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Tuesday, 24 November 2020
Why Should the Government do it All?
The first thing to say, of course, in response to the
question posed by the heading is that they do not. I am writing down these thoughts in answer to
some who always complain that feeding the hungry, looking after children with
free school meals and supporting people out of work should not be government’s
I have to say that I think this view, comes from a
privileged position. It arises from people who have not by birth or by
circumstance had to struggle with poverty, or to ever ask the question, “Where
will the next meal come?”
Power. Money. Government.
Where do power and government come from? Who decides what
shall and shall not be? If we look back on History, which, for this discussion
is a good thing to do, rulers, powers, and if you like, government usually
comes from the strongest, the most ruthless.
Maybe nowadays, in a democracy, it
comes from the ones who can tell the best stories in order to get voted in, be
that truthful or not.
Historically thinking, who is it that governs? It's the ones
with the best swords, power and/or violence that ends up running the show. We have to, at this point bring in the King
James I perspective (1603 -1625) of his “Divine Right” to be King. One of the
stipulations he placed on the translators was to make sure that such “Divine
Right” was exhibited in the scriptures. It needs to be added that the
translators did not heed his injunction in the translation. Of course, he was
not the first to play that card.
From 1066 onwards the King owned it all. That is evidenced
in Domesday Book. From then onwards, the population ceased to be free citizens per
se, but subjects owned by the King. (Domesday Book commonly pronounced as
“Doomsday Book” was so named after the 12th century because its
statements were reckoned as a final judgement on taxes – like the final
judgement before god. Hence the evolved reference as “Doomsday Book”.
In those days, “As
with slaves, serfs could be bought, sold, or traded, with some
limitations: they generally could be sold only together with the land, could be
abused with no rights over their own bodies, could not leave the land they were
bound to, and could marry only with their lord's permission. Serfs who occupied a plot of land were
required to work for the lord of the
manor who owned that land.
In return, they were entitled to protection, justice, and the right to
cultivate specific fields within the manor to maintain their own subsistence. Serfs were
often required not only to work on the lord's fields but also in his mines and
forests and to labour to maintain roads. The manor formed the basic unit of
feudal society and the lord of the manor and the villeins. To a certain extent, the serfs were bound legally: by
taxation in the case of the former, and economically and socially in the
societal structure is the way society is organised.
Let us remember who it is that decides or legalises those structures.Who is it?It is the people with levers of government, the levers of money, levers
of control, levers of the controllers of business structures.These are the people that hold societal power.
These days, the media has revealed that these
people who hold the levers of power are those who see cleaners, care workers,
and the like as, “unskilled workers” and are thus deserving of a lower wage.
That is a wage that means even if they are working a full week, they might
still need free school meals for their children or have to use a food bank.
I remember in the '60s working for a large
company. The Directors called us in one day and said, “We are doing well! We
are making a good profit; we want to give you all an increase in salary.” They
then said, "However, we are prevented from doing so because the government
says we cannot."
There was a time, I think up until the late 30s,
that government sought to hold down wage increase to even a living wage because
“the lower class would waste such increase. They might have more children, and
it would reduce them to being poor again.”
So, when power, government and rulers assume to
take over the lives of people, the answer is, “Yes!” They do become responsible
by making sure that they are educated, fed, housed and clothed.If you don't want this to remain as the case,
then they must cease the power structure situation that makes those things