28Oct

Rising inequality

I have no idea about the people behind this video so visit the advertised sites at your peril or own investigation. But the points raised are good ones. There is a rising inequality in modern Britain and it is something Christians must oppose. Because societal greed is a vice causing untold suffering leading  to impoverished lives at the lowest end of society. Hardly a part of the divine plan.

This is not to suggest all should be paid the same. I am no left wing activist. But it is to suggest more has to be done to ensure people have enough to live on and that the system is fair. The emergence of zero hour contracts, food banks, pay day loan sharks and rising cases of malnutrition in hospitals tells its own story about life in 21st Century Britain. A picture emerges that should shame those in power, though I very much doubt that it does.

The news is full of stories about UK economic recovery at present but what is seldom explained is that the UK is only doing well because of the super rich. The relief for the government comes at the cost of even greater inequality than before. Factor them out and rising bills and flatlining salaries ensure the pain continues for the majority who find themselves under tremendous strain. Too much power today being in the hands of employers. Too many workers not given enough for the work that they do.

It is easy to let a post like this lead into political waters but the issue is theological too. For the increasingly shoddy treatment of the poor  is surely symptomatic of the nation’s loss of Christian values. Just go and look at who runs the food banks and soup kitchens of Britain if you doubt me. I guarantee a heavy Christian presence.

Too often today I encounter people struggling financially. Not only the out of work but the lowly paid working population too. It is not on.  It is appalling that parents skip meals to feed children and many pensioners must choose between eating or heating. Pope Francis had the measure of it when he stated

“In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world..This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system,”

What can we do to ensure a fairer sharing of the earth’s resources? At the last election politicians claimed “we are in it together”- they then froze the pay of millions before voting for themselves a rise in pay of 11%- even as they were mired in the scandal of abused expenses. You couldn’t make it up! So for me the answer is clear.

To produce a fairer society we need to bring the nation back to Jesus. For faith is what leads to love of neighbour as of self. The further this nation walks from her Christian foundations the more we see greed and vice corrupting the people. The fruit of rebellion from God and a denial of the divine plan for God’s people.

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11 thoughts on “Rising inequality

  1. Fr – many good points in this post.

    Although it smacks more of Polly Toynbee in tone and normally your style is much more Peter Hitchens.

    You described yourself as a “libertarian” recently I believe? Perhaps “socialist libertarian” may be a better description? By the way that’s not a criticism, just an observation/question?
    L

    1. There is NOTHING about me that smacks of Polly Toynbee, of that I can assure you! Nor am I a socialist. I just abhor a system of growing inequality and seeing people being given very little. What is so strange about that?

  2. I didn’t say there was anything strange Fr, it’s quite right and proper.

    Forgive me for the Polly Toynbee comparison. I avail myself of a wide range of journalistic writing and recognised a certain style today that chimed with hers. As I said normally you’re much more Peter Hitchens in style.

    1. Fr David,

      I find Peter Hitchens writings a good old fashioned Conservative tonic too other journalists. I don’t agree with him on many matters; however, he makes me think. That in itself is a compliment. Far to many people on the left of the political divide fail to listen properly to his argument. In the end, a bit like Matthew Perry on Newsnight, they end up looking and sounding silly to anyone intelligent.

      Fr Ed and Peter Hitchens share a deep underlying principle in their writings and that is that the Western World has been a worse place since 1968.

        1. “With My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock”, which George Formby had recorded in 1937, began to cause problems at the BBC which banned such a disgusting and suggestive song. That marked the end of Christian civilisation.

  3. De chacun selon ses facultés, à chacun selon ses besoins.

    You don’t need to be an unreconstituted Trotskyist to think that.

  4. Can anyone give a precise date/event that precipitated the end of Western Civilisation? Unlike Fr. Ed, I was alive in 1963 and seem to have missed it.

  5. Good to see you thinking about the growing divide between rich and poor and condeming it.
    P.S. Socialism isnt a dirty word, its just a way of distributing wealth.

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