Victoria B on 24 October 2020

My daughter, seven, saw the news today about the Tories voting against kids getting free meals over the holidays. She started crying, I hugged her and asked her why and she said "do they want children to die? Mummy why do bad men boss the country?" That was a long and tricky conversation for sure. First to explain how people get elected, why they make the rules they make, etc. It extra hard to keep my biases out of the conversation until they were asked for. I then showed her news articles and posts on Facebook about people and businesses helping children, which cheered her up. I also assured her that she'd not go hungry, cos we home school anyway so they don't get school meals. She said "I know that, I'm not sad for me, I know you won't let me starve. But it's sad that other children will. Maybe we could share some of our food with them?" So we spent a little time reorganising our budget to make space to donate some money to those helping feed kids during half term and she went back to watch kitten videos lol. So proud of my daughter and it also gives me hope at how socially aware younger generations are these days. I hope when my kids and (potential) grandkids grow up and look at the elderly generations they can say "you had it rough but thanks for trying" rather than how younger generations these days currently look at the older generations (the baby boomers and their elk) and say "you screwed us over". But it was also sad that kids need to be more politically minded these days, they're taking on adult burdens (mental worries around the economy, their futures, climate, etc) at such young ages that I worry what it does for their emotional and psychological development. It should be us adults, the adults with political power and sway, who take on this burden instead of leaving it for our kids to one day clean up for us. I was talking to a lady on Facebook today also, she was sharing posts about food collections and some "Tories are beeps" memes that garnered many, many likes. One thing she said, on a post about local food collection sites, was "the people of this country won't let our kids down". I commented, saying that I wonder if the tories planned this, they say no to the free meals, the people cry out, then businesses and people fork out of their own pockets to feed kids this saving the gov a little money. The lady turned around and said 'it's planned, Tories don't care. They have been systematically cutting benefits and spending to low income and "unvalued/unproductive" members of society for years. It's modern day planned eugenics, they want as many poor, old and undereducated people to die as possible while they have the excuse of a pandemic to cover their tracks." It was a bold and frightening statement to wrap my head around, but combined with my daughters cry of "do they want children to starve?" it does merit some contemplation. Is the gov, or the people in power, trying to use the pandemic and media fear mongering to help them cull some of the undesirable population while also using fear tactics to re-establish a narrative of control, worried that the axis of power is sliding too far towards the people? I don't know the answer for sure, I don't want to think our government is truly so abhorrent as that (I'd rather think them ignorant, arrogant twats who have no concept of the realities of day to day poverty, food insecurity and the hopelessness that benefit reliance instils) but since the pandemic, all the U-turns and mixed messaging and financial punishments that only the poor have to pay and political demonstrations, it's easy to see why people, especially people scared and hurt by current legislation and practices, to see this as a planned attack against us. It all comes down to power and control. Money, in modern societies, is a big part of that. Those who have money can access power and have control. Those who don't have money have to make do with what little controls they can get. The less money we have, the less control or power we have. I was looking into how to be a MP and just to get started, to become a candidate, get people to vote for you, etc. It costs thousands. The poorer members of society are literally unable to be a voice for themselves and their peers within Parliament, we have to rely on those higher up the food chain than us to put the systems in place that control our lives. Sure we get the odd vote for your leader but that means nothing in the grand scheme because the power dynamic isn't just. It's better than nothing, true, but it's not a true democracy. More like a dictatorship in a fancy robe. Looks like freedom, but only to those who can afford it. I'm angry at how people like us, low income families, are treated. I can see why others are too. It's not fair to anyone. And it feels like our voices aren't heard by those who have a power we don't. I know I'm bias, as a scared and hopeless benefit reliant single mother. I do recognise that it's impossible for politicians to please every body at once, they'll always be hated by one or more parts of a society, especially one as culturally divided as ours (northern independence anyone? Shall we join the Scots maybe hehe), but when a government makes a concentrated effort to protect big business (not even all businesses, just the big ones who mostly happen to be donors) over the real lives of the people they're paid and contract bound to serve (I'm assuming theirs a job contract for politicians when they join or similar, its not a hobby career after all) it begs the question: who do they actually serve?

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