In this amazing drama, everything has gone wrong for the UK. There is a right wing government in power, and homeless people, those with illness and asylum seekers are being sent to concentration camps; everyone is poor.
“It’s your fault!” The grandma declares at New Year’s dinner. It is everyone’s fault for the way they vote, but also for how they live their every day lives.
“It’s that £1 T shirt we can’t resist. The shop keeper gets 5p. Some peasant in a field gets 0.001p. When they replaced all the women on the till in the supermarket. Did you walk out and shop somewhere else? Did you write a letter of complaint? No, you huffed and you puffed and you put up with them.”
Greed and convenience are something we all struggle to overcome. However, for people on a low income, that £1 might be all they can afford. It might be what they wear for three days each week, and the other four days they will wear another £1 T shirt.
When I was a care worker two years ago, looking after the most vulnerable in society, I could not even afford to buy new socks, just a pack of socks for £5 from a cheap shop.
“We don’t look that woman in the eye, the woman paid less than us. We bought into it: the system.”
There is still some racism in the UK, there is a lot of homophobia and these two bigotries affects around 9% the UK who are BAME (POC) or LGBT. However, what affects the vast majority of people is class prejudice. The UK is full of class prejudice.
Churches are mostly nice middle class clubs where nice middle class people listen to a middle class person tell them how to be good middle class people. They have coffee and then go back to their middle class enclaves. Very few churches actually DO anything for the vast majority of people. They claim they do all sorts, but the reality is they don’t.
The BAME and LGBT “representatives” who talk on TV panels and news programmes are all from wealthy backgrounds, therefore there is no diversity of thought and opinion. There is little diversity of experience.
Journalists are all middle class and have never had any job outside of journalism, which is why journalists have no idea about what is going on in the real world or why. For example, COVID-19 has killed more BAME workers than white. Why? Because more consultants on hospital wards are BAME and so are many nursing and care staff, and they also have poor diets and underlying health conditions. I know this because I have worked in hospitals and care homes. No Guardian writer has, which is why The Guardian can produce statistics but no conclusion on why so many BAME hospital staff die from COVID-19.
Having been a care worker and health care assistant in a hospital, I know first hand how people look down their noses at care staff. I know how horribly care staff are treated by some nurses and criminally by hospital management.
Three years ago, I was a 1:1 worker in care homes. I looked after one man for over a year. That came to an end when his wife made false allegations about me. She claimed I had been away from my shift for several hours, that I had left the client for hours in his own urine and that I was not able to do moving and handling. All these claims were false, the nurse on shift backed me up so there was no investigation, but I was not allowed to work with this client again. That was 33 hours of work per week, around the corner from my house gone. Why did the client’s wife make false allegations? I don’t know. I think she wanted people she could control more as her husband’s carers since there was a question over his care funding continuing.
This is what happens. Care staff are not respected by clients, by clients’ family members nor by management. Physical and sexual assaults are a daily occurrence in every care home. No one cares because it is care staff who are on the receiving end. There is no police involvement, no investigation in the care home, no risk assessments and no back up for the workers. The care workers simply have to carry on. I have been on training with four care companies who included the danger of being raped on shift in their training.
During the corona virus outbreak, people are cheering care staff, but for how long?
The truth is, like all of the UK’s dirty secrets, the problems of working class people are out of sight and out of mind. They are never going to be public nor have any action taken on them because hardly any working class people work in TV or newspaper.
Unless we do something to break the cycle. Write to companies to say what you want them to do better. And get your friends to do the same. Start an online petition. Show respect to people of all classes, tip your taxi driver, tip care workers, tip shop workers. When you receive good service, put it in writing to their employer. This could lead to that worker getting financial rewards or promotion. Break the cycle. Do something. Don’t let it be your fault. Change the world.