Sunday, 27 March 2016

Easter 2016 - Fear of the future

Easter Sunday 2016. Easter is a traditionally a time of rebirth and hope, symbolised by Easter eggs. I have been struck by just how little hope there is at the moment. The world is going through an extremely turbulent time. At home and abroad their is fear and threat. The events in Brussels are yet another reminder that there are those in our midst who wish to destroy all of the freedoms we hold dear. In the USA it looks as if Donald Trump is likely to secure the Republican nomination. We have the EU referendum, which if we vote for #Brexit is a huge leap into the unknown. It is also likely to trigger a leadership contest in the Conservative Party, which will most likely see Boris as Prime Minister before the end of the year. Despite six years of austerity, public finances show no sign of improving, with cut after cut hitting the disabled, the sick and those on the fringes of society.

It also seems we haev given up on the future. My son recently applied for a place at a sixth form college. A letter from the college states "Although the college is state funded, we do aske for a financial contribution from parents. his is because we have received significant cuts in funding over the past few years, and there are further cuts due next year". Luckily I am in the position where this does not cause us difficulty, but for many parents who are less well off, this could be a major problem.

Today, as I always do, I attended Easter Sunday mass at the Sacred Heart church in Mill Hill. At the end of mass, Fr Noel gave us a solemn reminder that next Sunday there is a collection for the Colindale foodbank. He took the opportunity to remind us that many families rely on this to simply feed their children. The foodbank have requested Tinned fish (eg tuna/sardines), Tinned meat (corned beef, hot dogs, ham), dried rice, vegetable oil, long life milk, cereals, hot chocolate, coffee, tinned fruit, tinned vegetables. They have also asked for non food items  - washing powder, washing up liquid, soap, deodorant and toothpaste. They noted that they are well stocked with pasta. If you wish to help, please drop a contribution into the church. Please note, the church is purely the collection point in Mill Hill, contributions from all are welcome and it is simply delivered to Colindale.

The sad truth is that the UK is richer than its ever been in its history, but in the last six years, we've seen more people  needing foodbanks and more people sleeping rough than in living memory. It is shameful and a scandal. There is a saying in the bible, quoted by Lou Reed in Perfect day "You will reap just what you sow". We are sowing a sorry crop for the future. Unless we sort the inequality in our country and our world out, we really have a very bleak future. Please donate some food to Colindale Foodbank, it isn't much but its a start.


Phoenix One UK said...

I agree with much of what you said, especially the last paragraph, but I question your calling Brexit a leap into the unknown given the same can be said should UK vote to remain. I also noted your mention of Bible, and though I am not religious, I do believe much of what any religion preaches relies on faith, and it would appear I have more faith in our country than yourself (no offence intended, and please forgive me if I assumed wrong).

I also have children, and grandchildren, and they are my biggest reason why intend to vote for Brexit. We live in a great country that had seen good and bad times, and history shows much of what this country achieved had been adopted the world over. The Magna Carta is just one example of this.

Rog T said...

I do find your assumption that you have more faith in our country than I do to be a tad offensive, but as there is an imlied apology I won't take offence. It is totally wrong to assume that because I believe our future is safer and more secure as members of the EU, I in some way devalue our nation. I believe that the UK has a lot to offer, but it can offer this most effectively through continued membership of the EU.

I do not agree that you can claim continued membership of the EU is a leap into the unknown. We know exactly what it means. You may not like it, but it is business as usual. With Brexit, we have no idea how that will pan out, whether it will be better or worse for the UK, what settlement we'd achieve with our largest trading partner or even whether the UK will survive the shock of #Brexit. You may well conclude that it will work out better, but given that no one on either side has spelled out what we are letting ourselves in for, then I can't see how it can be anything other than a huge leap in the dark.

Of course there may well be many upsides, but we've not seen any form of credible UK PLC balance sheet showing what the relative merits of the two propositions are. That means one of two things. A) That no one knows, which supports my assertion that the figures haven't been worked out and so we are voting in the blind. B) The other alternative is that both sides thnk that the figures will damage their arguments, and so they lack the balls to make the case. That is equally worrying.

I've been told, although I am a tad sceptical, that both sides are conspiring to keep this under wraps, because the facts will actually demonstrate to core supporters of both camps that their chosen stance will damage them more.