Slavery never went away - it's time we stopped it.

I'm 56 years old at the moment.  When I look back to my childhood, I remember things like my grandad working for British Steel.  I remember people walking into jobs off the street.  I remember that we had so many industries - Farming, aviation, coal, steel, lumber, hoisiery, lace, clothing, cars, buses, coaches, trams, trains, bicycles, shipyards...and so many more.

We were making things in this country from scratch.  Then came the Thatcher years.  I've often pondered why the establishment would want to completely wipe out our industrial base and make us dependent on other nations for the things that we used to make here.

Perhaps morality has something to do with it, or a lack of.  Many companies have closed down operations in this country and moved their businesses and operations to 3rd world countries.  They can make the same things, perhaps with a lesser quality resource (eg steel from China) or have other items made by child labourers and others for a fraction of the cost that it would cost to manufacture the same products in the UK.

Why has this happened?  Why does it cost more to manufacture goods in the UK?  Perhaps it has more to do with workers rights and the initiatives like the minimum wage.  Before regulation, employers could get away with treating workers appalingly ... and many did.  Workers had to fight for better working conditions; for protection against unfair dismissal; for protection against sexism in the workplace; for protection against disability discrimination; for protection against gender discrimination.  The Unions don't fight for workers, the Union reps do.  If you've got a good rep - you're lucky.  Union reps aren't always properly supported by their regional offices.  Once they were very effective and they succeeded; they're a shadow of what they once were in some areas.

So the wealthy circumvented the UK work force and minimum wage issues by taking advantage of 3rd world labour.  Wealth seems to be a highly addictive condition to some ... the more they have, the more they want.  We saw rises in unemployment, we saw engineered rises in inflation and we saw the banks taking away homes from those that dared to own them.

Then came the insurance companies,  You can insure yourself for just about anything now ... but you won't always be able to claim on it because the fine print has probably already nullified your claim in some way.  Some insurance schemes seem to be little more than a back door tax, offering nothing in return.

Unemployment figures were massaged by the Conservatives in the 1990s following the creation of the Employment Training scheme.  People could now work full time for an employer for an extra £10 top up on their regular unemployment benefits/Income Support ... and many of us did.  Yet even though we didn't have a fully paid job after the training period was over, for the purposes of government statistics, we were counted as 'employed'.  The training schemes keep changing names but the same priciples are used in current day training programmes by all governments, irrespective of their political leanings.

Our economy has been doing relatively well but our population isn't.  Why the disparity?  What are the issues?

Greed.  The establishment is a greedy entity made up of people educated in a particular way that, on the whole, take advantage of the 'public purse' any chance they get.  In their minds we are still slaves, fit for nothing but to do the masters' bidding.

The working classes need to wake up.  We out-number the establishment.  We can hurt their wealth by refusing to spend our money with their brands.

Remember that without our taxes, spending power and our labour - they would not be rich.  We need to take back the power and build a more equal society...and there is no way we should be giving corporations money because they have fallen on hard times when we have a population to look after.  It's about time the wealthy looked to their own coffers for bailouts ... or lived within their means as the rest of us are expected to.

Villayat 'Wolf' Sunkmanitu

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