I am dismayed by the ease with which politicians and journalists have adopted the bland, off-the-peg label of “cost of living crisis” to describe the situation that is engulfing us. We see workers and those in receipt of social protection payments becoming insolvent because their income won’t pay for basic necessities. Meanwhile, rising prices are being driven, to a large extent and pervasively, by increases in the cost of fossil fuels and everything that derives from them. The fossil fuel industry is the very thing that rational governments would be trying urgently to taper, in the light of unequivocal evidence of climate and environmental breakdown. So people choose between eating and heating, while fossil fuel company directors and shareholders reap the rewards of an industry that, in the UN secretary general’s words, is “killing us”. This is not a cost of living crisis, it is a breakdown of the market economy.
Dr Lindy Sharpe
I was moved to tears by Jenny Lumley’s letter (10 May). Poor Mary, in her old age, incapacitated by health problems, struggling on her own but fortunately helped by Jenny, herself of limited mobility.
Where is the help that should be available to allow Mary to lead a comfortable and more mobile life? Where are the social services, the much-needed care package? Will they ever appear? Sadly the answer to the last question is probably either not until too late or never. Certainly not until we can overturn this Tory government. But how are we going to do that? And what will we replace them with?
We have lost the traditional working-class MP who left school at 15 or 16, went straight into a job, worked in local politics and was eventually elected to parliament, bringing with them a clear understanding of the problems faced by those struggling with everyday life. Yes, there are still a few of those, but simply not the numbers to attract back the “red wall” voters.
Sadly, we are a divided society. I accept that we always have been, but I thought we had moved on from the divisions of the past to become a fairer, more inclusive society. I’m wrong – we haven’t, and I am full of foreboding for the future of so many in this country.