November 8, 2013 3.40 pm This story is over 120 months old

Injustice and the welfare of all people

Not so lucky: Kate Taylor takes a look at the different injustices served within western democracy, reminding others how lucky they are.

After spending the week peering at the outside world from underneath a duvet cover, wherein I have been holed up with influenza, I declared that my situation was unjust.

My wonderful friends and family have looked after the children, I even managed to afford a take away, a bundle of hot food brought to my door by my favourite delivery driver (oh, you know who you are!). Realistically, everyone gets sick sometimes, so the fact that I have had time to wallow in solitude and indeed self pity, makes me quite lucky.

Many parents, single or not, have little extended family to rely upon. The nuclear or indeed ‘cereal packet’ family has been promoted in recent decades for political, sociological and economic purposes. It’s not just parents that don’t have anyone to turn to. In hard times people look closer and closer to home when it comes to helping others, the natural instinct of our kind as life steadily becomes harder.

This article isn’t going to spread out social theory on a worktop to decide how to make the best out of a bad situation. No, this article is a realisation. I have had a few debates online recently with various political thinkers, and each time I have come away dumbfounded. It seems to me that when the truth emerges before you with no room for doubt, truth that undermines your beliefs, you still have room to rear your head away from it. Even if it means taking leave of your senses.

Closing your eyes will not make it stop. How is it that there are MPs claiming for their energy bills on their expenses, and yet we are told less than £60 a week is enough to live on? How are people supposed to find somewhere else to live with the introduction of bedroom tax when there aren’t anywhere near the amount of properties available to cater for what they’re entitled to?

Imagine hearing these policies, and far too many others, as an outsider with no former knowledge of western politics. They’d think you were pulling a sick joke. Purposefully pulling the safety net away from those in need. The only defence? Repeating the same blinkered statistics out, the same dog eared speech time and time and time again.

That’s what seems to happen globally when anyone with an unfounded view is confronted. There are economists, scientists, religious leaders, and yes, even politicians around the globe who have solid, practical, doable ideas. Ideas to bring about an era of prosperity to the UK and indeed USA; not easy but doable.

They do not include letting tens of thousands of people starve, live in squalor, suffer mental and physical breakdowns, become homeless, be unable to gain employment but unable to survive to look for any. So many have cited why there are no excuses for why people should be ‘scrounging off of the state’. And yet every time I tell them about my experiences as I wrote in my previous article, of being in the poverty gap which had sealed shut above me, I never get a reply. Not once.

According to the Minimum Income Calculator, unemployed my household (me and my two young children) is £295.96 short of living costs per week. Statistics like this aren’t blinkered enough to be favourable with those in a position to make the changes.

Why not cut off MPs expenses claims tomorrow? They still earn a wage, which is a lot more than many. Even doing so over a period of months so people ‘living to their means’ can adjust accordingly. Why not let charities actually implement their ideas through government resources 95% of the time? And the next time a major company is found guilty of huge tax evasion, give them jail time.

I know most people reading this will have a million and one common sense ideas like I do (possibly and quite probably better than mine). From postal workers to pizza delivery staff, vicars to nurses, teachers, teenagers, pensioners, veterans and rookies, you all have common sense and practical urges to help your fellow man. Somehow, somewhere along the line, for the majority of those either earning outrageously large sums of money or working in central government, those ideas are lost.

I’m not sure about you, but I’m a little fed up of the same old dog eared speech. I’d like a straight answer, and I’m going to start asking some more questions. It is the 21st century, and we have no time for injustice.

It was Helen Keller that said “the test of a democracy is not the magnificence of the buildings or the speed of automobiles or the efficiency of air transportation, but rather the care given to the welfare of all the people.”

Kate Taylor is a sociologist, mother and tea and cake lover. When not working in sociological and marketing research with her company, Galilee Research, Kate can be found talking about political philosophy on the school run.