Can we give up The Tories for Lent? For Ever?

It’s Pancake Day today! Hooray! A day of universal joy, for who doesn’t smile at the prospect of pancakes. Except I just saw a news story declaring pancake batter is menace for plumbing as it hardens in the pipes and blocks drains. The headline read “Recipe for Disaster.”

Can we not have one nice thing?

Pancake day, Carnival, today is a day of indulgence before Lent, the Catholic season of sacrifice. As a child, I would give up sweets. (Not Catholic anymore, not a kid anymore, not giving up anything.) It was meant to be a test of … Faith, I guess? I’m fuzzy on the details as I didn’t pay much attention in Sunday School. I generally took as a test of willpower and I generally failed.

It feels like we are all going into a government enforced Lent, although it will probably last more than 40 days and will end, not with Easter, but with a General Election. There is no end to what the Tories will force the public to sacrifice.

It’s all down to the Tory-made cost-of-everything crisis. They’ve spent 12 years digging a hole, which they are now filling with poor people on whose backs they will climb out. They will then fill in the hole behind them, burying the 90% of the population in debt.

Let’s look at what the Tories expect us to sacrifice.

Gas, electricity, energy. The cap on prices for domestic consumers goes up again in April. The government could stop it, but they won’t. They could continue the energy vouchers to help low income households, but they won’t. They are imposing a windfall tax on the energy companies (you know, the ones that posted profits of over 200% this year). The chance of that money actually going to fund public services, in my opinion, Nil. The Tory logic is that it’s spring, so people won’t need as much energy. Yes, our Conservative government has an energy policy based on the British weather.

The Tories are happy to leave people struggling with the Heat or Eat dilemma. That choice is complicated by the supply crisis and rising prices. There’s been an egg shortage for weeks, with some shops limiting how many you could purchase. This weekend just past saw many supermarkets with empty shelves, no fresh fruit or veg in sight. And what is available is going for a premium. Heat or eat ceases to be a question when you can’t afford either.

The shortage of fresh vegetables is especially troubling. It is vital that we all maintain good health these days, as the Tories are determined to destroy the NHS. The trust is underfunded, understaffed and the staff are severely underpaid. The working conditions are brutal; overtime, shift-work, unsociable hours, unreasonable expectations from patients, administrators and the general public, criminally low pay; all the while making life and death decisions on the regular. Most of these things come with the job. One can be fixed and that’s the wages. Nurses have seen a 20% pay cut in real terms over the last 12 years, so they’ve gone on strike. The government REFUSES to negotiate.

Because that’s the plan; make the working conditions in the NHS so untenable that everybody leaves. Nurses know they can make more money working for an agency. The NHS then has to pay the agencies to get staff, costing them more money. Eventually, the service simply collapses. At which point the Tories will say “See? We told you the NHS was a failure.”

Same thing applies to Teachers, who are also on strike. Government interference is prolonging the rail strikes. MP’s kids are privately educated. MPs can expense the petrol for their cars and don’t need public transport. The strikes are not affecting them. And somehow, the government can afford a pay rise for MPs, no problem.

So the Tories are forcing us to give up heat, electricity, food, healthcare, education and public transport until the next election, which they are in no hurry to call. Meanwhile, the masses are getting restless. Romans placated the mob with Bread and Circuses. We have Netflix and Deliveroo, except we can’t afford them anymore.

So, bugger the plumbing, I’m having some pancakes today. It’s going to be a long season of sacrifice. What we really need to give up is the Tories.

If you enjoyed this blog, you can buy a compilation of my previous works. So That Happened by Sheila Power is available from Amazon around the world in digital and Paperback format. Two years of watching the decline in society. ENJOY!

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