I’m 32. Born 1984.
Margaret Thatcher was my Prime Minister (Scotland had no parliament). I was only allowed to experience free school milk up until the age of seven, after that my mother was expected to pay. My mother brought me up as a single parent (therefore unemployed and forced to become dependent on state welfare); my biological father was absent and never paid any Child Maintenance. Yes, the man-made cost of living, maintenance of my being had and required a price. I still have no idea what my market value was then or now?
Poverty for myself and my mother was our new future.
Looking back now during the 1980’s, the decisions Thatcher made on every social policy were to affect not only how my mother was to bring me up into this world, but how the devastating consequences were to affect my own future as an adult. My economic future was being planned out alongside my statistical place within it…now I have to transcend it myself, alone. I am now a Carer. History is today repeating itself. I am like a single parent; I am reliving my mother’s own situation whilst I have to see her endure it twice.
My mother was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hepatitis (her immune system is attacking her live); she has ME, fibromyalgia and is clinically depressed. Recently in the last few months she has also had to endure the horrible side-effects of weaning herself off the dangerous prescription drug Tramadol. On and on her suffering continues…no support for myself or her, no knowledge or leaflet as to what to expect, what to do if this or that happens, warning signs, nothing.
I have been caring for my mother now for the last 5 years, during that time I worked full-time, struggling to cope, I went part-time (zero hour contract). And then until recently this year when we suffered a Retaliatory Eviction, once again uprooted on the fringe of destitution, I once again considered claiming Carers Allowance (I applied three times, the first and second I decided to stop claiming because I wanted to be an independent carer). I now claim Carers Allowance to help sustain my existence and my duty to my mother. Where I live now there are no jobs. But we had to move here to keep a roof over our heads, through lack of affordable housing. Now saving to move again, in our attempt to survive, and rebuild an actual future. Historical facts about my mother that you need to know: sexually abused from the age of 5 until she was 10 by her brother (her mother knew about it but did nothing, mental cruelty). In and out of Care, whilst still suffering from the continuous neglect from her mother. Left home at the age of 16 with no qualifications. And then spent the next 20 years fighting for survival, her actual life. In and out of poverty, not ‘just about managing’ rather just about living.
I want you to think about: the stress. Now think about: the toll on her body.
Year after year of having to accept a reality of not just widespread economic injustice but with no one actually looking out for her, no serious voice representing the absurdity of what she had and still is enduring. Consequence doesn’t just happen, nor does it go away it must be healed. She worked full-time, once myself and my brother began to get older and held numerous jobs alongside voluntary work. Yes, she “contributed to society”. She was in fact a Drug & Alcohol Support worker and committed her entire adult life to family homelessness prevention.
Yesterday a woman said to me, “it’s about security” when I mentioned the illusion of buying a house. And I replied “if you want security you’ve got to want it for everybody else”.
I am a witness to the serious consequences of child sexual abuse, and I am a witness to my mother’s life of what she has had to endure and how it has impacted upon her family life. But more importantly, whilst she was going through of all these life changing situations, no real financial or mental health support was offered. Often today we speak about survival as though it is down to the individual, yet we cannot ignore and carry on ignoring the fact, that my mother like so many of us are affected not only by Government decisions (today’s Westminster-rule) in which we often don’t have a say in at all, but by Capitalists who have huge a monopoly within our economy. Another external factor (out of her control) in which my mother has had to deal with alone. Another human atrocity.
Definitely living in the Modern world.
And apart from my mother having to transcend her own situation within the endless confines of the corrupted political elite of Westminster, it has now become my duty to transcend over 40 years of Government policy that had and still has only one aim : profiting. How to fit a life time of injustice within a few pages for this blog? The more I write, the more I can’t stop in this moment.
Mothers Alone published 1969. Began reading it and then realised the book was 48 years old. Two years younger than my mother and still such a political situation exists for mothers today all over Britain. Father’s or rather so-called fathers just still keep getting away it.
Billions and billions of unpaid child maintenance. “Get a lawyer” a friend of my said, listen I said “no one can afford a lawyer today that’s the whole madness of it all”. CBI would transcend this situation for single mothers or fathers for good, lifting the social stigma of lone parent, allowing them the freedom in which to support themselves and their children’s future of creating something else without the constant worry of just survival. Let’s look at the facts we already have, rethink, wasn’t such a reality something we had already overcome in the Neolithic period?
Oh well…not to worry.
Today I searched online for the actual meaning of Modernity:
‘the quality or condition of being modern’ (Oxford dictionary).
We often think of today’s caring role as a physical task only. Let me tell you now its a lot more than that. You have to support your family member mentally too, for they are going through a psychological conflict of having to be dependent on others (for the first time) her son, the state and the ‘public purse’. We also have the self-awareness campaign of ‘caring for carers’ which we should not forget (I acknowledge the Scottish Government is taking responsibility) is a reminder of political decisions both past and present that have affected and resulted in my mother’s situation, Austerity being the continuous and prime example today. NHS waiting lists, etc. etc. etc. etc. Waiting to get better….waste, too much waste, wasting life. At present Scotland is projected to spend £13.2 Billion on the NHS in 2018, CBI would reduce this figure.
We have to start thinking long-term not short.
Because the majority of health conditions today are the direct result of economic inequality, the evidence for this today is everywhere. I have zero savings. So far my mother has worked for the last 20 years and myself the last 14 years….will I ever be in a position to save?
Possible future projected in 20 years: my mother will be 70 years old, and myself 52. Will I still be caring by then? Or rather will I have to return to such a role? Yes I will, and what will my financial situation look like then?
Whilst caring I’m also subject to a lot of social prejudice remarks. People look at me with resentment and contempt, “why is he not in work, he’s young?” And this makes it worse when we consider our economic situation today (since the financial crisis of 2008) which as we all know has been blamed on the poor and the disabled. The right-wing media has made it fundamentally clear to everyone, that anyone on benefits is a waste of space, fraudulent and slowing down economic Progress. It is disgusting and sad that we are in this situation.
CBI would allow me to be socially free from such social prejudice and discrimination. Inequality to equality. And more powerful from a human ethical perspective for example, if I was on CBI now I would have the ultimate freedom in which to choose to care for my mother without depending on the state, because everyone would be claiming CBI. Yes I would be one a low income, but that would be my choice (through my own free will). Therefore no one could judge me for being out of work. If I needed or wanted to work for whatever reason, I wouldn’t have to worry about earning too much, or going over the present limit (claiming Carers Allowance you can only earn a maximum of £116 per week).
CBI would give me much more flexibility in my life (as life keeps on becoming more complex), and be actually independent, allowing me to make stronger decisions for myself now and in the future.
Also within today’s economic inequality I dislike the socio-economic distinction that has been made between paid or unpaid Carer; the truth is that we would all like to be in position to care for our loved ones for free. CBI would change this; it would also free my mother from feeling such a burden, a life without meaning…a chance for her to rebuild her life slowly without the economic pressure of “you should be working now” now, now. Conservatives will fear this and try to challenge this with all their might, for the widespread equality it would bring would make them feel sick with hatred for such a reality to exist. People flourishing, less divided more together. A genuinely healthy economy with healthier people.
Government deficit reducing rapidly, rapidly.
Today I’ve read numerous media reports regarding the fear mongering of how much it would cost. But the fact of this political issue is this: if we don’t start doing something now about the serious economic inequality today we will all experience the cost of living and it will rise to appoint where no one can afford to live. NHS Budget will increase disastrously as more and more people find that the stress of trying to survive cannot compete with Automation. Death will become our only comfort.
What the Conservatives won’t tell you (see below) 2017 The Equality Trust.
Last year the wealth of the richest 1,000 people increased by £82.476 billion, or:
- 14.3 per cent, or
- £2,615 per second, or
- £226 million per day.
The wealth of the 100 richest people in Britain is now £380.336 billion, an increase of
£57.446 billion in the last year. This is an increase of:
- 17.8 per cent, or
- £1,822 per second, or
- £157 million per day.
The richest 10 people saw their wealth increase by £19.832 billion to a total of £121.682 billion.
Economic inequality doesn’t happen over a period of time, it is happening now every second.
Let’s PUSH for CBI now.