NEW YEAR

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Stanley
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NEW YEAR

Post by Stanley » 05 Jan 2018, 07:35

NEW YEAR

I'm writing this at the end of November, the editor likes to have his content lined up well in advance and it suits me because I can get the burden of expectation off my back. A consequence is that I have no inkling about what we will be facing in terms of Cameron's Catastrophe. At the moment it isn't looking good! We are waiting for the figures to come in for the spend on that abomination from the States, Black Friday. I heard one independent retailer yesterday describing it as bonkers and I have to agree with him. All that seems certain at the moment is that more goods than ever have been bought online, and by definition, that means using credit cards.
Over the years I have spent a lot of time in Scotland, when I was on the cattle wagon it was with the farmers and I enjoyed them and their outlook on life. One thing I learned was that there was a strong tradition of always trying to enter a new year as near debt free as possible. It was a time for drawing up the accounts, settling bills and gathering in anything owed to them. I have always tried to follow this practice. Mind you, I was born at a time when memories of the Workhouse System and Parish Relief were still strong and this was a powerful incentive. I look at our modern world and it seems to me that this pressure isn't there any more. We live in an age where a person's worth is often measured by how much they can consume and carrying personal debt is the norm rather than the exception. Household debt including mortgages is at £1,330billion and rising. Many people struggling under falling wages in real terms are having to use debt in order to survive and as I write we are told that there will be no easing of the squeeze on us until at least the mid 2020s.
This worries me because of the corrosive effect it has on society. I am lucky, I have no family demands on me and my needs are simple but I feel desperately sorry for young families under this burden and even worse, with very little job security. I have known hard times but I never had to worry about my job. In addition I had the full protection of sick pay, holiday pay and overtime rates. So many don't even have these now and many are on Zero Hours Contracts.
As we enter 2018 I wanted to let you know that I recognise the problems and sympathise. I know that this doesn't actually do any good beyond letting anyone who reads this and recognises the problems know that at least, some of the old folks are thinking about them and wish them better luck. If it's any consolation, my experience of hard times is that eventually they end and I wish you the same. If you are fortunate enough to be comfortable, remember the others!

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Food shopping has become a luxury for some.
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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