Mind the austerity gap.
‘Why do you use a food bank?’ asked the nice, well meaning, well spoken senior policy adviser from the ‘left leaning’ think tank, over coffee, paid for by another senior policy adviser.
For once lost for words I mumbled something about not having any food left before my dole comes through and and that I didn’t have any food sometimes.
What I didn’t say was, what the fuck? Here we have a person who advises on public policy who through the way in which our society is structured has never had to sit down with some body surviving on the sharp edge of the public and political policy he advises on.
…This cultural divide along monetary and gulf in life experience is where the ‘Ah shure it’s just an extra few euro a week.’ Mentality comes from. People so deliberately and in an incredibly calculated way were shielded and still are protected from even having to glimpse the ‘vulnerable’ way of life.
Hands up how many middle class people knew the college Joan Burton visited on that faithful day in Jobstown is also a food bank? Hands up who’s seen someone cry after being handed a tin of beans, some yogurt and pasta at a food bank? Hands up who told them they have done nothing wrong and it is a spiteful, shameful society who fucked up there, not you.
…This is how austerity works, quietly, efficiently and hidden behind economic policy and political decisions: live are destroyed, but slowly and strategically while firstly stripping people of all pride and dignity. ‘They’re less likely to fight back that way.’
At the height of a suicide epidemic what does the government decide needs to go? The bereavement grant, young men don’t usually have life insurance. The most vulnerable, private, sensitive moments offer no escape from the constant suffocating pressure of austerity. The kind of pressure which goes unseen, when the stress and turmoil we all experience with a bereavement also involves anything from not being able to afford clothes to simply not having the money for a funeral.
…The officer class desperate to believe the recovery narrative, terrified to look the cold hard data and facts in the eye. Austerity has failed, for us, for the 80 people who own half the world’s wealth, media, and exert huge political and economic power, it has been a fantastic success. Its also ideology, austerity is a belief system there is no ‘science of economics’ behind it.
Even economists don’t believe the austerity model, as discussed with Bill Black at Kilkenomics only about 10% subscribe to that school of thought, i’ts a way of thinking which is rewarded by our society and those 80 or so people who own half the worlds wealth.
Economists, academics and journalists have been kept in tenuous positions and easy to control. The herd behaviour our great commentators fretted about ended up applying to them, too afraid to question the dominant ideology they went along with the gang. With The Irish Times reading like a string of middle class people afraid to lose their jobs, fall through the cracks and end up in the public system.
Austerity restructures society in such a way that policy makers can’t even conceive the effect of their policies…(more at link below)