I’ve started up a Political section on my blog. I’m not too sure why yet or what I am to achieve by this but there’s one thing for sure and that is I am terribly frustrated with the world right now.
In my lifetime, we have never been as divided as a species, ever. I remember as a young boy back when I would stay nights with my Gran and Grandad. On one side of our house was an aging, semi-retired Jamaican man. I remember hopping over to his side of the fence all the time and he’d take me into his garden shed. For me as a child, a garden shed was like a palace of wonders; filled with dangerous tools that I wasn’t supposed to touch. I remember testing the waters with Grandad once and grabbing his rusty penknife, only to split my hand open as I dragged the blade across the palm of my hand to test how sharp it was. Ah, the innocence of youth.
Anyway, through this Jamaican man I learned (and later forgot) the basics of building, fixing, and mending. The man was like a warm father figure; he was a very tall man, his face was dirty dark black, he had lovely dreadlocks, and was always wearing his messy work overalls, or at least when I saw him. Never did we once see him as an outsider or treat him any different, he had to live beside my Grandparents after all, it’s always good to keep the peace. And he was a warm, loving man.
I was very lucky as a child in some ways. For all the foreign people I have met in my life most have been really sterling people. I remember the local shop owner; his daughter went to my school and I think they were from India. I remember her Mum and Dad taking me aside, telling me that I was a nice boy and I shouldn’t be hanging with the people I was currently hanging with. This was around the time I was tunnelling myself a deep hole around a life of drink, drugs, and crime.
Then there were the Polish girls, the South Africans, the French Canadians, the Africans, the Indians, the Pilipinos, and the Spaniards, and the fun and laughs we had during my 8 years on and off working in bars, clubs and hotels.
To me these people make the world go around. And they put in a huge amount to our economies. The world has become globalized, and restricted movement has become a thing of the past. We live in a world that values opportunity and strength and helps the meek and needy. It’s amazing.
And then of course America elects Donald Trump and Britain rolls the clock back 80 years and votes to break away from Europe. And I really don’t blame the public for being misinformed. Well, I do, but I have a soft spot for the misguided and the misinformed. I know because I was once misguided and misinformed.
There was once a time in our life when my wife had lost her job as a middle school teacher, and to us that was a significant reduction to our household income. And worse, I lost my job too. And yet, there was no help for us. We had to rely on our parents, which was terribly embarrassing. And I was looking for someone to blame. I wanted to blame someone or something so badly it hurt. Because life had handed such bad circumstances to us and just at the time we needed money for our one year-old boy. And I was angry. SO damn angry.
Luckily at the time for me I had a place to direct that anger. You see the government at the time was hammering home the belief that benefit claimants and immigrants were stealing our jobs and money. It was an awesome concept because I wasn’t entitled to any money and queues for public services had become long and ugly. I had paid into a system for most of my life and now it was failing me. That seemed the perfect avenue to vent my frustrations to.
And it’s the same the world over. As I write this I’m currently interviewing an EU Migrant living in the UK that tells me the atmosphere is the same in France and Poland; that their country is theirs and no-one else’s. Everyone else should just fuck right off back home. It’s the same in America, they are building a wall to keep the Mexicans out.
It tells me one thing, this does. That people are bitterly angry. If my anger is anything to go by then it’s a sign that people are fed up with what they have in life and want something else. Declining wages, rising cost of living. If you live in the UK like I do and you are just leaving school then you have little to no chance of renting your first home. Prices are sky high and wages are terribly low. It’s awful.
To me people are looking in the wrong places for answers; we’re blaming the wrong people. We can’t blame the weak and needy in society because they have nothing and can’t fight back. They have the least to offer anyone. To blame them would be a cowardly act of the highest order. I was always told you are judged by the way you treat the weakest in society. And if you’re religious that’s something Jesus said too.
And we can’t blame immigrants. It’s a false assertion that immigrants come to our country and only ‘take’ because as well as work here, immigrants will also have to live here. By living here, they put in to the economy by paying for services, products and transport, and not forgetting the all-important taxes.
So rather than blaming people, which it seems governments are capitalizing on this feeling all over the world, we need to be progressively thinking of solutions. Where is all this money realistically going? Is it going on tax cuts for the rich and global corporations? How many wars are my country involved in and how much is this costing the taxpayer? How is the current government administration involved in all of this? Why aren’t we asking these types of questions?
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