tax-breaks for the lucrative ventilator contract he was awarded, though none were delivered and 3,000 UK employees were sacked during COVID.”
“I don’t actually have any working-class friends, but food-insecurity is just a talking point of ignorant far-right conspiracy theorists.”
“The New World Order is all about diversity, inclusiveness and equality, so let’s slash the tyres of the food-bank bigots protesting against ULEZ.”

You get the idea. But I fear we have become such a polarised and uncritical society that most of us, or at least the kind of people who read blogs like this, make no connection between the news and the struggles of an increasing number of people. Living as I do in the rural southwest, there are plenty of employment and housing issues. But as a matter of demographic fact, most of the caring folks at my church are older retirees on decent pensions, or professional people, and it is common to hear remarks like, “We’re a rich country, so why shouldn’t people come here from Africa to make a better life for themselves?”

One answer is obvious: because the money being printed to throw at every issue, including illegal immigration, is causing the very inflation that is making housing, transport, heating and eating increasingly difficult for an increasing number of the indigenous people. Another answer is, of course, that those spending thousands to people traffickers for a better life will here, inevitably, end up not amongst the class gathering most of that enviable (though diminishing) GDP, but amongst those using the food banks.

In fact, there is a plausible school of thought that sees this as deliberate – unskilled foreign workers will take jobs at below a living wage, thus increasing unemployment amongst native-born folk and keeping wages down for all. And don’t forget, the “affordability” argument for low pay is negated by that first statistic – if low pay is the norm in the tenth biggest economy, then the people at the top must be reaping grossly disproportionate rewards.

The situation is the same in the second biggest economy in the world, the US, and the causes are pretty much identical. I could point you to the viral YouTube hit by a Virginia ex-factory worker, but for more depth check out the interview of JFK, Jnr, by Tucker Carlson.

The same IMF table, if you were unaware of it, has shown that the fifth biggest economy in the world, and the largest in Europe, is Russia (Only France and Germany of EU countries are still in the top ten) – which was supposed to be destroyed by sanctions that have actually caused inflation and poverty in the Western nations instead. But we should remember that the City is still doing very well here, probably even from the sanctions and certainly from the arms sales – it is the poorer population that is bearing the brunt of the warmongers’ incompetence, or self-interest.

“The poor you will always have with you,” as the Lord said. And there will always be inequalities in society. But the UK has one of the worst wealth disparities in Europe, and probably the world, and the gap is getting wider. Such situations never continue forever, because the poor eventually identify who is stealing their wealth, and turn on them through the ballot-box, or through the pitchfork and lamp-post if that fails.

Meanwhile, I just wish those of us who are doing reasonably OK – and therefore are likely to be hanging economically on the coat-tails of the most rapacious tyrants in the land, would realise how things stand, by declining to insulate ourselves from the cries of the marginalised.

And I don’t mean by that the fashionably marginalised, who seem to manage quite comfortably as well.

Avatar photo

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
This entry was posted in Politics and sociology, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to National priorities

  1. Robert Byers says:

    One can’t trust any stats becase they use them to ma ke a case. So these large numbers of poor probably comes from the left wing deceptions. You do question the media motives and so its a optrion they are still left labour as in the past.
    i’m glad UK is doing fine etc. my mother left because it wass not in the late 50’s in the north there. I see immigration of those failed nations as relevant and skewing results. likewise scotland/Wales and northern Ireland. The North still. Feminism interferes with the men who usually are the lead salaries in families.
    I agree no money to the war because of a moral design to stop the killing though putin is the evil leader and would get away with it. but hard decisions but I go with NO MORE KILLING so no more money Ukraine. Actually giving them weapons from British industry would not be a loss. salieries are paid and taxed.
    Surely the average englishman and the others is richer today from what i observe and all Europe. When were they richer?

  2. Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

    Surely the average englishman and the others is richer today from what i observe and all Europe. When were they richer?

    No, the average Brit (and European) was better off a generation ago, though the affluent are more affluent than ever. The decline in prosperity is shown in those food-banks, which have to operate even in small towns like mine as well as big cities. Relative wages have dropped for working-and middle-class people, and debt is escalating: desperate people buy necessary supplies on credit cards at silly interest rates because they have no other choice. Unemployment has risen as industries move to China, and most young people come out from (unnecessary) university education to the knowledge that they are unlikely ever to be able to afford to buy a house. And life expectancy is dropping for the first time.

    There are exceptions of course – my three kids are all either earning better than I ever did as a GP, or else are married to blokes who are! But that’s either from entrepreneurial businesses, or from servicing the big money corporations. And both of those will be in trouble when the debt bubble bursts.

    Only 130K people work in the arms industry (30K less than 2010) though the defence budget is around £6bn (also dropping, though), with the bulk of that not going to the engineers and assembly-line workers. In the last few decades much of that money has come from the deaths of civilians in unjust wars we started (1 million dead in Iraq alone).

  3. Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

    And here’s another new example of how it all works. Jonathan van Tam was the UK’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer during Covid, often appearing in the media to tell us to follow the Science, and so on.

    He’s just been appointed to a lucrative job at Moderna, whose only business is the mRNA vaccines that the government bought and sought to force on every man, woman and child in the country, thus enabling them subsequently to rewards the government appointees who got them such profits.

  4. shopwindows says:

    It is certainly important to recognise the virtue and not impugn that class of representative and public servant who have dedicated their every sinew to our personal and national welfare. And to proffer support to those less fortunate even if their predicament arises out of their unworldliness. But the fact remains it is better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish. I suspect I should amend that traditional wisdom not to, “seek employment with those whom one has managed to benefit by diversion of public largesse” but perhaps to “beware Greeks bearing gifts”.

  5. shopwindows says:

    Whether enfeeblement of the masses or corralling of the assets were driving forces behind recent and current happenings rather than the virtuous reasoning postulated might be one line of inquiry. And there is urgency to insulate those fallen on hard times even through fault of their own. However surely the primary question must be how to avoid Orwell’s boot being the unavoidable future of all mortals?

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      Fortunately, history seems to show that God is still active in judging the nations. “Unavoidable futures” tend to get avoided by the overturning of the unjust. In this age they’re usually replaced by another crowd of unjust, but the people gain relief for a while.

      I always remind myself that the final phase of peak-evil will be answered not by human heroism, but by decisive, final, divine intervention.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      Thanks – everybody should watch this to understand the times.

      “Middle level violence” was what was used by the Western “narcissistic” powers on Russia last year, together with the “Mom, he hit me!” response when they went kinetic.

      In that case I note that Lindsay’s response of calling out the nature of the provocation was indeed used by Russian sources before and after the event – but the activists in this case pre-empted it by quickly censoring all Russian media, an act which somehow wasn’t widely understood here as cynically manipulative.

      .Much the same is the case in the more local provocations Lindsay describes – when the activists own the media, the government, social media, the courts and every other major means of communication, it’s a tough job showing people how they are being manipulated .

      Still, this blog is read in America, Europe, Russia and China, if not by that many in each, and it’s certainly not the only place where one begins to see through the smoke.

  6. Ben says:

    There is also the theory that importing poor people (from ‘shithole’ countries) is a way of maintaining the left-wing electorate. (Just as Thatcher’s allowing people to buy their council houses boosted the right).

    Have you read Theodore Dalrymple’s Life at the Bottom? Twenty years old now, but still frighteningly relevant, I fear. Just throwing money at complicated societal problems doesn’t help, and sometimes make things worse.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      I’ve not read that, though the other stuff I’ve read by him is good.

      It’s hard to unpick the non-naive motives for mass immigration of the kind you mean. Certainly a politically uneducated poor class are more likely to fall for socialist rhetoric not backed up by action.

      But such an underclass is more likely to engender civil unrest than bias at the ballot box, and of course that’s a theory too – destroy the population’s sense of national identity and resistance to ideological change crumbles too.

      At the same time, it’s ironic that those bemoaning overpopulation causing more fossil fuels to destroy the planet have actively encouraged those from low-carbon countries to seek affluence (and hence increased carbon-use) in countries that were previously in population decline for many reasons.

      I guess it only makes sense when you realise that Satan loves irrationality.

Leave a Reply