Excuse me, while I have a BIG moan

Reader has to let it all out - he’s trying to give up smoking and has a frozen shoulder.

Excuse me if I’m particularly grumpy, but I’m giving up smoking at the moment and I’m suffering from a frozen shoulder. Which is why I’m off work and I find myself having time to have another go at the establishment, but, let’s face it, they deserve it.

Why do they deserve it? Let me explain. First on my list is previously public-owned companies who were privatised because they were thought not to be fit for purpose, now they just rip us off. Gas and what is required to generate electricity goes up so prices to us go up. The price goes down and they take months to bring the price down, usually in the summer when you use the least. The regulatory bodies set up to monitor these companies take months to catch on and when they do act, it’s too little to late. Fact is these companies now have to pay shareholders, or rather we do. As do oil companies, which play the same game.

Yes, the tax on fuel is astronomical, but actually, that’s the same situation in most European countries. I lived in Finland once and their fuel is a comparable price.

Talking of Finland... When I was there, about 10 years ago, if I wanted to swap money from my account to someone else’s I would go online or call the bank and ask for the transaction to be done - and guess what? It happened, immediately, automatically, didn‘t have to ask for ‘fast cash‘. Ten years ago! Our banks have just started to do ‘fast cash’, which still takes a couple of hours, if you ask for it. If not, it takes four working days. You see they need your money to earn more money, for themselves.

Also The Supreme Court has decided that charging someone �25 for going �1 overdrawn for one day is acceptable. Even if the people who usually go overdrawn are the very people who can least afford to pay �25. The people who can afford it are the ones who probably have shares in the bank. They do this after we gave them �850 billion so that they can continue paying themselves a life time’s wages in bonuses for doing their job for one year.

All of these companies have call centres, which you have to press various options to actually talk to a person. All the time they are telling you “that your call is important to them ”, but (as always) “we have high call volumes” at half past ten at night. If our calls are so important to them, why don’t they employ more call centre staff? Because we are getting charged for it.

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Who’s next? The proposal to sell OUR forests so that someone else can make a profit out of them. How do the government expect these companies to not charge us, either directly or indirectly, for the use of OUR forests, if they want to make a profit? If company A charges company B for use of the forests in some way, company B has to get the money to pay company A. Guess where from? You’ve got it, you and me.

Last on my list is local government. This is how it works. They make promises to us, we vote for them, they either break promises or we find the promises get twisted so that they don’t do us any good. We voted for local councillors who said they would regenerate Seaton. Only their definition of ‘regenerate’ is different to ours. If they had said, “vote for us and we will allow the camp site to get closed down which will cause shops in the centre close down and to help the shops along their way to ruin, we will introduce parking meters against your will and allow a big supermarket (not of your choice) to open. Would we have voted for them?

All of the above organisations think the man in the street is stupid and are surprised when violent protests break out. I can’t condone such action but it seems it’s the only action that gets results. Remember the poll tax riots? To say we can have our say once every four or five years is no longer true. We vote and they carry on ignoring the views of everyone except the ones who they went to school with or who support their party with money. And so they let the companies rip us off.

Communism doesn’t work and nor does capitalism, except for the very few. Is there another way? Maybe honesty?

It seems to me that hardly anything today is done for the good of the people, just for the greed of the few.

That’s better - the cravings have gone and so has the painful shoulder. Well, until I put on the news again.

Stephen Williams

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