The Tories are a rose garden: full of Pricks.

Phrases we need to eliminate from modern conversation: It can’t get any worse, or How much worse could it get. These are Jinx phrases and, thanks to deforestation, there is not enough wood left in the world to touch to ward off the bad luck they will bring. There is no bottom to how much worse things can get.

I refer, of course, to the Cost of Living crisis. That blanket of thorns that keeps finding new places to prick us. The pandemic, which no one saw coming (except for historians, epidemiologists, virologists, disaster experts, much of the medical community) upended the world economy. The UK government implemented the Furlough scheme to support workers, various grants and loans to keep businesses afloat, funded vaccine research and had an aggressive and largely successful vaccine rollout. It was all very expensive. We all knew we would pay later. We all knew there were tough times ahead.

We didn’t expect the government to actively make things worse.

Granted, the decade prior to the pandemic had taught us not to expect much of the Tories. First, the Brexit Referendum, which the government led remain campaign failed. Then the Brexit negotiations, the endless Brexit negotiations, which showed Minister after Minister not doing their homework. Then Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.

Protecting the country from Covid 19 required forward planning, hard decision making and strong leadership. Too bad BoJo is a Libertarian, who thinks people should decide for themselves. Who wants to be seen as the second coming of Winston Churchill, but who is more like Churchill the nodding dog from the insurance commercials, as he just nods in agreement with speaks to him last or shouts at him the loudest. And his Ministers follow his example.

The Tory Government version of dealing with the Cost of Living Crisis is to offer helpful suggestions. These ‘suggestions’ show us how truly out of touch these rich, entitled, upper class, upper middle-aged, old boys network Lords and Ladies are.

BoJo suggested to a pensioner that if she’s cold, she can put on a sweater. when the Old Lady told him she rides the bus all day, just to stay warm, he took credit for making bus travel free for pensioners when he was London Mayor. He has Ninja like skills when it comes to avoiding the point.

Environment Minister George Eustace suggested people choose low cost value foods over name brands. At a time when the number of specific ‘value’ brands are decreasing. Foods that used to be cheap aren’t anymore. A 1 kilo bag of pasta used to be £1. Now you can’t find that product, and a 500g pack is 75p, up from 55p just a few months ago. It’s called shrinkage. And some areas don’t have a large superstore, only smaller ‘Local’ or ‘Express’ food stores, which only offer mid range to expensive products. If you have kids and no car, the trek to the nearest superstore can be daunting.

And what if you’re already on buying the cheapest food you can? Many families have seen there standard of living fall in recent years, due to rising costs and wage stagnation. Some people are already on only one or two meals per day; parents missing meals so there kids can eat. How do you explain that to an MP who has clearly never missed a meal in his life.

And then there’s the Minister for Safeguarding, Rachel MacLean. I don’t know if her statement is the most egregious, or just the most recent. She advised people to ‘work more hours or move to a higher paying job to cope with the rising costs.’ In an era where employers have fewer obligations to their staff (thanks to the Tories), hours are being cut to save on wages. Working more hours means getting another job and having to juggle the two. And if you’re supporting a family, this means paying for more childcare, so more hours may actually cost you money. And as for ‘Moving to a higher paid job’; my only response can be sarcasm; Oh wow, thank you, I never thought of that. Can you direct me to one?

I did not know what the ‘Minister for Safeguarding’ was, so I looked it up. She is responsible for issues involving modern slavery, domestic abuse and violence against women and girls. What is her advice to woman beaten by her husband? “You might consider leaving him.” What about the issue of Forced Marriage? “When the minister asks, say I don’t.” These people are so far out of touch, it’s infuriating.

The government is worsening the crisis by not doing anything. They are also worsening the crisis by what they are doing. Here’s how they think they are helping people:

  1. Relaxing MOT test rules, saving the car owner £55 per year. Except that means a lot of unsafe cars on the road, increasing the hazards of driving, all for an amount that won’t make that much difference. Of course, every little helps, so why doesn’t the government pay for the MOTs, so we get safe cars and save money.
  2. Easing Childcare regulations. That means increasing the number of kids one adult can be responsible for. The government says that this will allow daycares to offer more places and reduce prices. In reality, Daycares will save money by reducing staff. At best, they will take in more kids without lowering prices. How does this help people?
  3. Encouraging the use of Discounted broadband offers. Again, they assume people aren’t already doing that. They are not compelling the broadband companies to lower their rates and they are not offering to subsidise broadband for low income households.
  4. Helping farmers with fertiliser costs. Again, this only helps a small segment of the populace. However, at least it would put all the Bullshit they’re peddling to good use.

There is one thing the Government could do; one resource they refuse to tap. A windfall tax on the energy companies, who have recorded record profits in recent years, would generate £2 Billion pounds for the government. A wealth tax on the millionaires and billionaires would generate £43 billion per year. even these amounts wouldn’t solve the cost of living crisis, but they would be better than cutting the benefits of the poorest families by £20 per week. Does BoJo believe that because there are more poor people, he can get more money from them?

I think our current situation has proven one thing: Money and ‘Breeding’ does not equate to intelligence, astuteness, rationality or common sense. All money does is insulate you from the consequences of your own stupidity.

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