CHRISTMAS DAY, 2017

CHRISTMAS DAY, 2017

A Story by Peter Rogerson
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An essay

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Oh goodness me … am I being cynical? About what I’m about to suggest, I mean. But there are tales abounding from both sides of the Atlantic that suggest that a hell of a lot of people are worrying about exactly the same things.

There’s the gap between the haves and the have-nots for starters. Here in the UK there are, this Christmas day, a disturbing number of people without a roof over their heads. And it’s a freezing cold season. There are reports of deaths and in my opinion one death from exposure or cold or hypothermia, call it what you will, is one death too many. We, each and every one of us, only have one life, one unique existence, and when it’s over and done with then that is that. You may harbour little hopes of an afterlife and that’s up to you although I suspect there may be nothing for me once the grim reaper has come to call. If I’m going to believe in fairy stories I want them to be at least practical.

So if we have a society in which people are forced to die because living isn’t an option, then we have a lousy, corrupt and disgusting society because there are ways and means for those deaths to be avoided. There are spaces in our land that are warm, dry, where food is plentiful and where there are very few people to get in the way. Buckingham Palace is one of those spaces, but there are many, many others. Contrast those empty spaces with those dying in uncomfortable gutters.

Face up to it if you can bear the pain.

Then there’s health.

I’m concentrating on my homeland, though there are tales arriving daily of concern in America that an an increasing number of people are becoming vulnerable as the triumphs of Obamacare are being diluted by the new administration. But to the green and pleasant pastures of home, if you don’t mind.

We have a Health Service that was created in the rubble of the second world war and which has as its main policy that healthcare should be free at the point of need. But the years have rolled on, the rubble has been cleared away, and people are just living too damned long because of the health care we have enjoyed for seventy years. We, the less affluent, are getting in the way of the toffee-nosed elite. We need pensions, for goodness’ sake! We need to live!

So, bit by bit, our National Health Service is being eaten away. Bits are being sold off to private enterprise and nobody on this planet is going to convince me that a company snipping, say, up to 30% profit from the service it provides is ever going to be as cost effective as a service that operates outside the apparently failing system of capitalism that has been around for so long (and it isn’t just me who thinks it’s failing, Bill Gates of Microsoft fame has suggested the same thing, and he should know).

But here’s the cynical bit. The conspiracy, as I see it.

Those with fat wads and bank accounts made up of a huge number of zeros, those, in fact, with an absurd and practically criminal amount of wealth, too much to have been grafted for, don’t need things like free health care. The queen doesn’t go to A&E if she stubs a toe but a highly paid surgeon leaps to attention.

In fact, those with fat wads don’t need ordinary Joes like thee and me to hang around after we’ve toiled at the coal face or wherever we’ve been sent to toil. We’re an inconvenience once our always minuscule funds have become depleted. And an efficient health service makes us even more inconvenient because it keeps us alive.

It would be best for all concerned if, having grown weary and old, we just passed away �" and by all concerned I mean the wealthy classes. So universal health care should be distributed amongst a group of drippingly wealthy shareholders and nature could take its course.

Go to an ancient graveyard, any one, and you’ll spot by examining the weathered gravestones that the local big man and his family lived to be a decent age but that, on smaller even more worn stones erected by impoverished relatives, the story of ordinary souls and their lives often seem dreadfully short (born 1765, died 1792).

And some of that was diet. And we come to another disaster that is making our society look as corrupt as it is becoming: food banks. There are even working people with responsible jobs, nurses and the like, who are being forced to go to food banks in order to survive. And we accept that. After all, it’s all because of government policies insisting on frugality, on austerity, and only this year we between us elected the present team of politicians into power who are making sure that policy continues.

But we remember, don’t we, that the economic collapse that led to this terrible situation was the result of banking mismanagement. They made the mistakes, they created the monetary mischief but to us falls the austerity to pay for it. But then, they have great influence over politicians of the right. Many powerful politicians are actually wed to the guilty bankers!!!

If anyone’s read this far I’m sorry if it’s been a tad distressing, and on Christmas day too, but it might do us all good if we have to contemplate, for a few moments, the state we’re in. But I fear that it will only get worse and if the present policies are allowed to continue the have/have-not divide will continue to expand, the life expectancy of the working classes will shrink and food banks will become part of the norm. But those with enough cash (usually banked off-shore, in tax havens) will be cushioned and their only discomfort will be when it comes to hoping there’s someone alive and well enough to empty their bins on a Thursday.

I do hope there is.

©Peter Rogerson 25.12.17


© 2017 Peter Rogerson



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Hello my friend. I agree with you.
"So if we have a society in which people are forced to die because living isn’t an option, then we have a lousy, corrupt and disgusting society because there are ways and means for those deaths to be avoided. There are spaces in our land that are warm, dry, where food is plentiful and where there are very few people to get in the way. Buckingham Palace is one of those spaces, but there are many, many others. Contrast those empty spaces with those dying in uncomfortable gutters."
I have a friend a work. Can't afford the cancer treatment. Accepted death over debt. A sad world. This good man paid taxes for 40 years. Lady at work. New Trump's plan won't pay for her cancer treatment. Young man born with a sickness. His treatment were stopped. Trump's new plan is scary. I pray for better days my friend.
Coyote

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Added on December 25, 2017
Last Updated on December 25, 2017
Tags: Christmas, essay, poverty, health, food banks

Author

Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom



About
I am 74 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..

Writing
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