Come back to the real world

Sir,

Following a recent Radio Derby interview, the former Tory MP for South Derbyshire, Edwina Currie implied that living on the edge due to the current financial climate was the Ilkeston caller’s own fault.

Mrs Currie suggested that if debt was consequent upon financial shortage this debt should be repaid.

The former MP conjured up a deeply unappealing picture of a shamelessly irresponsible family with a big TV screen, sofa and self-inflicted debt.

None of these factors applied to the caller.

She and her partner had reasonably remunerated jobs before encountering hard times; she now worked at two jobs and her partner also worked; they were not benefit claimants and did not lead lives of excess.

They were a decent family and did not deserve to be humiliated by a person whose privileged former job as an MP enables her to augment her income by lucrative media appearances not available to the Ilkeston couple.

Mrs Currie charged in with foot in mouth as in her Westminster days accusing the caller of living the ‘good life’.

What good life? Living on the financial margins means paying higher taxes to stoke the coffers of greedy bankers who fuel inflation so that the all too basic necessities of life like heating, lighting, fuel and food are fast becoming luxuries afforded only by the elite.

What part of the caller’s explanation did Mrs Currie not get?

Families are being ripped to shreds by the lack of pounds in their pockets; their interpretation of the ‘good life’ is just being able to raise their children as part of the next generation of healthy parents and employees.

This can’t happen at the present price of food; fuel and childcare, plus the crippling stress of chasing that one in a hundred job you might secure in pursuit of a ‘life worth living’.

To most families the ‘good life’ is the dream of a holiday or family day out.

There are thousands of people like the caller who deserve a better standard of living and Mrs Currie’s comments are a damning indictment of how out of touch she and her ilk are.

The divide between the fortunate ‘haves’ and the miserable ‘have-nots’ as a consequence of Mrs Currie’s Tory -led Government’s reckless economic policies, shows a total lack of understanding towards hard-working citizens such as nurses; carers; teachers; police officers and all the others in-between these categories.

Mrs Currie, who once told pensioners to save on heating by knitting a woolly hat, can keep her perpetual mantra of ‘make-do-and-mend’ for the masses whilst dancing down the primrose path of indulgence herself!

How would she like to sit in the dark; in the cold, eating less to struggle to feed children? And then be told that it is, in fact, all her own fault?

Try to understand a little more, Mrs Currie and lecture a little less.

Welcome to 21st century Britain in a Derbyshire town somewhere near you – a national disgrace.

And now tell us exactly what you are proposing to do about it!

Cllr Linda McGraw