A huge rise in unemployment and retail prices are expected in 2012, a rise so significant that it could undermine the social structure of Britain.
The unstoppable increase in joblessness, retail food prices and transport has led the government to take radical action towards preventing a repeat of last summer’s riots or worse. Originally, the government was insistent that the riots were a result of “blatant criminality” but have since taken heed of the many reports that have been published showing that in fact, those involved in rioting had little or no stake in “society” as we know it.
With another recession looming over the UK (if such a recession is not already here) ministers are worried that there could be more riots and social unrest, perhaps on an even greater scale than that which was seen during 2011. The hope for improvement in employment as a result of the government’s Work Program has not materialised and every month there are more and more people losing their jobs.
If that were not bad enough, the Tory lead coalition government seems intent on making life even more difficult for the unemployed with a refusal to cut the rate of VAT and cuts to benefits and family tax credits being threatened in the budget. The reality is that nobody really knows what other pain may be inflicted upon those least able to bear it but it is certain that the pain will be there.
The Liberal Democrats, supposedly the moderating force within the government, seem reticent to take on their Conservative colleagues as the Tory right wing makes moves against the Prime Minister, David Cameron. Indeed, Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, prefers to remain on the sidelines as it were, rather than face David Cameron with Liberal Democrat objections to government policy.
Apart from the damage that Clegg’s stance does to his own party, his silence is inflicting massive harm on those who are unemployed, on fixed benefit, are disabled or unable to work. Many feel, including subscribers to TheOpinionSite.org, that Mr. Clegg should stand up for his liberal principles, presuming of course that he still has any left.
There are those who suspect that Mr. Clegg, in his illustrious position as Deputy Prime Minister, rather enjoys the trappings of his office and has lost sight of those that he supposedly represents. Certainly, many in his party are disappointed with his performance although frankly, one shudders to think what right wing, Tory sadism would have been inflicted upon the rest of us were Mr. Clegg not in his present position.
The real damage to the country then is being inflicted not by Liberal Democrats but by right wing, Tory zealots who see an opportunity to take us all back to the dreadful days of Thatcher. Their philosophy is a very simple one which requires that the poor have less than they have even now and for the rich to become even richer than they were then.
This bunch of Conservative failed solicitors, barristers and accountants, all of whom are quite wealthy in their own right now they have become politicians, have no understanding whatsoever of the damage that their actions and words are doing to the country. They seem to think that by returning to the “good old days” all of Britain’s problems will be solved. They have clearly forgotten what it was like during that supposedly halcyon period with mass poverty, hundreds living on the streets and injustice reigning throughout the land.
Worse than that,some of these would be imperialists, who really do still believe that Britain has an Empire, seem to want to return to a feudal system where the rich have absolute power over the poor. They believe that everybody should work for a living – and there can indeed be little objection to such a suggestion – except when one recognises that there are no jobs to be had.
The government were hoping that private enterprise would provide the jobs necessary to replace those lost within the public sector. However, this absurdly optimistic vision has been unceremoniously destroyed by reality and far from creating more jobs, private employers are seeking to reduce their workforce rather than increase it.
When employment is available, it is always in the form of part-time low paid work or, worse still, no pay at all.
David Cameron has no answer to this problem. Short of copying the example set by Adolf Hitler in the 1930s when he decided to build motorways and public buildings in order to employ people, it would seem that Mr. Cameron and his government are bereft of ideas.
Meanwhile, the likes of John Redwood and Philip Davies, both staunch right-wing Tory MPs, seek to come up with new ways to subjugate the poor and needy whilst at the same time making sure that their own bank balance is secure.
Mr. Redwood wants to take us all back to those Thatcherite years of gloom and despondency when the poor suffered whilst the rich prospered; Mr. Davies on the other hand simply wants to put everybody in prison, preferably for ever.
With regard to the increasingly discredited ‘Work Program’ introduced by Iain Duncan Smith as a panacea to the woes of unemployment, it is a miserable failure for many people, although some have found menial part-time employment which pays no more than the minimum wage – and not very often at that.
In his infinite old-Etonian wisdom, Cameron believes that salvation lies in emulating the mistaken policies of the United States of America, yet again. The Prime Minister believes, wrongly, that generally unpaid “internships” are the way forward, for young people especially. Another phrase for “internship” by the way is “unpaid work experience”.
It would therefore seem to TheOpinionSite.org as well as many others that the plan now for young people is to strive to get to university, get a degree of any description possible and then go on not to a job but to unpaid work experience, something they probably already experienced at the age of 16.
The Coalition government appears to believe that the way forward for all of us is not only underpaid work but actually, unpaid work. Cameron wants us all to ‘volunteer’ or to undergo “training”. In fact, he wants us to do anything at all that will enable him to reduce the unemployment figures – even if that means people not having a paid job at the end of it.
Very little of this is of any interest to those who are struggling to bring up their children or to feed their family when the only source of income is access to some of the lowest benefits in Europe.
There is of course one other problem that the government steadfastly refuses to face; that is the problem of the hundreds of thousands of individuals with criminal records. These are people who, although often very highly skilled, will probably never work again as employers refuse increasingly to even grant an interview to anyone who has a criminal record of any description.
As for those who have committed sexual or violent offences, regardless of scale or how long ago, they stand no chance at all, despite the fact that many are highly qualified, skilled or talented.. The only possible exception to that rule is with regard to the construction industry, which doesn’t seem to care who you are, where you come from or what you have done. The criteria for that area of employment is to be able to pick up a shovel and use it.
It has long been predicted throughout history that 2012 is going to be one of those years of disaster as forecast by Nostradamus and others. The real disaster however may not come in the form of a thunderbolt from the sky or from a volcano suddenly appearing in Hyde Park. This forthcoming armegedon is likely to be instead generated by the ignorance and selfishness of politicians who don’t give a damn about anyone other than themselves.
Perhaps there should indeed be riots in the streets or marches on Parliament as there were in the 18th and 19th centuries in Britain. Perhaps the people really should rise up and do something about their lot. Certainly, these are the views of a vocal minority who largely use social networking sites to achieve their objectives but even th middle-class are now beginning to realise that they have been lied to.
For others though, those who still believe in what is now laughingly referred to as the “democratic process”, there is very little that can be done to improve things, especially given that all MPs generally ignore what their constituents say and instead obey the party whips, contrary to the principles of a true democracy.
2012 may be a difficult year for very many people but at least there is the consolation of knowing that it is also going to be a very difficult and possibly even uncomfortable year for the Prime Minister, the government and those selfish, often ignorant politicians who couldn’t care less about the rest of us.