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Thursday, 2 April 2009



Tens of thousands of people demonstrate outside the Bank of England in central London, calling for action on poverty, climate change and jobs ahead of the G-20 summit. Photo by Antonio Lopes.

The short form of "not rich" is "poor".

What close company gentility and paraphrase keep!

Let us speak not of the want of necessaries. Enough has been said--that is, not enough--of the want of necessaries.

Many feel it openly, many feel it secretly, many, having been laid off, conceal from others the curious feeling of flotation or free-fall they sense themselves tumbling into, like deep sea divers whose life cords have been cut. They sit in their SUVs listening on headphones to their favourite Grateful Dead song of yesteryear, rather than go inside and face the wife and young child and the mortgage payments, after having been brought by the American Dream to this threshold of agony and near compassion. Having a "good job..." and then being "laid off..."

Hope and fear, poverty and riches, dinner and breakfast, clouds and the simulacra-dawn of the lit-up box, as at Delphi once the oracle. My surveys of life have not informed me of more. The milder degrees of poverty of imagination are supported by hope, one must allow that. Yet how pathetic really, hope, would not the time better have been spent some other way?

Life must be seen before it can be known but we are as the blind, before our lit-up boxes, where then are our probing-sticks, to tap our way forward toward Ash Wednesday?

This imagination that life is easy to be borne, where does it come from?

The poor do not stand on ceremony over a little civility, nor does the mutilation of a compliment bring them low. They are as we are, we are as they are, but pincers are tearing at our flesh.

We feel the exposure, we feel the pain, but the poor keep coming on in waves, we feel defenseless, moreover they are us.


TC/BTP said...

Click on photo for Making Poverty History...

tc/btp said...

The London protest

elanecu said...

There is the usual City disdain for the march. Reports claimed that office workers are leaning out of their windows and waving £10 notes at protesters, taunting them.

A spoof itinerary for a day's shooting event was emailed around banks: "Corporate Events – One days shooting. Venue: Coq D'Argent [the top floor restaurant that overlooks the crowds around the Bank of England]." The shooting drives are called things like Bank Bloodbath and Monumental Massacre. "Lunch: Creamed potage of chav followed by Surf (the bonus wave) 'n' turf (out all the bone idle anti-capitalists)," the invite says.

(The Telegraph)

Rice - up 81%
Pork sausages - up 51%
Mince - up 22%
Milk - up 14%
Source: The Grocer


Elmo St. Rose said...

Unfortunately, in history violence has followed periods of prosperity when things went bad and I suspect they're going to get worse. Recently a timberplant closed nearby that had been here for generations and last week the rubber plant employing over ten percent of the population in this town is laying off 15% of its workers for starters.

The civilized red-necks are buying guns and ammunition. Last week, a very proper Southern lady, a social worker at the hospital who really is good and earnest about helping people whatever their background, asked me casually if I had a concealed weapons permit. "Not yet." People are quite worried and unfortunately there's not much reassurance from the"authorities". In the 50's the politicians were all grim-faced but things
worked. They had gone through one or two world wars, the excesses of the 20's and the Depression,
so they were smart.

When Obama talks of shared sacrifice, people who have things hide their wallets......there's too
much of a paved road in his existence to inspire sacrifice. There's only one way out of this mess: "a lower standard of living, harder work, greater productivity," so I wrote to the local paper saying re. auto bailout
that I'd rather bail out people who worked for a living than people who shuffled money. However, I never remember the unions striking over whether to produce higher quality more fuel efficient cars.

Credential re poverty: Civil rights movement, community organizer in college i.e. forty-plus years ago, organic foods co-op and more co-op doctors twenty-plus years in a poverty pocket in a poor state......

Love to see the middle for a corporation to come to town and to raise the standard of living of all.

I'm with P.J. O'Rourke on this and Hayek's book The Road to Serfdom........Of course, I have an out. I get to help poor people every day and there's is a limit to the wisdom of the poor.

Re. Grateful Dead: Recently got Sirius radio and there's a Dead station........back when I/we followed them around I always hoped they'd hook up with Bob Dylan.....I guess they did Desolation Row......It's All Over Now Baby Blue.

Of course I missed quite a few years in there when we headed south and into I guess we were prescient but then again Jules Verne really put the Dylan-Dead Heads to shame when it came to predicting the

Project in the real world is to communicate with my Congressman about preserving health care in rural America......he's part of Obama's health care summit.....things like creating a new occupation Medical Social Worker to help people particularly the poorly-educated negotiate the health care delivery system......and developing a federal benefit to establish health care proxies, guardianships, durable powers of attorney, so that end-of-life issues in medicine would not lead to resources being spent endlessly in futile care, and to establish a rational malpractice policy(one the country could afford) so that resources would not be endlessly spent in defensive medicine. Of course, self-serving too, pay the people more who practice in medically underserved areas.......kind of a no-brainer to reverse "underserved."

elanecu said...

The concept of leading by example disappeared here in the UK at about the same time as that of "the public good". Elmo's paved road remark is accurate... forty years ago it was normal in London to see an MP going to Parliament on the bus or the subway.... now there is a complete political class not one of whom has ever either travelled by public transport or done a day's regular (of course there are many lawyers) work. They are all a sub-set of the well-off. I could go on but Elmo has well-described a situation which, apart from the availability of guns to non-criminals-- here they're easily available to the criminal and the police (who will kill you with them if you are Irish and carrying a table leg, or Brazilian and live in the same apartment building they think a suspected terrorist does)-- pertains here too.
The one difference is health treatment which, though creaky and overloaded, still functions free (except for teeth and glasses)at the point of need here. Though even here the growth of no-win no-charge "malpractice" cases drains Health Service funds.