Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Mum, I’m hungry

The title of this post is a cry that would often be made by me and my sisters when we were growing up. Of course we weren’t truly hungry. My parents found it difficult at times but we never went hungry in reality. Not the hungry of being in pain, frightened and wondering about where your next meal was coming from and when that might be. It is frankly quite disgusting that in the 21st century in a very prosperous country we can’t feed everyone. There is no excuse. The pandemic has exacerbated an already tragic and vile reality. Our system doesn’t work. It has failed us. Capitalism is flawed. It’s always been flawed. It can’t feed everybody and it can’t house everybody. IT FUCKING WELL DOESN’T HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS. We can change it! 

I’ve been a union member nearly all of my adult life. There is no reason not to be, yet so many people aren’t. I’m retired, yet I’m still a union member. My union is Unite and I’m proud to be a member. Some time ago my union set up something called Unite Community. It gives those who don’t work or are self employed etc a chance to be a union member. It also does what it says on the label ‘Community’. It has been at the forefront of helping with and organising food banks, providing meals to children during school holidays and many other good things. There’s probably a branch near you doing this sort of vital work right now. Check it out and support them if you can. 

I don’t celebrate Christmas as such and as a consequence I don’t buy any presents at all now. I see it as a pointless exercise that achieves nothing apart from perpetuating an oppressive cultural activity and generating a lot of waste. But the thought of people going hungry fills me with such anger and sadness that, at a time when lots of people are consuming to excess, I want to do more than I normally already do. I’ve given to a Norfolk Unite Community appeal and if you live in Norfolk I’d ask you to do the same, if you are able. If you live somewhere else, and are able, I would urge you to donate to a local food bank, please. Can you imagine what it must be like to be hungry and malnourished? Thankfully I can’t but I know enough to know that it must be beyond horrible. It should not be like this but it is. Please give and at the same time get political. Let’s change things for all our sakes. PLEASE. 

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