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Not even a candle to flicker.

Hmm, the state of the UK in the early 21st Century is actually quite shocking. I arrived into the world in 1960, so I've been around for quite a while and seen a few awful things as I have journeyed through my life. Time and again I have thought that I have seen it all. Time and again I have been proved wrong. This pandemic has certainly put everything else before it in the shade. Mass scale death was never in my wildest nightmares foreseen, yet here it is and to be quite honest the antics of those in charge are as bad as the effects of the virus itself. It is too easy for observers of my writings to pigeon hole my stuff as "political rants" , fact is, privileged people using the death wave that is sweeping the UK as a trough in which to line each others pockets actually transcends politics as far as I am concerned. I see it more as a graphic illustration of all that is wrong with the new aged Victoriana that has grown so very quickly over the last decade. It is actually inhumane.


The one thing which seems to put everything else firmly in the shade when considering the inhumane ideology we are forced to endure is the following - The staggering rise in the number of Paupers Funerals and the "funding gap" which councils are then saddled with. It takes my breath away to even think of such things. Here, now, in the UK. This in the week that Johnson has trumpeted an avalanche of cash for the purposes of war. Seeing a fat and overly self important military mouthpiece on one of our banal 24hr news channels gloating about it did not improve my mood. Paupers graves at record levels, councils complaining about the costs. Lives extinguished without it even being noticed. Without there even being an ordinary candle flickering in the imperceptible breezes of a cold empty church. (are they really breezes?).

It just gets worse if you ponder how each one of those coldly "disposed of" souls came to be in a situation where they simply evaporated from the face of this Earth. No memories, nothing to be remembered, just a series of numbers on some hard drive somewhere. No personal history, no next of kin, maybe not even a date of birth or even name. Who were they all ? What could they have been ? WHY ?


Carol , Jim, Andrew, Ralph, Nick, did they used to sprawl across shop doorways holding out a white plastic cup for some loose change ? Did they come home one day having been told that the economic pressures on the company had proved insurmountable, whilst the owner packed up and headed for a sunnier life ? Did the vans turn up and force open the door and throw them out onto the freezing streets ? Did the bailiff company employees enjoy the cash reward of yet another successful week ? Did the news channels report that the Stock Exchange was now rallying and that corporate confidence was rising ? Did I walk by any of them as they shivered in that doorway ?


Why is quality of life even a political issue, yet alone quality of DEATH ? How can this be when so much CASH is handled in such an inhumane way by so many inhumane people. Why are such inhumane people in the positions that encourage this Faustian Feasting on CASH to continue at such a rapid pace ? Come to that, just for a current and graphic example, why do we have a pint sized Home Sec who builds her career on screaming at her assistants and is then reported for it, and her behaviour is then endorsed by her boss ? What sort of society just quietly accepts all this ? As part of her job she gets to impose restrictions on those who set out across the English Channel in overloaded rubber dinghies, she gets to send them to what are actually Transit Camps, gets to send them back to where they ran from, a few weeks ago a youngster drowned in that scenario, I have no idea what sort of funeral was afforded to that stricken family. I can guarantee that if one of our dying tabloids "exposed" that the tax payer had footed the bill there would be many angry voices raised. This is the new UK.


When I was young, I used to read about Victorian times, I used to be stunned that children used to be forced down the mines or up chimneys, well, we now do not have many chimneys, due to the disappearance of those mines. It seems that in this modern age we have children who are simply born in the wrong postcode. They then are put through deprived lives, a threadbare education system, farmed out to meaningless poorly paid employment - if they are lucky - then thrown into a hand to mouth adulthood and only mentioned when it comes to blaming the ills of the world on a convenient subset who cannot speak up for themselves. How many of them are then told that the economic pressures had become too much, then sit cowering in case that team with the van turns up. After which they learn about cold pavements and the seething indifference of the uncomfortably numb UK public and the steady slide into a tortured last phase of their lives is completed by a bloke in brown overalls who presses the button that starts the machine that sends the body bag into the furnace.

It is my personal belief that as long as a departed person is remembered that energy exists somewhere, only once no living soul remembers does that departed soul actually cease to be. Those candles that flicker in churches are more than a symbol, they illuminate the dark via showing that a pause to recall a lost life is ongoing, each small candle really does light a corner of the dark. Without those candles the dark envelops all. It is unforgivable that all those Paupers Graves have become nothing other than something for Govt Ministers and councils to argue about.


How can we call ourselves a civilised society ? Can anyone out there tell me what percentage of defence spending would be needed to put a stop to Paupers Graves ?

Obviously asking for CASH to alleviate the need for Paupers Graves would be utterly

unthinkable in the 21st Century ,, would it not ??


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Society not Economy.

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© 2020 Bill Stewardson