Well, here we are again. I’d love to regail you with tales of how our veg are coming on (fine, by the way), but I’ve spent the last couple of weeks being fascinated and horrified by our political masters. This isn’t supposed to be a political blog, but when those currently at the helm are proposing to steer a course so completely at odds with everything we believe in, what choice do I have?
The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party seems to have given the Tories a nudge towards the far right. This week I’ve listened as people claiming tax credits are accused of having no dignity; how benefits should be withdrawn from the elderly “because they probably won’t be around to vote next time”; how young people aren’t productive enough; how immigrants are stealing jobs from ‘honest British’ workers. How removing benefits will teach workers how to be ‘as productive as the Chinese’. Despite having spent tens of billions of pounds to prop up the banking sector, we are all told daily – “you must work harder, longer, be more productive”, to justify the right to what? To live? To have a decent standard of life? Failure to comply will result in the removal of that right. The poor, the elderly, the sick, and the unlucky are being weeded out, in a macabre survival of the financial fittest. Neo conservatism at its ugly best.
So? You may be wondering. The point here is that we are being urged to work from cradle to grave, longer, harder and more productively in order to make some arbitrary government GDP figures look promising enough to stop the world’s financial markets noticing that the UK PLC finances are less than rosy. Our economy is built on debt, and in order to keep the debt coming, you need to earn money, borrow even more money to buy ‘stuff’, and then service that debt with your earnings.
It has come to the point where not participating in this charade has become an act of rebellion. Growing your own food rather than buying at the supermarket, making your own electricity and not buying it from the power company. Those things don’t do a lot for the GDP figures. Neither does bartering some food, or using Freecycle, or eating less meat but buying it free range and local. Spending less money and having less debt mean you could need less money, and so – dare we say – work less. You could even be less productive.
The current government narrative is that you should be proud to be a productive worker. Maybe you are. But you could just as proudly stay at home and teach your child something. Or enjoy a sunny day by going for a walk. Do anything you like, but don’t for goodness sake let these bastards make you feel guilty for not being a Good Worker. Not everyone is fortunate to have a choice, but we need to remember that there is another way, because otherwise this government will have us believe that we exist only to be productive units, rather than free to live our lives as we see fit.
In other news, the potatoes are very fine indeed this season.
If you’re interested in talking about ways to live more independently of the system, let us know, and we can include you in the conversation.