Photography: Heavy Box by Clement127 from Flickr
Dear Prime Minister
I woke at 4.30am this morning with something on my mind and I feel strongly that I should share it with you.
Yesterday when lifting a box of files in my office I picked it up from the top. As I lifted, the bottom fell apart and all the contents fell crashing to the floor.
I picked the files up, put them back in the box, then, whilst this time supporting the bottom with one hand, I used the other as a guide and delivered the whole box to its eventual destination in a cupboard.
I thought no more of this until waking early this morning and realising that should be the role of good government.
Lifting any heavy weight is likely to be more effective by lifting from the bottom and guiding from the top.
In other words, and as I have said previously, it is essential that when the powerful horses of a free enterprise system that has delivered unparalleled wealth to our society over the last two hundred years or so, move forward, they are firmly harnessed to the carriage of society, so that the forward movement benefits everyone, not just those at the top.
We must create a society where all members feel the benefit of wealth creation. That is my central point.
Lift from the bottom, guide from the top. That must surely be what is required from thoughtful leadership.
We come from entirely different backgrounds. You were born into a life of wealth and privilege, surrounded as I understand it by a loving family and given the benefit of a good education, but then so were very many members of all the opposition parties, including past and present leaders and other prominent figures.
I was born on a council estate in the 1950's and was the product of a broken home. I lived variously between my dads one bed council flat and my mums old caravan parked in a field. My parents never spoke for over thirty years which as a child resulted, due primarily to my serious hyperactivity, in my spending time on the streets. Believe me being on the street with no friends or family, and without money, isn't recommended. As darkness comes the danger increases. Especially if you're a child.
Some young people currently experiencing that loneliness and danger are the offspring of drug addicts and alcoholic parents some who due to their addiction put their need for a quick fix before the welfare of their children.
We as an advanced democratic society owe it to those children to step in and ensure their safety.
Your privileged background does not mean you do not understand the importance of supporting society at its bottom of course.
Business is not the preserve of right wing politics anymore than caring about people is the preserve of the left. There are good and bad on both sides.
Rewarding hard working families with tax breaks is good but it must be remembered that policies designed to help and reward some people may cause others more hardship. Some of these people cannot help themselves. People such as the children already mentioned, the very elderly, and those covered by the mental health act.
Creating the environment where business can prosper and create wealth is essential, but as I say so is supporting those who cannot support themselves, or as I found when lifting that box of files, you may find yourself wasting valuable time picking up the pieces.
I am not referring here to the work shy, feckless, or career criminals.
There are many drug dealers who use our benefit system as a basic wage whilst they earn thousands, even millions, peddling misery on our streets.
Using illegal and very addictive recreational drugs causes misery to both the user and society generally and the perpetrators of this misery should face serious consequences. Many criminals at the top of this dreadful trade are not themselves addicts of anything, other than money!
The availability of cheap booze in our supermarkets also adds to this general lethargy and creates a culture of no hope. The board members of these enterprises should remember this when making policy decisions. They definitely have a responsibility to their shareholders but must remember that we are all shareholders in our wider society.
There is that which is fiscally prudent and that which is morally correct.
Hope and aspiration are usually followed by perspiration. As my dad used to say "hard work never hurt anyone"
That's probably true, but so is being properly rewarded for that work.
Those that can work should work, those that genuinely can't must be supported by those of us that can.
In the end it's only by lifting from the bottom and guiding from the top that we can create the big society previously mentioned.