At we give a street level look through the eyes of a left wing socialist at the disturbing events that are unfolding around us

Games For May ?.

Now then, the madness continues. I've come to the conclusion that now really is not the time for playing political point scoring games. Sure enough there are some huge problems with the way the current Govt is handling the situation. Thing is, which ever party was in the hot seat there would be massive areas of dissatisfaction.

Main one at the moment has to be the self employed, I accept that it is a difficult thing to put right. However it is plainly obvious that this was on the cards for a while. It should have been foreseen. I'm assuming that wheels are turning.

Why is nobody screaming from the rooftops about the disabled ?

This current mess really should have been managed by a cross party group.

I'm fed up with only hearing about the negative stuff. People in camper vans, those who are ordering extra freezers to store all the stuff they are bulk buying. Well, in plain simple terms- Bollocks to them. When all this is finally done with, It is to be hoped that the public does not forget. Things have changed for ever now. Those selfish and greedy individuals should be exposed and forced to face the wrath of the altruistic ones. As for Branson, Ashley and Martin, they should be banned from walking our streets.

Seemingly we should start to see encouraging signs around the end of the month. I'm no expert and take my info from the same sources you do (generally) and we are today seeing Wuhan start to relax it's lock down conditions. Other countries are reporting a slowing down in infection rates. One worrying situation, America. It seems the Dollar is far more important than human life across the pond. I will leave that there.

Here's an example of what it's like round here. I went to our shop to get a loaf, obviously they had just sold the last one ( I'm quite good at things like that ) and instantly the woman behind me , who is in her 80s said "I've got one you can have Bill" no thought about herself, just genuine kindness. I did't take that loaf, I got on my trusty Vespa and rode about until I found one. Every time I walk along our road two or three people will shout "you OK, do you have enough stuff in?". Everyone is looking after everyone else. It is not normally like this. This is Orgreave. A place that has gone down in political history.

There are those who have not forgotten. They were on opposite sides in that awful dispute. they still talk of the great sacrifices and all that went with it. All that is put aside at the moment. People who do not normally relate to each other are now.

The Supermarkets are basically no go areas. Packed out and quickly running out of stock. Strangely, other outlets are doing ok, I have struggled re bread, spuds, and milk.

A short ride and I find stuff. I think all this stuff on the news has brainwashed the freezer buyers into thinking only Asda and the like exist. Well, I hope they enjoy waiting in lines for hours then finding the stuff they want isn't there.

Sheffield is a large city with large problems. Gun crime and knife crime are spiralling out of control. There is much homelessness, drug use is widespread. Far too many young people are experiencing Zero Hours and National Minimum Wage. Its all take away shops and hand car washes. Sheffielders though are decent people and a funny comment is never far away. They also do tend to be warm and kind hearted.

I'm told Sheffield is officially the lowest paying city in the country.

During this current dire situation something called "Sheffield Mutual Aid" has very much come to the fore.

No small thing this. Many people are volunteering their time and effort to go out of their way on behalf of the stricken. Anyone with a need posts on the Net and somebody from SMA picks it up and sorts it out. All sorts of problems are dealt with, a woman who had run out of nappies, sorted, older people who can't get out to shop, sorted, anyone who can't get a prescription, sorted, There is at present an "Adopt a Family" initiative being pushed. Just how good is that ? The number of helped must be immense.

Members of this fine group are coming up with this stuff themselves. It now has well over 5K members.

Here's a press release that tireless organiser Bevan Lal sent me.

: "Mutual aid is a concept with a long history and a group of us felt that the current situation demanded a response on mutual aid lines. It is heartening to see thousands of Sheffielders agree with us. We owe a huge debt to who have been running a small scale mutual aid care project for years and have been immensely useful in sharing their knowledge about how to do this work with online resources. Members of our admin team come from diverse backgrounds and our experience of the world and its oppressive forces shaped our desire to form a mutual aid network. We have a city wide group that is attracting lots of members but we are seeing the organising work happening at a much more local level. Neighbourhood groups have sprung up in which local activities such as street level subgroups are being coordinated. The citywide group funnels people to these neighbourhood groups. We hope that during the public health emergency these community groups will help people stay safe, by providing access to essential goods and keeping people connected and feeling valued. The isolation brought about by these measures will be a real threat to people's mental wellbeing, just as the virus is a threat to our physical health. A regular friendly phone call or online video chat could be just as vital to somebody as a bag of groceries. Even those who are self isolating for whatever reason can chat to others on the phone or online, so anybody can get involved in this way. The organising is happening completely autonomously with no charity or company or state body controlling it. Community food organisations are mobilising too and we hope there will be productive partnerships forged in the city with groups such Foodhall, Food Works, Shipshape and Open Kitchen Social Club. They are already trying to work out how best to supply prepared meals at home to those who need them. The closure of schools will make ‘holiday hunger’ a real and enduring problem for millions of families and mutual aid is one of the ways in which in our society will step up to tackle this. We are keeping up to date with the latest public health guidance and trying to help groups carry out this work as safely as possible. For the sake of everyone's peace of mind we advise groups never to enter people's homes or take money up front for goods." If you got any specific questions let me know Hope you're well".

Contrast that to the previously mentioned Billionaires. I do not have adequate words to sum up the gratitude that these volunteers are owed. I would assume that this sort of effort is going on right across the UK. It puts ones faith back in this dire time.

Again, when all this is done with and we get back to some sort of normality we MUST not forget these fine altruistic people.

Please, wherever you are, Google Mutual Aid. Your country needs YOU.

It is to be hoped that come May things start to ease, and the games can begin. If so, those from Sheffield Mutual Aid should get to play the best game for the longest time.

Thanks for looking in. Please help by spreading word of this site.

Society not Economy.

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