Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Politicians: Let me Welcome you to the World of the Real Working Class

An open letter to Politicians of all represented Parties in Parliament, particularly Party Leaders:

For a few minutes let me open the door and let you take a peek at the world of the real working class people; our issues and concerns over the way you govern us, the way you caricature us, but most of all the way you THINK you know what is best for us. without ever having walked a mile in our shoes.

The following are real issues that ordinary working class people are going through, putting up with, and battling on a daily basis. Try to understand, try to empathise, but most of all act for us.  In 2015 after years of being ignored, derided and put in our places, we have the power as a very large group to kick you out, or put you into No.10 Downing Street. Please read on.

#WorkingClassIssues

"Not being able to visit sick elderly parents because you can't afford the transport costs"

"Unable to send birthday cards to family/friends because you can't afford cards and stamps."

"Not having a holiday in 15 years."

"Telling your child to turn down party invitations because you can't afford a present for the birthday child."

"After paying the weekly food shop, not having enough money for washing powder/liquid, cleaning products, toothpaste, shampoo or  pet food."

"Dreading unexpected family events like funerals as you can't afford time off work or the costs associated with travel, overnight stay etc"

"The sheer relief felt when on the 1st of the month you have managed to pay the direct debits and  have £5 left if you are lucky!"

"One of the kids is ill with a bad cold. It takes over a week to get a doctors appointment for a free prescription. but you have no money to buy medicine right now."

"The dread of  ringing HMRC to renew tax credits. If they mess it up you can go weeks with no money at all."

"When a roast dinner on a Sunday is a once a month luxury... Maybe."

"When a grandparent pushes £10 into your hand to "buy the kids an ice cream" and you know it will buy you some much needed fresh fruit and veg or a joint of meat.

"The fear as a parent you get when the letter for a school trip or the school Prom come home. The thought of the extra expenditure needed to stop your child from being ridiculed fills you with anxiety."

"Dreading the DWP brown letter dropping through your letterbox as it signals a drop or complete stoppage of benefit. Loving Sundays as there is no post."

"Selling cherished items on EBay to pay for bills or a small present on a child's birthday."

"When you've hit rock bottom - been referred to a Foodbank and given a food parcel for a week. Once you have hit rock bottom you realise there is no other way to go but up."

"Had to take out a pay day loan just to pay the bills knowing you will be in the same situation next month"

"Envying those who can have shopping days at retail parks, a new hair-do, a meal out with the kids or other small treats."

"Being disabled and being put to bed at 5.15pm by a visiting carer as they have 20 other people to visit."

"Working 40 hours a week full time, paying bills but can't even afford one night a month in the pub."

"Sending the kids to local relatives at tea times or on weekends because you can't afford to feed them for the whole week."

"Coming to breaking point as a carer and Social Services telling you there is nothing they can do to help as their funding has been cut."

"Waking up at night -every night - with the worry you won't be able to pay your rent/mortgage that month."

"Telling the kids in winter they can have a fun game of making tents in the front room out of their bed quilts. The truth is you can't afford to put the heating on all evening and you need to keep them and yourself warm."

"Being kicked out of your house with rent/mortgage arrears and living as a family in a one room B+B - scared and fearful."

"Thinking seasonal employment is now a "good" job."

"You have a child with special needs. You constantly get calls from school to come in as your child is having a crisis. But your employer is getting so fed up they have asked you whether you have commitment to the job or wish to leave. You know you have no choice and face life back on £61.35pw Carers Allowance."

"Putting off hospital appointments as you are an agency staff , zero contract hour worker and you know you are "easily replaced".

"Keeping kids intentionally off school on the last day of the Christmas and July terms as you can't afford the "teacher present" giving where other parents consistently try to outdo each other."

" Existing" as a carer on £61.35pw - every week - every year."

"Answering your kids as to why they can't go on holiday like other kids with "I can barely afford the new school uniform for September, let alone a summer holiday."

"Not knowing from one week to the next what hours your employer wants you to do, and when, and fighting with colleagues over extra hours when they become available."

"Hunting down the back of the sofa for any coins that will buy a loaf and baked beans for the kids tea"

"Wanting to work but your child is disabled. There is no childminder going to take on your disabled child on a 1-1 when they can take 6 able bodied children all fee paying.The local nursery have no specially trained staff to deal with your child's disability so your talent goes to waste and you live in poverty."

"Knowing you have to find the extra £15pw Bedroom Tax or if you don't it means your kids have to
move school, you may have to move neighbourhood or even county and leave behind all your relatives and support systems so you cut back on food."

"As a single parent on zero hours contract at a supermarket you are asked to work a week on the very late shift that ends at midnight. You can't refuse as you need the money. And you have to be flexible like the other workers or you will be overlooked when extra hours become available There are no relatives nearby so you take the risk of leaving the 12 yr old in charge of the younger ones."

"As you are Working Poor and not entitled to free school lunches, you face the dread of not having enough money to cover a full weeks lunches and hoping the teachers won't notice when your children go without one day."

"Waiting at a supermarket late at night as they give huge discounts in the chilled aisle so you can afford to feed the family the following day."

"Watching your talented child wonder whether they can afford a university education when your financial support as a parent will be £0.

"Wishing Party Leaders could walk a mile in your shoes for 6-12 months. Knowing for that length of time policy would definitely change."

"Hoping Party Leaders look at their parties and decide they want more working class people as MPs, who know the issues working class people have because they have gone through them, themselves!"

Thank you for taking the time to read this if you are an MP especially. Encourage your Party Leader to read this too. The  working class want change. We are a savvy, fed up group of people with millions of votes up for  grabs in 2015. Earn those votes.