Living modest lives is the only sustainable future, so why attack them?


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,507

Saturday 30 July 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

In the relentless campaign against the lives of ordinary people, welfare reforms, loss of legal aid, punitive benefit sanctions and cuts, loss of employment rights, the privatisation of our NHS, housing insecurity/no more lifelong tenancies, and so on, people are being denied dignity and respect as well as the most basic means of survival.

Why in the world any government would turn on and attack the modest lives of the people is senseless. David Cameron offered himself as the leader of an “aspiration nation”, insisting his goal was to spread privilege. Of course nothing could be further from the truth, but the point is the implicit sneer at modestly lived lives by people of modest intent, or low expectations as Cameron described them.

A modest desire is a fair days work for a fair days pay, under Tory misrule that is now an unattainable desire for millions of ordinary people. Regular meals and food on the table is now unattainable for millions of people. Thousands of disabled people have been and continue to be denied even a modest means of transport.

I do not want to live a privileged life, whatever that is supposed to mean, I never have and I never will. It may mean nothing to you, but enough is as good as a banquet. That isn’t a low expectation, it means moderation is more satisfying than excess.

It is true that consumerism has been aggressively promoted as a way of life and sadly many have been snared into such a life. You’ll have to forgive me that I see no appeal in it, it just looks like an endless treadmill of unsatisfied expectation and desire and a one way street into debt to me. I threw my television out nearly fifteen years ago because I got fed up with endless adverts being pumped into my living space. Commercial television is richly rewarded for advertising, yet charge people for the platform which throws adverts at them. That’s a brilliant scam, beam adverts into people’s lives and encourage them to buy, buy, buy, and charge them for the privilege? Wow, good one, that’s having your cake and eating everybody else’s as well. Profit is god!

Living modestly is actually the only sustainable future for everyone. Endless growth is impossible in a closed system, resources can and will run out. The planet cannot cope and even now the damage done may not be reversible. The only possible future is a sustainable one and that future cannot contain the current corporate greed. It isn’t a case of should not, as some kind of moral choice, it is an absolute “cannot”. Attacking the lives of those who live modestly whilst allowing the ‘free markets’ to do as they like is bass ackwards. Living modestly, as much as you may hate the very idea of it, is the only sensible solution if we are to have any future at all. Greater equality means survival where the current extremes of inequality and rampant corporate greed for resources and profits can only lead to an extinction event. Take a long hard look, the world is groaning in agony.

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