Margaret Duddin: I have lots of questions - who has got the answers?

Margaret Duddin on the questions she has for the government - including the most important one of all

Margaret Duddin
Margaret Duddin

After the joy of Christmas I find myself being more reflective about what the New Year will bring. In so many ways the world is, indeed, wonderful for those of us with homes, food, family and friends. My own sense of wonder has never been more acute. I wonder Who? What? Why? When? Where? Allow me to share some very basic questions with you, and perhaps some answers may emerge. On a need-to-know basis, I am not a member of any political party.

WHY did I, for many years, believe that very clever people in Westminster were running the country for everyone’s benefit?

WHAT ever happened to the lady called Prudence who was meant to be looking after the nation’s finances so carefully? WHEN did I realise that the country is run by a group of inexperienced people formulating plans from their country estates or mansions in North London?

The luminaries are so far removed from reality that it has become an alien concept. Admittedly there are some very hard working MPs, but they have little influence in shaping the Governments policies. They will follow the Whip slavishly.

HOW is it that we are being patronised daily by a myriad of mixed messages? For example, “The economy is recovering rapidly”, “We are the sixth richest nation in the World”, but cuts must be made. The axe must be almost blunt as it cuts its way through the undergrowth of the poor and the vulnerable.

Certainly there was a lot of dead wood to be pruned, primarily accepting the fact that choosing not to work was no longer an option. So the jobless found jobs, great! They could earn an honest living and provide for their families. WHAT a quaint notion.

I am not an economist, but even I understand that services are paid for by taxes paid by people who work. WHY, then, are taxpayers having to support companies by way of benefits to their staff who are paid so little? The idea of self-sufficiency is but a dream. HOW can we accept terms such as the “working poor” and “zero hours contracts”? HOW can anyone have a contract for zero hours?

I was intrigued by the recent sandwich-making saga when a company in the South of England had to go abroad to find workers to put the fillings between the slices.

But WHY did they not just offer more money? The elephant in the room is that five-lettered word GREED, the guiding force behind most commercial decisions. Profits would be cut, the axe is not yet totally redundant and the shareholders would suffer. HOW sad is that?

HOW could our economy grow without our investors and shareholders? It could not. WHY can’t fairness play a bigger part in the process? I often muse about those whose mission in life is to accumulate money and property far beyond their needs.

The following analogy is as basic as it gets: I love my old garden, behind an old house on an old road. I look out on it every morning and am content. I have never ever had any desire to own the gardens to the right or to the left of mine.

The speculator sees the world through different eyes. They see, they covet, they speculate and, in many cases, accumulate great wealth.

Depending on one’s point of view, they are the A stars of society, and I the F minus.

Investment is great tempered with fairness when we stare in the face of “increasing poverty and inequality”.

The most important issue I question is WHY our government could spend days discussing anything and everything, apart from the critical issue of child protection or the lack of it. As the appalling cases of abuse and neglect are exposed, it becomes obvious that many of our children are, were and continue to be at the mercy of sick and evil adults. As enquiry follows enquiry and panel members are appointed then dismissed, I despair that the truth will ever be told (certainly not before the general election).

WHO are these worthy appointees? I suspect they are well connected to the establishment. We have a country full of experts in education, medicine and childcare who could be called upon. HOW long will this take? Get on with it!

All the delays and technicalities are simply a cover to guard reputations; introducing a legislation would be difficult to pass. WHY? A: it would cost a lot of money; B: no profit would be made; C: reputations would be destroyed...


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