Saturday, 18 February 2012

Edwina Currie doesn't live in the real world

I know this is a couple of days ago now, but I've been stewing about it since and dying to get something down on my blog!

Edwina Currie took part in a Radio 5 Live Breakfast show, during which she reduced a mother of two to tears. This woman who has previously claimed that she had great difficulty believing that people in Britain were starving, stating "Are you telling me people in this country are going hungry? Seriously? Seriously?"

I was very lucky to have my partner and family around when I was off work who supported me and kept me fed and in a home. Others are not so fortunate. The woman in question whom Edwina reduced to tears was working as was her husband. She fell pregnant and went on maternity leave - then her husband was made redundant from his full time job. All of a sudden their meagre savings dwindled and they were left in arrears for Council Tax and their mortgage. Now a year or so later, the woman is working two part time jobs and her husband has managed to find a third part time job. They are trying desperately to live within their means - but how is that even possible when the National Minimum Wage is just £6.08 per hour? Ten years ago the NMW was £4.10 per hour. That's an increase of a pitiful £1.98 increase in ten years whilst the cost spirals.

This story made me angry for so many reasons. We are by no means living on the breadline, but some months are difficult and this is through no fault of our own. Edwina Currie would have us living in a bedsit, sitting around every evening in front of a black and white television with 4 channels, no internet access or computer. She would probably tell us to eat Smart Price beans for dinner every night in order to build up some savings, and she probably wouldn't approve of our savings going towards our wedding either. 

She needs to come out of her £800,000 house and try living in the real world where you have to make decisions like - 

  • What's the cheapest thing I can have for lunch today? (usually a Greggs sausage roll or a pound shop meal deal). 
  • How can I manage to get to work on time when I live so far away and can't afford to move? (I was written up for my lateness several times before I managed to move to Manchester, but it was never an affordable option before and I couldn't get a job in my home town)
  • Can I afford to replace my holey cardigan? (not really without resorting to the catalogue again!) 
  • How am I going to afford to feed my kids? (pray for the kindness of relatives, strangers, the church and food banks).

We're very lucky and in a couple of months we might be able to kick start our finances again. I'm hoping to get some more work building websites and both of us may get pay rises (although that's not guaranteed). But there are people living in the UK today who are genuinely missing two or three meals per week so that their kids can eat; who can't afford the bus fare to get to their job; who haven't had new clothes for two years... 

So Edwina (I assume that all fallen politicians who shagged John Major read my blog!) perhaps  you might like to come down from the land of milk and honey where flipping property and appearing on the radio for extortionate amounts is your source of income which pays you VERY well. Come down to Manchester with £1000.00 and rent a flat, get two kids and try and live - I'm sure you'll be screaming back to Chinley before the end of the first week.

PS - John Major? Gross! I imagine that even his spunk is grey!

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