Saturday, 20 April 2013
Margaret Thatcher ( A Legacy)
This wasn't the post I was going to write... But as we live in the town where Margaret Thatcher grew up.... and there seems to be so much talk about her at the moment I thought it would be timely for my two cents (or tuppenny bit :) to be added to the pot :)
This is part of a comment I left at another blog, whose opinion I truly respect even though it differs from my own :)
I always like to see people before arguments. Although the argument can be an important part of forming clarity and perspective, people are so much nicer aren't they.... And so much more important than one ideology or another.
So if you're not into politics avert your gaze now :)
And if you are but you don't agree with me, God Bless you. The dissenters voice is a sign that we are all still free enough to speak our hearts while honouring the hearts of others.
I have to say that unless you are in that deep, profound rut of poverty it is very difficult to truly understand it's effect.
So many things are impacted by it. It can be very disabling and dis-empowering. I would even argue that it takes a great deal more effort to overcome an impoverished background and "rise above" than it does to maintain an affluent one.
The media has sadly begun to demonise the poor of late. It is always easier (and less complicated) to blame those socially and economically below than those above, when problems arise. Although it is becoming more and more obvious that many of the problems we face do indeed come from above; global corporations, industry, government and of course the major banks.
We live in a council house, my husband was a refugee who first landed on English soil as a teen. I was regularly homeless in London from the ages of 16 - 19 and both my parents have suffered from mental health problems for years, so I can speak from the "other" perspective with some clarity.
Our experience is unique, but probably quite representative of the socially disadvantaged.
We both work incredibly long hours yet still have not been able to buy our own home.
I see a lot of disillusionment where I live.
People feel disenfranchised.
Many people don't have cars and only tiny gardens or no garden at all. The houses are in a really bad state of repair, so many of the children here can't get a sense of life outside their immediate reality.
Their perspective is foreshortened.
Recent cuts to public services will most likely, only compound the problem.
It is much, much worse than this in an inner city of course.
People often blame the poor for their circumstances but surely it is much easier to make responsible choices when a wealth of choice is available to you.
Surely it is far easier to take advantage of opportunity when opportunities to learn, grow, thrive and try new experiences have been presented to you from birth.
I deeply believe that nobody is born with the ambition to live an unfulfilled, socially stigmatised, poverty stricken life. If welfare becomes your way of life, it is something to be pitied and a symptom of a problem that has a much larger cause.
The rich can also far more easily hide their problems or find monetary solutions to them.
However, I think the saddest thing is the divisions these economic discrepancies create within communities.
Our church is located right opposite Margaret Thatcher's old home.
Our town is a tenacious one, a hard working one yet, still a poor one and it is probably a fairly good example of the legacy Maggie left.