The abuses of privilege.

A letter a day to number 10. No 730.

Friday 02 May 2014. The abuses of privilege.

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As I write this I wonder what you will be doing today on International Workers' Day? One thing is for sure, you won't be celebrating workers, eh? In a week which has seen the reintroduction of slavery to Britain and a patronising, arrogant, sneering failed reality TV show contestant has called for unemployed people to wear uniforms, workers, both employed and unemployed, have not had it so bad since the unions were legalised in 1871.

The age old workers struggle rolls on and now we have the worst government in UK history stripping away all that workers have struggled for and won from small minds and greedy hands who take all the benefits of labour and give a penny back if we're lucky. Who could ever have imagined that one day a government would rob us of the most basic principle of work - pay.

I have never believed in the trickle down effect, the pay I have received over my lifetime has always been less than my labour was worth, and I don't mean a bit less to allow for my contribution to maintain the work place and allow for a bit of profit for my employer, I mean a whole lot less. There has never been a trickle down at all, I was merely given a small share of the value of what I had produced, all the rest went upwards never to be seen again by the likes of me.

The real social contract has always been about wealth rising to the top and staying there.

I wonder if you grew up with the children's verse, 'Sing a Song of Sixpence'?

Sing a song of sixpence,

A pocket full of rye.

Four and twenty blackbirds,

Baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened,

The birds began to sing;

Wasn't that a dainty dish,

To set before the king?

The king was in his counting house,

Counting out his money;

The queen was in the parlour,

Eating bread and honey.

The maid was in the garden,

Hanging out the clothes,

When down came a blackbird

And pecked off her nose.

There's the entire social order in one child's verse, everyone knowing their place, but I wonder about the last two lines. Is that some kind of euphemism for the predations of the king? Is the verse hinting at the arrogance of the nobility who even presume to own the bodies of their servants and, as nursery rhymes often do, presents the darker, brutal, reality that the King raped the maid by bestowing his 'favours' upon her? I can't help feeling that rhyme must have been a personal favourite of Iain Duncan Smith. — with Mags McNally and Maggie Brady Cosgrove in Peasedown Saint John.

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