Imagine you know someone…

..and have done since they were a child. They ask to use your phone, and you hear them beg an employer who put them at risk and laid them off after four days without payment, not for the lost payment which they are willing to forgo, but for the chance at employment. Willing to forgo minimum wage, and fearful of this employer lying to the jobcentre. A well founded fear. At 15 one of the brightest in their year, and no less so now.

Imagine looking at them, knowing that when you were the age they are, in the town you live in, you used to apply for well paid jobs, JUST to get a pay rise at your existing job. That you had a mortgage you could afford, and a pension. The foundations of a life. A life with immense possibilities.

Then imagine knowing a town, like the one you both live in and love, and knowing that it was in the same state as this town, when you were a small child in the early eighties, before Thatcher destroyed it. That that town died, and the estates you grew up on saw no changes but poverty deepen as generations passed and nothing replaced the industry and skilled jobs that disappeared. What was left of the busy market town-centre recently demolished. Imagine knowing that the skilled engineering and manufacturing base that preserved the town you live in, is dying away and has been for a long time, as the pool of time served skills dries up, and austerity has just killed the public sector skilled employment that backed it up, while small businesses fight supermarkets, banks, and the cost of money being sucked out of their customers pockets. That you are seeing signs the gentrification that allows an area to be cleansed of those who can no longer afford it. And understanding exactly how this will happen. With reminders in the towns on all sides of your valley. Imagine this is the community you became part of, because that town died and could not retain it’s young people, without any opportunities.

Imagine looking at our media, finance, and political establishment on trial  and realising that these people are why this will happen. That in order to do this, they are demonising the person you can hear beg on the phone.

Then redefine the word angry.