Something I love about facebook is the way that it can spark a train of thoughts which ends up as a blog on this site! But a post from one of my friend's today had me almost speechless [odd I know!] and wondering if I have somehow 'shifted' into some kind of parallel, satiric world.
The link which this friend posted was to Wings Over Scotland
which is a 'Scottish political website, which focuses particularly on the media – whether mainstream print and broadcast organisations or the online and social-network community – as well as offering its own commentary and analysis' [to quote from their 'about us'] and the post upon which I am concentrating is from July 31st and entitled The Pride of Britain. Do please read it.
The premise of the article - which shows photos of various MPs [across parties] - opening food banks up and down Britain - is how can representatives of the people look so happy to be opening what is surely symbolic of something which shows the shame of Britain. The idea that food banks are necessary in the 21st century because welfare benefits and wages are insufficient for many to be able to feed themselves and their families surely must fill any caring citizen with concern? The idea - boasted about in parliament last week - the job centres refer claimants to food banks - is, to me, toxic. Patrick Butler wrote an excellent blog about the the DWP shenigans via the job centres in the Guardian earlier this month. Please read this too.
I have 'lifted' the photograph above from the Wings over Scotland article. In their words it shows
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander MP, opening a foodbank with a cretinous smile on his face as if being a member of the government of a modern industrial nation in need of foodbanks was something to be happy aboutIn the 60s satirical TV programmes arrived on our TV screen and were welcomed by my generation and shocked the older generations. We laughed at the scenarios posed by That Was The Week That Was, The Frost Report, Rowan and Martyn's Laugh-In, At Last The 1948 Show and more. Nothing approached this true life stupidity.
I have posited before that we are returning to the 19thC ideals of the 'Deserving Poor'. [BTW that link refers to the Disraeli novel Sybil, subtitled Two Nation another prase often heard. Read it and weep]
Well, I seem to have given you all a lot of reading homework. I must have temporarily forgotten that I am retired and no longer lecturing. But if we don't learn the lessons of the past and additionally remain aware of what is going on in our present, we will have severe problems in the future.