…then I found a job

Well, not really. I have 10.5 hours work this week. Perhaps some next week; perhaps not. My wife is the breadwinner right now, a public servant, and I am grabbing what I can. I do believe this puts me in Gareth Stedman Jones‘ “dangerous classes” of casual labour, which is quite exciting. See you down the docks.

I’m an optimistic sort of chap, and have confidence in a master-plan that I don’t really know about, so I figure there’s no point fretting. But I can’t really help but feel an ire on behalf of everyone in this country who isn’t stinking rich right now: some hilariously disingenuous economic spin gives an impression that we’re all in this together, but it isn’t true: just ask Vodafone, who were last month let off £6bn tax – incidentally, not too dissimilar to the amount slashed from welfare benefits by Gideon George Osborne yesterday.

According to the Guardian then, we’ve got a withdrawal of £50 for those on long-term disability benefits. Screw you if you can’t afford Bupa, peasant. Screw you if you can’t afford to defend your rights against huge corporations – £350m goes from legal aid. Screw you if you happen to live in a poor place where there’s crime but no private contracted security – 20% from the police. Screw you if you can’t afford a roof over your head – “half off social housing!” reads like a special offer – it’s not. Screw you if you’ve had to slave through your life looking forward to retirement because you can’t afford a pension – retirement age goes up. Screw you if you can’t afford a car – rail fares to rise. Screw you if you’d like to be educated but can’t afford it – EMA is dismissed for the poorest students as a “bribe”, FE and HE funding is slashed.

And screw you if you think freezing the science budget when it needs to be swelled, raising the schools budget a touch – but taking the pupil premium from within it – or a paltry £1bn green investment bank is sufficient, because you’re wrong, and if you’re not stinking rich, you’re going to suffer. Pleh.

Recommended reading: Johann Hari in the Indie.

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