Until July 2017, documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say! Meanwhile . . . I've now moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire. Click on the link below to collect the new URL. Don't forget to follow there!

Sunday, 31 March 2013


Plant dwarfed by walls of tall office block and the large paved area in front
March 27th 2013

Tomorrow, changes to state benefits kick in. Many will find they can no longer afford their rent. Homelessness is likely to increase.

Whatever you think about benefits, trying to solve the problems of our national economy by putting more people onto the streets doesn't make sense. At least, I don't think it does.

Easter is not about daffodils. Daffodils are cheerful. They lift our spirits. We can rely on them to pop up each spring. That's one of the reasons we like them. We can count on them to tell us dark times are passing, the sun is on its way.

But Easter? Easter is about the unexpected.

I could show you flowers. But I'm going to show you a city plant instead. A tiny bit of green rammed against a huge city office block. It's to the right of the fat grey pillar. There are more further along.

The changes to benefit may not turn millions onto the street to join this little plant. In a way that's one of the silly things about this situation. The small amounts of money docked from family purses will not, even when put together, solve our national problems so why are we doing it? There's something vindictive about blaming the poor for problems created by people much wealthier than them. But the anxiety in families threatened with poverty and homelessness - their anxiety will be immense.

The next time I go by this huge building with its smart glass and massive paved area - I expect the plant will have gone.


ADRIAN said...

I just hope we don't have a hot summer. Any gains from benefit cuts will be lost in a riot or two.

Janet said...

It's horrible what's happening isn't it?

There is a picture of some graffitti doing the rounds of twitter. I think it says something like 'the rich are employing the rich to tell the middle-classes to hate the poor'. Seems about right.

If I were a leader I'd want to look after the people of my country, not the money lenders of another.

I like your choice of photo - appropriate for the topic.

Mark Willis said...

The grey building with a grey pillar probably houses grey-haired men in grey suits. It / they need/s some daffodils!

I would solve the social crisis by making a law that forbids a boss from "earning" more than 10 times as much as his lowest-paid worker!
How come the super-rich get huge bonuses for just doing their jobs when the Other Ranks have to make do with the Minimum Wage, even if they are doing really good work??

Anonymous said...

A beautifully suitable post for a time when we are all thinking about chocolate eggs and daffodils.

It seems to be a global trend to either blame the poor for needing help or to make them pay one way or another for all the money that the middle and upper classes have gained during the boom years and lost during the following financial crisis - bringing them no longer down than they were to begin with. (I count myself as one of the privileged, having grown up in a decidedly middle-class family and now being part of an upper-middle class household.)

Those on benefits might soon be quoting some dude who died 1980 years ago: Why have you forsaken me?

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

In the 60s we thought flower power would change the world - it wasn't the money-less who got it wrong

colleen said...

Notwithstanding the physical impact of being poor, there is an immense impact on mental health. The rhetoric behind current policy stereotypes the benefit dependent as feckless, not as people with feelings. And anxiety is a killer.

Thank you for posting this today.

Pearl said...

It's frightening, and something we're doing in the U.S. as well...


Donna said...

Rather see some more green than stone...we are having similar issues with the blaming of the poor and taking away the little bit they get...disgusting.