I’m grateful to Chrissie Redford for her feature in last week’s Free Press (‘Could You Live Like This?’) and I’m pleased the police are taking action.
First, the conditions she reports on are a sad indictment of corrupt capitalist exploitation that affects local people and is not just confined to vulnerable Eastern European job seekers in this land.
This is the 21st century reality that our lazy, out-of touch, complacent politicians prefer to ignore, even though it will induce a sense of shame in most readers.
These reported conditions would have surely shocked author Charles Dickens who chronicled similar conditions among the working poor in the 19th century.
Instead, on the opposite page to the referred article we have the MP John Hayes’ column which I read with a sense on incredulity.
This week he is assuring readers that recovery is on the way (by the way, if our MP is so hard-working on our behalf, why, apparently, has he the spare time to work as a journalist?)
He proudly proclaims this week government is ‘leading the way on the road to recovery’. John Hayes, no doubt, wants a pat on the back (and your vote) for a situation that in reality has 1.3 million jobs on zero-hour contracts; in which wages can hardly keep pace with price increases even with unemployment coming down. About 80 per cent of the new jobs he boasts about have been for the self-employed, leaving me with the suspicion that this is another ruse to temporarily recycle the jobless figures.
The taxpayer is massively subsidising low pay and high rents through the benefits system because, ‘there are now more people in poverty who are working than are jobless’ (see business leader Observer 18/05/14).
Also, in my view, cheap labour hampers productivity and means low business investment is the norm: after all; why invest while workforce labour is so cheap to hire? Business bosses and greedy landlords are laughing all the way to the bank.
Last week’s Free Press was an extraordinary read; on one page it featured political comments about the economy being right on track by our representative, while on the other it featured the reality of what is fundamentally wrong in the local economy and needs to be challenged and addressed by our representative...perhaps he’ll draw the same conclusions.