Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The monster in the mirror

It isn't alien monsters that are the threat
When I was a small child I was terrified of the monsters on Dr Who. It got to the stage where I was unable to sleep as I was scared that monsters would come in the night. My Dad, as was his want took me to one side and explained that these monsters were made up. He explained that monsters would only really be a threat if they were more intelligent than us, and if they were more intelligent than us, then surely they would behave themselves. He then picked me up and said "Shut your eyes, I am going to show you the scariest monster in the world" He kept saying that I must keep my eyes shut. He took me upstairs and then said "you can open your eyes now". I did this and I was staring in the mirror. He said "people do far worse things than any monsters. If a tiger eats you its because he's hungry, but people do bad things because they are filled with evil". He then spent some time telling me about the atrocities that the Nazi regime perpetrated (my father was a WWII RAF pilot and former prisoner of war).

I was reminded of this last night. There is a new series of X-Files. This was one of my favourite TV shows of all time. It seems that the new series takes a different slant. It isn't the aliens that are evil, it is our own government. In the program a whole list of conspiracies were listed. I watched it rather incredulously. I don't really believe in such conspiracy theories. The real threat to us isn't the government concealing alien technologies and using these to subjugate us. The real threat is what our governments are doing to us in plain sight. Whole swathes of legislation and changes have been brought in. When I was at school, the life plan for myself and many of my friends was quite simple - Get good A Levels, go to University, get a job, buy a house, get married, have kids, start the whole cycle again, keep the human race going (I didn't go to Uni, I bought a guitar instead, but most of my friends did). 

Lets fast forward to the current day. If you enact that plan, you leave Uni with tens of thousands of pounds worth of debt. Get a job? Sure there are plenty of jobs, the Conservative government spends its time boasting about these. Minimum wage, zero hours contracts jobs with little prospects. Get married? Well it seems that 50% of those who do will get divorced. It isn't "till death us do part". It is "until I get a better offer on Tinder". Now a rampant sex life may be a marvellous thing, I am sure it's something we'd all deep down fantasise about, but sooner or later we all grow old (over the last couple of years, I've come face to face with my own mortality in a way I'd never anticipated. It is boring and mundane). Casual flings may scratch a sexual itch, but when we have a crisis, it is damn handy to have a partner who has a commitment to a relationship. I don't think too many people will take up your offer on Tinder to come along and hold your hand whilst you wait for your catheter to be removed after cancer surgery.

Then there is buying a house. I bought mine aged 25 for £48,000. I'd saved up £10K and I had a salary with BT of £18,500. I was told that I'd have to pay 10% and tehy'd give me three times my salary. No problem. My house is now worth £750,000. So on the same math I'd ned to save up £75,000 and have to be earning circa £250,000. When I worked for BT my salary was a fairly standard one for people who'd been at the company for a few years as engineers or IT staff. My guess is that to have a £250,000 salary you need to be a divisional head or a board member.
In short, the ordinary Joe has no chance of buying a property (without help from the bank of mum and dad).

 Then there is having kids. Now I'm old fashioned here. There are all manner of parents in non nuclear families who do a stirling job bringing up kids, but it is hard enough if you have a stable relationship, a good salary and nice house. I could well understand how any sane rational person would avoid it like the plague in todays world. The trouble is that if we don't have kids, the country has no future. Who will look after us when we are old? The Daily Mail rants and rages against teenage mums and families on benefits. It makes me sick, given that they support the government that has foisted this inequality upon us. There is all of this talk of how social housing should not be available to households with an income of £40,000 or more. Well on the 3 X multiplier this buys a house worth £120,000. Show me any property in London that you can buy for this? To get on the housing ladder, a household would presumably need an income nearer £100,000 per annum. so don't demonise hard working families who just want a home.

You don't need to be a genius to see that our society is reaching the stage where it simply doesn't work and will break down. And who created this nightmare. As my Dad told me back in 1967, go and take a long hard look in the mirror.


Mark said...

An interesting blog. I give big thum up for very usefull and interesting information.

Anonymous said...

Your deposit was roughly 20%, so wouldn't it be £35k deposit now, meaning a job of £125k (or joint income of £125k which would be surprising for someone buying a £750k house). Not that any first time buyer is going to aim at £750 - most try a flat at £250k or a house at £300k to £400k.

I did the same kind of comparison with my dad when he bought his first house. In relation to his salary it wasn't so different - always hard to save for