Thelma (North Stoke) writes today about Banks closing in her little market town up here in North Yorkshire. The same is true of the little North Yorkshire town where I live - and I suspect the same is true all over the country. The reason the banks give is the rise in on-line banking but where does that leave the rest of us who don't choose to do that?
My local HSBC (which used to be Midland bank many years ago) has been my bank of choice for the last fifty odd years and during that time I have never overdrawn or even come near to it. Two years ago the branch in our town was given a make over and looked very smart. 'Good'. I thought, they would hardly spend all that money on the branch if they intended to close it. I couldn't have been more wrong. A year later it is closed and now the building moulders away at the top of our market square - the railings rusty and thick with weeds and rubbish, the paintwork peeling, thoroughly neglected. Signs on the windows tell us that eventually it will become a Costa coffee shop.
Meanwhile I have two choices - for some things I can go into the Post Office and do the transaction there, for others I have to go to my designated branch which is twenty five miles away - and I no longer drive in the town.
I suppose it has always been thus - money talks, money dictates what happens. We minions might think we are the favourites of our banks or whatever, but not so. The money HSBC spent on doing up a branch destined to close will no doubt already have been clawed back in various money-saving ways.
And it is not just that. I think of the protests against Fracking which are taking place near where Thelma lives (North Stoke blog again) - small, devoted folk ardently behind their cause standing up and fighting against giants of industry.
Fittingly in this year when the Suffragette movement is in the news again being a hundred years old, all these things which make us feel 'downtrodden' (and I include many, many female
'causes' in this as well as the two cases above) also serve to remind us that we have a long way to go and I doubt if we will ever get there.
Protesting about anything might make us feel a bit better but can anyone give me an example where it has actually worked (and yes I do know women have the vote but there are plenty of things wrong with society and its attitude to women still).