Dr Alf in this post raises some important issues which I think go to the heart of issues concerning personal responsibility versus what Government,s can be reasonably expected to do.
I can well remember what used to happen in the past before Winter Fuel allowances and the Defra “Warmfront Scheme” to alleviate fuel poverty,when every cold winter brought tales of elderly people being found dead in their high-rise apartments in places like Peckham because they supposedly lacked the money to both eat and heat their homes.
My late parents had modest incomes but practiced thrift,careful money management,did not go on package holidays, cycled, worked overtime when it was plentiful and saved and put their money into modest dilapidated buy to let properties long before people like Kirsty Allsopp and other television presenters of that ilk were even born.
One of those properties which was originally owned by an insurance company had grass 3 feet high and was overgrown with hawthorn bushes, all of which had to be cleared by hand. The original inhabitant, a Mrs. Sain, used to say to my father when my younger brother was learning to walk “We are better than you, we won the war”. My father kept his counsel and on the hot summer’s day this woman died and her body was being removed by the local undertaker, he went to the local estate agent responsible for dealing with what were known as the “insurance houses” and made an offer at a time when most people had gone on holiday.
All three of us (I have a brother and sister) were well fed, wine was made from grapes brought over from Italy and central heating was not installed until I was 12 years old.
From the age of 8, I used to go into the woods, collect firewood blown down in gales, drag it home and create woodpiles having sawn the longer branches into firewood. I used to do that throughout the year and during some very brutal winters. Any excess wood, I used to try to sell as pocket-money. The wood kept the living room fire going and with a back boiler heated the water thus saving the use of the immersion heater.
I can remember people saying to me as a child, sometimes with contempt that my stepfather should, “not work so hard”, “enjoy himself more”, “work less overtime”, spend more, “go on holiday “.
Most of those people worked at places like Kaysor Bondor and Armco which had to close because of lack of performance and productivity of these very same people who are now either retired, dead or living impoverished lives.
Whilst I am no apologist for the untrammeled greed of the energy companies nor the mismanagement of the Coalition, I have not forgotten those comments or what my late father used to say at the time which was that his critics were very stupid people who would one day live to regret their actions.
Now the chickens have come home to roost at precisely the same time as we are being regaled with scaremongering about “global warming” and “climate change” when in fact the earth is further away from the sun and is cooling.
People are reaping what they sowed in the form of severe consequences for their former profligacy and lack of future planning.