Tory Britain…

So there I was, driving home after a late finish at my evening job.

(Yes, I have more than one job. In fact, I never have fewer than two jobs these days — because, in this age of zero-hours contracts and temporary work without meaningful protections, I can’t afford fewer…)

It was dark; it was cold; there were hardly any pedestrians still around; and even the other cars were few and far between…

I was just passing the edge of Cambridge’s town centre — in fact, almost next to a university hall of residence that a pal of mine lived in, way back — when, ahead of me, I saw a young woman on the pavement, walking in my direction and waving her arms…

Naturally, I slowed down and pulled over onto the kerb, my shining armour glinting faintly through my warehouse clothes.

Now, my car is a Renault, and so none of the electrics work; as a result, the windows are stuck closed — meaning that I had to lean across and open the passenger door to speak to her…

‘Are you straight?’, she said, quickly pushing her face into the gap.

‘What…?’, I asked, baffled.

‘I mean, you’re not gay? You do like girls…?’

‘Well, yes; but I saw you waving, and I thought you might be in trouble…’

‘If you like me, you can have sex with me — for £30’, she said.

‘Um, well’, I said. ‘Look, it’s nothing personal, I promise; but I don’t think that’s such a good idea right now.’

‘I’ve never done this before’, she said. ‘But it’s fine: I’ve already got the cond…’

‘No, what I mean is that, uh, my wife and I, um, we have, you know, a very old-fashioned marriage, if you see what I mean…

(Don’t worry, ladies: I’m not really married. I was just thinking on my feet, there…)

‘But I need £30. I’ve got to get £30. It’s not for drugs or anything: it’s for my rent.’

‘Trust me: I really do know what that’s like’, I said. ‘And I know it’s not for me to tell you what to do or not to do. But I don’t think that being out here this late, on your own, flagging down drivers, is the best way there is of managing this. Surely you know what I mean…?’

‘Could you give me £30? Or you could lend it to me, and I’ll get it back to you…? There’s a cash point at the Co-op, if you’ve got your card…’

‘I’m awfully sorry’, I said. ‘And I know you might not believe this; but I can’t go to the cash point, because there won’t be any money in that account until Friday morning. Really. I’m living on loose change today and tomorrow. But you can have what I’ve got on me, okay? Look: three … four … four eighty … four ninety-something. Nearly five quid: that’s a part of the way there, isn’t it…?

‘No. I’ve got to get £30. I’ve got to have £30 by tomorrow.’

‘I really am sorry’, I said. ‘This is all I have… Honestly…’

‘I don’t believe you! You’ve got a car!’, she said.

And then she walked away. Further up the road. To wait for the next man with a car. In the cold. Alone. Late at night. Desperate for £30.

And, of course, I don’t know any of the details. Is she one of Britain’s millions of ‘working poor’ — who find that rent, council tax and commuting are eating up 80% and more of their earnings, with everything else still to be paid for? If she’s not working, perhaps she’s still in the infamous ‘six week’ (and the rest!) wait for her first payment of ‘Universal Credit’ — that newest weapon in our carpetbagging elite’s campaign of conscious cruelty towards the poorest (and a benefit from which the ‘Bedroom Tax’ is deducted before it even gets to you…)? Was she so desperate to have the money the next day because she’d been told she’d lose her tenancy if she didn’t — probably via a so-called ‘Section 21’ eviction notice (and I know all about those, because I’ve had one)…?

But I don’t know anything about her or her situation. Except that she was being driven to the most dangerous kind of amateur street prostitution over significantly less money than Iain Duncan Smith will claim on expenses for a single breakfast.

All I know is what little she said to me. But even if I’d known more, what could I have done to help…?

I drove on through a few more junctions and took my usual turning, away from town and towards the motorway. If I’d turned the other way, I’d have gone past the street where, a few months ago, I saw a homeless girl in tears of rage and misery. Apparently, a passer-by had given her some money to buy food — and she went straight away into Sainsbury’s to get some. She’d left her sleeping bag and blankets where they were — on the pavement, outside a shop a few doors down — and when she came back, someone had got rid of them.

I only had loose change that day, too. But at least she took it.

It’s 2017. It’s Tory Britain. And if you aren’t angry as hell, then there’s something very wrong with you.


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14 thoughts on “Tory Britain…

  1. They say we r all one weeks wage packet away from destitution, but many many people are not at all, they live like kings n queens, some literally while stepping over homeless, poor, destitute fellow human beings. It makes me sick to the very core.

    What amazes me is why people are not out with pitchfolks, raging at the disgusting corporate run UKok state. Look at the tory rags today, I glanced at the shop shelf about ‘Meghan’ farting or something, FFS!

    My cousin just visited me from NE Eng, one of whom had their wages, (a care worker) cut by 40%, (!) apparently it’s due to ‘regrading’, meanwhile the Labour council leader took at 20% pay rise, I mean wtf! I love my family, a bit disturbed that they knew the names of loads of celebs, and had some sympathy for ‘Harry’, I dunno for something. Eh? He shot dead a huge, beautiful majestic musk ox or similar and had his photo taken with it, dead! Git.

    What is going on, why are people accepting of such inequality, not haopy with it, but not raging.

    Look at Catalonia, I can’t bring myself to watch the vid of the Spanish bastrds police stopping, I guess likely abusing someone for wearing a fckg yellow scarf in support of the Catalan political prisoners! I don’t usually drink in the day, but after a stressful weekend, and all the fuckwit stuff going on, where is that wee can of beer….

    People are blinkered, blinded and dangerously accepting of extremism, and we are sleep walking into god knows what, fascism UKOK. I see Steve Bannon was in Scotland, a secret visit, eh! What is giing on! I know we r forced to house Trident, but that is scary shit going on right now.

    Went again to see the ‘Kelpies’ today, one of them, their head looked so like it was looking right at me, and with so much expression, the photos are a bit haunting.

    Good luck and I promise to donate asap, just waiting for a wee miracle re money. It will happen.

    Thanks, Hetty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel sad and angry that the working class don’t see they are the majority and could stop this wicked Tory government by an all out strike. We could not be worse off , they need us workers we are the money makers and the tax payers, the rich do not pay tax. The millions of pensioners have power also if they stopped child care and volunteering it would cause chaos. I know people have been beaten to the ground but we HAVE the power to finish this cruel government. Please find the guts to fight back

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Yes it’s extremely sad and unnecessary. It seems that we have a two tier system of poverty according to the tories. Poverty and then absolute poverty! The increase in the working poor has hugely increased. How many jobs can a person take on. I joined the Labour Party which i feel is our only answer to this cruel government.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sed contra: Labour is not the only option, and, moreover, not a very good option either. Even under the relatively decent Corbyn (too old to be lured by the gravy train, methinks), Labour remains pro-monarchy, pro-Trident, and pro-Brexit. The party is a rusty juggernaut that is still infested with corruption and private interests (how else can one explain the illegal Iraq intervention?). It is not taking seriously the most pressing issues of the day, although Corbyn has improved matters somewhat (how long before he is forced to step aside in favour of a Blairite, perhaps after MI5 find a way of making him “ill” due to “old age” or something? The Blairites are already starting to take over the shadow cabinet again, since making a truce with Corbyn after the election), the result being that the genuinely progressive parties have lost influence since 2015. Personally, and despite not living in Brighton, I shall continue to vote Green in parliamentary elections. The Greens are genuine and consistent in their stances and, whilst I disagree with some of their policies (such as their proposals to reduce copyright terms, something which would cause disproportionate harm to freelance writers and artists, most of whom already get a raw deal), I think they have their priorities right on the biggest issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s likely that a private landlord had threatened her with (unlawful) eviction if she didn’t pay arrears. It’s difficult to remain level headed when fear takes over.


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