Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Politics

Day 307

Just back from my rucksacked walk to the big supermarket. Left in the sinking sun, returned in the gloaming. I often ask myself what’s more important to me – the light or the warmth? It’s not an easy call to make, but I always reckon warm evenings (like 25C or something like that) would be adeuate compensation for the short days. Having said that, for two of the four winters we lived in Norway for, we had so much snow that the nights actually seemed really light, and in the depth of winter we were only getting about four hours daylight. But then the snow so well reflected the moon and the outside lights the Norwegians traditionally leave on so people can find their way that it didn ‘t seem so dark. And the cold was real cold, not the dank damp dripping from the trees and buildings we get here in the UK. Anyhow – it’s a complain any of you who know me well will have heard from me ad infinitum. Mind you, it bears repeating – and climate change probably has a lot to answer for in this respect, too.

The Bank of England has put up interest rates to 3% and in the same breath warned that the UK is in for a prolonged recession. I know I’ve written about this before, too. But here’s the thing – I barely scraped a pass in my Maths O level, and it’s still obvious to me that you don’t tame overall inflation with interest rate rises. The deep-seated issue with the UK economy is that Brexit has proven a disaster and pump-primed, as it were, the rise in living costs, and will continue to do so until we rejoin the EU. This rise has been compounded by the government’s unwillingness to impose either a windfall tax or lasting taxes on energy companies making billions of pounds of profit every quarter. The illegal war in Ukraine is not a significant contributor to the rise in energy prices, which are actually the main driver of inflation (fuel underpins the retail and production food chain, if you like), but the main generator of fear of blackouts (and they’re not the same thing). The fact that continental European governments are doing their best to protect their citizens from the greed of the energy companies puts the UK government’s lack of action into stark relief. And acknowledging the Eurozone is going through an economically rough patch only reinforces the fact that Brexit has been an unmitigated disaster. And the fact that rich people and ruch corporates don’t get taxed highly enough feeds inflation, too, and deprives public services of desperately needed income.




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