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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

15th June - Spirits in a Material World

Now that I am on the train everyday, I have chance to compare with using the car to go to work. Even if I had a car, I cannot afford to park at the station as it costs £5.70. The bus costs £1.40 one way. The ticket costs £13.90. G picks me up - 6 miles round trip@ HMRC rates of 45p a mile = £2.70. So that's between £18 a day and £22.30 to get to work to wait out my notice. Of course I do get a free paper, the Metro. A season ticket, soon to be purchased would give me a free journey a week.

As a comparison, in a car, it would be 62 miles @ 45p a mile = £27.90, so cheaper there (perhaps).

I have to earn £130 a week gross before I even start paying bills with  the official RPI rate of 5.7%. And where does that figure come from? Petrol =20p a litre more expensive than last year, Food bill £20 more expensive than last year, Energy prices £20 a month more expensive than last year. Personal RPI - nearer 20%.

I now get up nearly an hour earlier, start my journey 20 minutes earlier, arrive 10-15 minutes later. In the evening, I have to wait about 20 minutes for the train to leave, and would arrive home about an hour later than I would do in a car. So until I leave, I'll lose two hours a day, of relaxation time. Last night I sat down at 9pm, 18 hours after I got up. Very little personal time to do things like pay bills, socialise clean the house. I do get to read a book as well as the Metro though. At the moment it's William Cobbett's Rural Rides, which was a 19th century blog. In it he is as frustrated at politician's mismanagement as we are today. Then you bought your seat in parliament voted for by male landowners only. Today we have 'policy experts' who end up in parliament, so it is still not representative of the community at large. He also complains about the country's elite being in non-jobs, creaming off the taxes of hard working labourers. For that substitute politicians and everyone else. Same rubbish, different century.

Anyway, this morning I read that on the overhead gantry signs on roads, along with useful messages such as 'speed kills', (no it doesn't proximity kills), 'don't drink and drive', 'fog' (this is ironic in two ways - 1, how can you see it if indeed there is fog, and 2. the sign is usually left on when the fog has cleared, so the driver doesn't know whether he is going to drive into it or not. This is usually the same for an accident warning - it can be hours after before the sign is switched off. The latest message to be included is 'You could be on the train'. Where the Rail companies are going to put people I don't know, as many are standing already anyway. This is the crux of the immigration debate. Nothing to do with where people are coming from, their race, creed, and any other divisive traits that politicians hide behind, so that the issue is never discussed properly. It really is this simple, where are they going to be put? We have over crowded roads, trains, NHS.  They are wanted because they pay taxes for politicians to squander and businesses to deflate wages. Despite the Daily Mail complaining that house prices are not rising, a whole generation will not own a house until middle age, if at all, due to the silly prices especially at entry level, where 2nd homes and 'buy to let' have dried up supply. Compare the number of 'To Let' signs with 10 years ago, in towns without a university - I would suggest that they have increased exponentially.

Regardless of political views, the individual is now lost in the state. Too much of our wages go to support the infrastructure that politicians have ignored while chasing madcap schemes (High Speed Rail 2, Afghanistan, wind energy) and businesses have externalised costs - the road network is now for moving imports around the country, that we used to make ourselves. (see previous blog for my frustrations on that one). We work to live, even survive, just as Cobbett's labourers did nearly 200 years ago.

Spirits in a Material World - Police. I don't have the answer but there's got to be more to life than this treadmill that we are all on.

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