The Mixed Recession

In the last few weeks, Marks & Spencer have reported half-year pre-tax profits of £348.8m, up from £306.7m last year. Meanwhile, Barclays total profits for the third quarter were £1.27 billion, Primark’s annual operating profits for the year to September had risen 26% to £341 million and the partly state-owned Lloyds ploughed back into profit in the first six months of the year, flipping a £4 billion loss with a £1.6 billion profit, yet still needed to cut 420 jobs, apparently. These are just a handful of examples plucked from recent news reports.

At the same time, people are queuing up overnight to buy computer games and consoles (because the public can always afford idiot distractions) and yet vital services are being cut and we are making moves towards an education system based on money over ability, which will be the most socially divisive and destructive policy of any government in recent history as it restores and embeds the sense of class divide.

It strikes me that the current recession doesn’t seem to be hitting everybody quite equally; although we are, of course, all in this together. Still, with all the cutbacks in education and transportation, maybe staying at home and playing on consoles will be the only viable option for many of us.

Incidentally, while people are discussing the various pros and cons of forcing the unemployed to do unpaid work for their benefits, it might be worth remembering what shaky ground we all seem to be on at the moment in terms of secure employment.

I once considered doing voluntary service overseas in a third world country. Now I think I’ll just stay here and wait.

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About Fles

Early middle-aged (oh yes I am!), no longer long-haired but still speccy and decidedly still an increasingly opinionated git. I’m basically a believer in individualism, that everybody has their own perspective and inner-beauty. I try to find humour in every situation. I enjoy reading and writing poetry.
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One Response to The Mixed Recession

  1. Nic Firth says:

    Fact is that even in the good years we were spending too much and building up debts, and that is why cuts must happen. For example next year my son will be heading off to a recently rebuilt school which has been cost us all £38 million (building and equipping). Don’t get me wrong its a fantastic school but that kind of money is obscene.

    We are no longer in recession, the economy is growing and at an encouraging rate but that does not mean that we will be in a position to carry on such a high level of public spending. Maintaining those levels while sorting out the public debt would require a massive increase on personal taxation which would not only be very unpopular but also cause intimidate hardship to many.

    Welfare reform has been long overdue and the current administration is using the fact that the we have large debts as a reason (excuse) to carry out those reforms. The original idea of the welfare state was to provide a safety net for those that found themselves without work, but it has become a way for some people to get by without having to earn a living. Many benefits have been cynically exploited I find it impossible to believe that in excess of 7% of the working age population really should be claiming incapacity benefit.

    The problem of course is that those in society who really do need help will find it harder to get and possibly more degrading, but there inevitably will be victims.

    There is talk about taxing companies and the rich more, but the trouble with that is we can price ourselves out of the market as their wealth means they have the ability to move themselves and their money to countries which don’t charge so much, loosing us the what they currently pay.

    That is why the burden always has and always will fall on the ordinary, normal people, we don’t have any choice or option but to pay up.

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