OK, the thing is, right, I agree wiv Tony Smiff. 

If the workers aren’t going to get a fair cut of the profits reflected in their wages so they can take full responsibility for their needs themselves, then companies should be made to pay by the government.  That is just normal human common sense.  A common sense of what is right.

This is my answer to Jeremy Paxman’s question about how do you determine what is morally right when they are already obeying the law, and Tony kept saying it, that the law needs to be changed.

The law is not written in stone.  It evolves.  It evolves either by force or by common consent.  Common consent is better (we all know what is morally acceptable in this kind of situation), but if interested parties and rulers won’t give easily, pressure has to be put on them to make them give.  That is my understanding of how every change in the law has come about.  When the law is seen as not reflecting a widely accepted sense of morality, and when people suffer as a result, eventually that law must be changed.  Come on, Jerry, me old mate, you know that, what are you trying to do?  I think he was just being mischievously provocative, and great respect to Tony Smith for holding his ground in the terms he was able to do so.

I felt a real sense of exhileration when I saw the protests.  I thought they had good energy and also a very powerful cross section of society represented.  I thought I would love to be there and be involved, then I excused myself on the grounds that it might be used to put me back in hospital, then I thought excusing myself was cowardly and I should be there.  Good for these people, more power to them.  Power to their cause, at the very least.  Hopefully they won’t need to protest in this way for too long before our leaders see sense.  But I thought that what was shown on film was absolutely great.

Hey, what happened to our new freedom to protest peacefully?  That woman they dragged out, the one who said it was disgraceful, did she actually do anything wrong?  I don’t mind our leaders holding on to power, but they need to remember they are exercising that power for us, all of us, not just the people who head up the producing and finance machine.  Bugger this, I’m going to argue like a woman because I am a woman, and you can call it emotional blackmail if you like, but how are things fair when the law allows such inequality that at one end people live the jetset lifestyle from the profits they make out of people who work for them and buy from them, one of whom, a few weeks ago, lost her daughter to swine flu because her age and health category were not catered for by the government to be vaccinated against it?

I fear this Baran guy represents a group which will ignore any conscience it has as long as it is allowed to.

Here is something I didn’t act on at the time, and perhaps that is now to my shame and makes my argument and stance a little less persuasive, but I can still remember how it felt emotionally at the time.

I have never been so well off financially as I have been over the last 14 years, since I started getting Income Support plus an additional allowance built in for severe disability, Disability Living Allowance and Housing Benefit for a flat which cost me about £350 per month, plus a Freedom Pass for travel on London Transport and many local bus networks nationally.  I sat down a few years ago, when I wanted to work out my tithe, when I tithed to the Church, and worked out that the whole package was worth about £13,000.  As I said, I have never been financially so well off.  It is probably worth a little less now as my Freedom Pass has lapsed and I pay for my own travel expenses.  I always felt guilty about having it anyway, as I did about all my benefits.  Funny how they can slap a label on you and refuse to take it off which means you qualify for benefits, then make you feel like a shirker with some fancy footwork.  This label and the power everyone is society can and does wield with it is one of the most distressing things in my life.

But one year early on, on and around budget day when they were talking about the plight of pensioners and insulting increases to their pensions, I wanted to approach the government (to which I remain thankful for this financial provision) and tell them that I didn’t need everything I was getting myself to live on and that, in view of the plight of pensioners at the time, I wanted to be able to give something back to the government for it to be given to the pensioners.  I wanted to find out if there was a mechanism for those kinds of voluntary donations to be used for those not so well-provided for.  I still don’t know if such a mechanism exists, and if it does I missed the opportunity to use it.

But my point is, that was me, on £13,000 a year, believing I was stuck for the rest of my life in rented accommodation in a basement flat that I wanted to make work because I and everyone around me had a right that it whould work, and I looked at someone less well off than me and wanted to give back a portion of my own benefits to help them.  But these people who cream off millions and billions don’t even acknowledge they have that in their hearts and argue for the ‘right’ to maintain the legality of the present financial status quo.

I am sure that people make charitiable donations, but that can’t be the security of the people who need that charity.  It has to be formal and legalised, something they are entitled to, not just something they should be grateful for.  I don’t understand economics or, at least, I have never been taught.  Would doing something like that lead to eventual fiancial ruin and insecurity for everyone? Or just redress the balance in a way which is obviously needed and, to the uninitiated into the mysteries of economics, like myself, looks like such an easy and obvious thing to do?

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