Monday, 26 November 2007

Expensive Britain

Does anyone get the feeling that our country is going downhill lately? And I mean more than usual! The recent cock-ups from our government and the alarming upsurge in petrol and diesel prices is plain to see and ring alarm bells for all us ordinary folk. Prices seem to go up every day. Today, round our way, petrol is now well and truly settled itself above the £1 a litre mark, and looks set to stay. Diesel a whopping £1.06 a litre. When will it end? When people can't afford to go to work, that's when. The hardest hit are those who travel 20 plus miles to work everyday, and at this rate they won't be able to sustain this expense. Train travel will become equally expensive as diesel costs are taking care of that. If people can't afford to go to work because petrol is too expensive, that's a sorry state of affairs. So, I am sure that the bubble will burst before the economy disappears down the pan, and normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. But you can't get away from the thought that someone or some company always manages to cream off the hard earned labour of the working man and woman. We get conned every way we turn! There are so many stealth taxes in Britain today I'm surprised this government hasn't placed one on the air that we breathe. Or have they? I may have let that one slide by from my radar. Hang on, they have you know! It's entwined in the taxes we pay depending on where we live, noticably the council tax. The air in Rhos-on-sea is more expensive than the air that is breathed in, say, Colwyn Bay, because it's cheaper to live in Rhos. So, it's an ultra stealth tax, which is hidden away and written in the small print on the contract of everyday living.
I despair when I turn on the telly or the radio today. I think James Whale of TALKsport radio is right when he says that the wrong people are in charge of the most important positions in the government. He is well worth listening to at 10 every evening, and he is getting more angrier by the night. I'm sorry to say but (I can't believe I'm even thought about it) I can't see Labour getting in again at the next General Election. That means Tory rule again, and I have bad memories of the dark days under Margaret Thatcher, where it was difficult finding a job. Times have changed but Tory values never have, so they will be taking care of their own as usual. When Labour got in, back in 1997, I felt a genuine relief that Tory rule was finally over, and Tony rule was here, I even wrote a letter (which I didn't send) to Tony Blair thanking him for delivering us from the hated and corrupt Tories. Well, since then I have learned many valuable lessons in life, and one of them is never trust a politician as they are essentially corrupt to the core and only after self fulfillment. It is such a let down to realise that this is indeed true. New Labour? More like an offshoot of Toryism! I suppose a degree in social history has helped me to see the wood from the trees (or something like that!) and I have developed a keen sense of cynicism on such matters as politics and economy. Also a keen sense for justice, which I don't see a lot of in today's Britain. Of course, it must happen in other countries, and quite possibly situations are worse than in Britain, but we do not hear all of what goes on from our heavily biased and restrictive news channels (BBC a prime culprit). Just this morning I heard (on TALKsport of course) that an innocent Austrian holidaymaker playing golf and minding his own business, was shot dead for no reason in South Africa. And this is where the next football World Cup is going to be staged in 2010. Would you feel safe there supporting your country in the tournament? Count me out, if Wales make it (!) I'll be cheering them on from the comfort of my living room, or, depending on what happens to Britain in the next 4 years, in front of a Radio Rentals TV shop!
However, I firmly believe that greed is the root of all our problems (wasn't that the mantra of the 80's - greed is good?) we all want everything now. I, unfortunately, am no exception, as I have been busy lately buying stuff from Ebay, purely to satisfy my desire to obtain wonderful new gadgets that I have been deprived of for so many years. I have come to the conclusion that we must live for today, as tomorrow may never come. So, I have gone on a spending spree to satisfy my lust for new technology and bought a digital SLR camera, a new Nikon coolpix compact camera, another mobile phone and a leather coat from the States. Now you might think that I have gone completely mad and have developed some sort of an OCD thing. Well, I have legitimised this apparent rash behaviour by putting up a few items of my own for sale, to lessen the blow so to speak. In fact I have 5 items for sale now and more to come. I will blow my own trumpet (doesn't happen a lot) and say that I am a pretty shrewd operator on Ebay, and have an eye for a bargain. Those items I mentioned were bought at prices I am very proud of, and they are items that I will use for the various projects that I intend to undertake in the near future. A digital SLR was essential for me as I want to seriously take up photography again, and 35 mm film just doesn't cut it any more. So, expect a few decent photos to come up here and on my poor neglected website. I have also signed up with flickr to house my photos. The trouble is, however, is that you intend to go on ebay to look for christmas presents for others, but it always turns out that you see something good for yourself! I intended to see if I could get a decent compact camera for my father in law, and ended up buying one for myself.
So, that's it for now. All I have to say is this:
"Don't let the bastards grind you down!"

1 comment:

58Downunder said...

G'day Gwyn,
I could not agree more with you. Its not just the UK, Im sure thats its occuring across the globe, not that I have any first hand knowledge of this.
I can say that its very similar in Australia, petrol has increased to $1.38c (about 65pence) in some parts even higher. There is no chance of them falling well below the dollar. I recall when I first arrived in Aug 2003, it was a mere 70cents a litre (about 30 pence back then). Most of what we pay now is tax, and Goverments will not hold any inquiry into it, as it generates money.
We just also have had a new Goverment elected........bloody labour, democracy in action. Never been a believer in socialism, ever since reading Animal Farm by George Orwell at school, it does not work. Historically in Australia, when ever we have a labour Goverment, they manage to stuff it all up. And there is a likelyhood, that 70% of the cabinet will be some ex-union member or boss, which is not good at all.
I read about the Labour Gov in the UK, and its about time that they were gone, they have caused a lot of damage, and have eroded much of the fabric that made Britain Great. They also have managed to make feel people feel guilty in being proud of being British, because it upsets the minority. I could go on and on on this subject. But will leave it there for now.
take care old friend.