Christmas 2018 - And What's Next?
Well, that time of the year has again come round - the one that most of us treat as a time to make children happy by giving them the presents they hoped for and for pursuing the mythology that exists about Christmas. But at least the theme of 'giving' continues to be emphasised, even though we mostly don't stop to think about what it's all about.
And the people involved in these UK scenarios will be wanting to know a lot more about what Christmas is about as far as they are concerned:
- Some 597 homeless people died in England and Wales in 2017, an increase of 24% since 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics.
- The amount of homelessness is thought to be far greater than the Government admits to.
- In addition, a new analysis finds 130,000 kids will be homeless at Christmas.
- Government Ministers have also been warned that the Housing Benefit freeze risks pushing renters into homelessness,
- The disabled have been severely targeted, particularly on the bedroom tax issue, but also with regard to the difficulty they have in gaining PIP benefits.
- On top of that, Foodbanks continue to be perhaps the most quickly expanding food outlet sector.
Eight years after coming into office, the Tory Government has decided that perhaps it's about time some of these anomalies should be checked. But it's almost a cynical response, knowing that they will stand to gain deep unpopularity if these issues are allowed to worsen any further.
And in the middle of all this - indeed it's promoted by the media as the most important subject - is Brexit. And what a shambles this process has proved to be, with possibly great impact on how we perform trade and with regard to the staffing of the NHS.
And there is the little matter of climate change, with the Government very reluctant to call a halt on fracking. And in this 'Lost 'World' video and article there is just a little reminder of how the world's resources are being mismanaged.
And what about HS2? Surely that White Elephant must be brought to a halt before it really hits the buffers.
The year 2019 stands to be a year when all these matters (and others) will surely start to come to a head. And serious issues exist in many other countries of the world - including the US, so that it stands to be that the whole world will be at a crossroads in 2019 or 2020.
But I still say to you all: be happy this Christmas. But let's try harder to personally carry that happiness towards others that are far worse off, wherever they may be.
Thank you for reading this.