Happy Friday! This weeks links seem to be all about me being an angry old lady. Which when I think about the state of the nation, isn’t that far away from the truth…
Secret Doctor on why they are going on strike. We can spend money on consultants and big business but not paying doctors a decent wage
The collapse of parenting I’ve been saying this for an age…
David Bowie died on Monday. Praise has been fulsome. I will say this, even people who ‘don’t like David Bowie’, have a David Bowie song that they like and yes he was young and yes it is sad as the priest said about my father when he died, maybe you come to earth to sing your song and once it’s done, you can leave. To have left such songs and to die surrounded by the people you love who love you. That’s not a bad life or death to have had…
And if that wasn’t bad enough for you, Alan Rickman died yesterday.
Fostering agencies should not be for profit organisations. Another thing I’ve been saying for ages, without knowing the figures. I still think that foster carers should be paid a salary and then an allowance for the children they care for. Fostering well is a complex job and the people that do it should be treated as other professionals in the caring professions but then, looking at how we treat doctors, nurses, social workers and carers, I’m not holding my breath.
The secret life of the Wetherspoons carpets. Every day is a learning day!
Lindy West on diets and why we diet. I like this so much, this year I’ve not set any goals around my weight but I am aware that eating well and exercising will have a positive impact on my body as well as my mind and make me feel less uncomfortable because my clothes aren’t tight!
Gymtimidation this was interesting in relation to how I felt about the gym before I had my foot surgery. It’s difficult to be the largest person in class, even if you’re most accomplished at the exercise than others.
Gentrification and the growing backlash. Another thing I’ve been moaning in about forever..
Caroline Lucas on why we need a living rent commission. This month I’ve been really happy because I had a conversation with my landlord about my rent, which is due to go up in June, it will only go up by 5.1%. That’s actually really good news, the current rate for a flat like mine where I live is about 17% higher than what I’ll be paying in June. My rent rise is low because I’m a good tenant, I’ve been there a while and my landlord is a decent person. Here’s the problem, last year I got a pay rise of 1.9%, now that’s also really lucky because loads of people I know didn’t get any pay rise and it was way above the current rate of inflation (0.1%). Here’s the problem, in actual cash money, my pay rise doesn’t cover the increase in rent. Assuming (and it’s a big assumption) I get the same pay rise in July when they usually happen, it added to last July’s raise, still won’t cover the rise in the rent. On top of that, the cost of my annual pass to get me to work (renewal in March), has gone up 1%, my council tax will probably go up at least 2%, maybe 4% and the cost of everything else from food to utilities doesn’t seem to be getting any cheaper! To add insult to injury some credit cards (who to my knowledge have never, ever lowered interest rates have begun to track the base rate and if it goes up (as everyone is predicting it will) so will the interest they charge! O.k, you could argue that the credit cards are my own damn fault and I’d agree with you, but banks are still getting cheap credit, I’m not seeing that trickle down to me. As I keep saying, I’m one of the lucky ones in this scenario, I just have myself to look after, I’m in a secure job and have a decent landlord. However, I feel that I’ll never get ahead of myself, I certainly don’t feel that I’ll every have a truly secure living situation, short of a lottery win. I feel like that and I have lots going for me, so how are people who are more squeezed and less secure coping? Nothing, and I do mean nothing this government is doing, is designed to make life for people in my position better. I did everything ‘they’ said I should do to get ahead and I can’t, one thing that would really help me would be for government to effectively take the heat out of both the housing and the rental market, especially in London. It would be difficult but this is something that the market has been failing on for decades and it’s time for a little old fashioned government control. However, as my uncle said, this government is not for the working people, it’s for the ones who already have the cash.