And the poor remain the same…
The latest government information on how firmly entrenched poverty still is in the UK makes for sobering reading.
Personally, I blame the Tories.
It was under the Thatcher Government of the 1980s that the rich really broke away from the poor in Britain, singing ‘so long, suckers’. After 40 years of a progressively narrowing gap between the very rich and the very poor – mostly due to measures brought in by post-War Labour governments – the gloves were finally off in the battle between the haves and the have-nots.
Unsurprisingly, it was the haves that won.
I came from a family of have-nots – my father a miner, my mother a skivvy. But thanks to parental encouragement, free public libraries, an excellent BBC and the university grants system, I managed to drag myself into a white-collar job – the first member of my family to ever do so.
Today’s disadvantaged are not so lucky. What hope now for the children of the long-term unemployed, the young single parent or the immigrant who doesn’t speak English well? At least, growing up in the 60s, there was full employment and cheap council housing available (something else the Tories put a stop to, preferring us all to rent from rich bastards who won’t give tenants the kind of rights that are considered totally basic here in mainland Europe).
It makes you weep, really, and I only suppose that things will get even worse once the Tories get back in, as it looks like they will. New Labour squandered opportunities that Old Labour might have made the most of, but it is a case that in a democracy, the idiot populace gets the kind of terrible government it deserves.