Monday, 21 February 2011
Sorry I have been away from blogland.
I have had friends staying so have been unable to get on to the computer to blog - sorry about that but here I am again Last night we had a little supper party and I took a photograph before we began to eat so that you could see what we had! I intended to take another photograph so that I could post 'before' and 'after' but I forgot all about it. Sufficient to say that we had a lovely evening with lots of nice chat amongst friends - isn't that what life is all about? (the empty plate in the foreground is waiting for the hot garlic bread to come out of the oven.)
You may remember that the other day I asked for your opinion on the subject of bus passes for the over sixties. The buses are subsidised and most of the passengers in our area are over sixty so that without these passengers there would be no bus service - should it be part of government cuts - and what about the closures of our libraries? I asked these questions and also asked readers of my blog who were not bloggers themselves to send me an e mail if they felt strongly about it. We also discussed the subject after supper last night.
I intended to post a blog today showing opinions. My goodness, is that difficult. Thank you so much for your response. In all, with e mails I have had almost fifty replies. Very heartening = that is the good news. The bad news is that every opinion is different, no two people really agree!
Opinions range from - nobody should feel entitled to a bus pass; in these days of cuts everybody should play their part; means testing should be brought back so that those who can really afford to pay do so; people should be asked to pay what they can afford; our generation have worked hard and paid our taxes and are now entitled to reap some of the rewards; everyone over sixty should be allowed to travel free on all public transport, including trains; I could go on.
On the subject of library closures - some people said they never used the library anyway as the books were never changed; others said libraries were a valuable social asset and should not be cut.
It is all so complicated. We do have a massive debt as a country - I feel (and I am sure most people over sixty would agree) that this debt/credit culture that has permeated society for the last twenty years or so is a lot to blame. Young people are somehow seduced into thinking that they have to have everything NOW and that the way to get it is to borrow the money - and pay it back bit by bit with appallingly high interest rates (do I sound like a grumpy old woman - I do hope so). And who has reaped the benefit? I suppose most people would say "the banks" - for banks do come in for a huge amount of criticism - rightly so, although I suspect most of us don't really understand any of it. Interestingly I saw that a new collective noun has been coined - "a cabinet of millionaires." And in the light of that I am tempted to ask what such rich people could possibly know about trying to live on the kind of incomes on which most people live?
But having seen the absolutely terrible images on the news this evening of events in the Middle East I can't help thinking we are so lucky to live in such a stable country - huge debt or no huge debt. (And any day now I expect petrol to rocket up again in price with trouble in the Middle East being given as the cause.)
What a complicated world we live in. At least we can moan about things, say publicly what we think, sign petitions with our real names - and all with absolutely no fear of retribution. And that is surely worth a lot.