Saturday: The country is being squeezed by financial cuts. Child poverty is rising sharply. The rate of unemployment is high. The cost of living is escalating while salaries are dropping. Yet, last Saturday, a six-figure sum (I could not find the exact figure) was spent on the official New Year’s Eve fireworks, in London alone. The expression “money going up in smoke” comes to mind.
Sunday: London Transport fares have risen by approximately 7% with the start of the year. I understand that the Government considers this a fairer option than funding the increase with Taxpayer money. What I do not understand, is – don’t commuters pay taxes? Aren’t they taxpayers?
Monday: Some blame our current economic mess on people borrowing money from the banks, which they are unable to repay. I popped into my local bank branch just to ask them to print me out a statement, since the machine was out of order. Totally, unsolicited, the personal banker informed me that I qualified for a loan... I held up my hand, gave her a dirty look and said, “Don’t even finish that sentence.”
Tuesday: We are told that it is wicked to waste food, and that the planet’s resources are depleted. On London markets, they sell large bowls of fruit and vegetables for a mere £1. Try saying that it’s far too much food for you, and ask if you can buy less. The seller will inflict the whole lot of you. Inevitably, you end up throwing much of it in the bin but you have been practically forced to waste food. In my limited understanding of Economy, prices rise when an item is in short supply. Since there appears to be such a surplus of bananas, apples, ginger, potatoes, etc. that they are sold for next to nothing, why are there people starving in so many parts of the world? Why aren’t the planet’s resources distributed more efficiently?
Wednesday: I met a lady in the park. We got chatting about garden wildlife. “I got rid of all the magpies,” she said. “Nasty birds. They eat the young of other birds.”
That is, indeed, harrowing cruelty. Humans would never eat the young of other species. Never would they serve up lamb, veal, suckling pig, or split cut the entrails of a pregnant fish to eat thousands of unborn fish (that’s caviar, to you and me).
Thursday: Adopting children in the UK is a gruelling, tortuous process. All too often people over the age of forty are deemed too old to adopt. Yet doctors liberally provide fertility treatment and IVF to women in their fifties and even sixties.
Friday: A lady saw me feeding crows in the park. “Horrible birds,” she shuddered in disgust. “They eat carrion.”
I was tempted to ask her how many weeks or even months she kept meat in her freezer before eating it – but engaging with stupidity seemed a foolish exercise.
The great Ivan Andreyevich Krylov, known as Russia’s La Fontaine, has a fable about a monkey who catches sight of her reflection in a mirror. She nudges the bear. “Look, my dear friend, at that muzzle! Look – what grimaces and contortions! I would die if I looked like that even a little!”
The bear suggests the monkey take a look at herself; but his counsel falls on deaf ears.
© Scribe Doll