We were told that someone requiring treatment for Aids had died because they could no longer afford to pay their medical bills. Wives of some of the workers started to turn up at our house (R now worked from home as the company offices had no electricity) with babies and small children, asking for help we couldn't give.
Inequality is growing nationally and globally. It is corroding social cohesion and democracy. It is creating division. It is also holding back economic development and growth. However, too few politicians seem to regard inequality as important. Indeed, some of the Coalition government's policies have directly increased inequality and there is no indication that the Government has any strong desire to reverse this trend.
It is unlikely that these demonstrations seen today in Hong Kong will bring about significant change. Nevertheless, whether you are a democracy advocating global citizen, a government looking at how best to peacefully manage demonstrations, or just someone interested in international politics and what life in a future, more developed, China might look like, today's protests are a significant event worth watching closely.
If technology allows us to virtually participate in meetings that take place anywhere in the world, is it so important that we are there to shake hands in person? As the cost of power creeps ever higher, I would imagine that priorities will shift out of necessity towards conducting more business through digital channels.
It seems that studying Plato, master of the philosophical analogy has rubbed off on me. In a system in which the interlinking of government and capitalism has created a politically endorsed economy, the original foundations have been oft neglected and I wanted to get back to how, at least in theory, our public and private sectors interlink.
There are so many issues which affect young people's lives and we are putting ourselves at a great disadvantage by not voting. How can you help to change something if you don't include yourself in political dialogue? With rising long term youth unemployment and trebling of university fees, now is the time to make our voices heard.
It's that simple. In any situation, if you can stop, ask that question of yourself and accept that no matter how much you want to answer it with "well, actually, I didn't create this"... you did. If you can accept 100% responsibility for what's going on, you put yourself at cause and you immediately grant yourself the power to change it.
It is very easy to be righteously disgusted by his behaviour, and feel ashamed that we didn't take notice of his victims, however, the death of Jimmy Saville two years ago and the revelations which followed, still leave many unanswered questions about our relationship to fame, and particularly how men react to such power.