Friday, October 18, 2013

Passing thoughts

It was a bleak afternoon. Rain lashed the concrete shelter on the station platform as I set out for a journey to Hull. A woman bearing the unmistakable signs of mental health problems and poor diet, wearing inadequate, cheap clothing, stumbled in and began talking incessantly. She was joined by two men. I wore my privilege silently as the words flooded out about court orders, rent arrears, the bedroom tax, irrational bureaucracy, petty injustices and the general impossibility of life on the margins.

And there were the contradictions. "They want to kick out English people to make way for foreigners". "Aye, they say twenty thousand Romanians are coming soon". We never learnt who "they" are. We never do. Then, "everyone must vote Labour to get rid of the bedroom tax". "Vote Labour whenever you can".

As I listened, intruding into their lives as an eavesdropper and uncomfortable voyeur, I couldn't help but think that the Britain lodged in the minds of the political elite is nothing more than a fiction. Their policies are directed towards a world that doesn't exist. They pontificate about the evils of a dependency culture, which, in reality, is little more than a harassed, undignified scramble for survival. And by living in the land of fantasy, not only are they ineffective, they are cruel.


Jim M. said...

"unmistakable signs of me[n]tal health problems"

Pls delete this.

nice post, btw.

The Plump said...

Well spotted! Thanks.