One interesting phenomena I’ve observed in the last couple of days is the number of people in the media worrying about share prices and the slight fall in stock values for companies such as Standard Life. This worry has now reached some friends on Twitter who, to put it politely, are sufficiently comfortable that the amount of tax they pay is as much a lifestyle option as the colour of their carpets. Middle class problems, eh?
Poor people in Scotland worry about where the next meal is coming from or whether they’ll have to rely on the support of a food bank next week because they weren’t give sufficient hours on their zero-hours contract job to make ends meet. They worry about where they’re going to find the extra money to pay a so-called ‘Bedroom Tax’.
A three per cent drop in market value is what happens when you use your annual statement to shareholders as a political tool, warning of the risks of a ‘Yes’ vote. The markets are now correcting for the risk that some directors said earlier in the year their companies were exposed to. This is what happens in stock markets. People make projections based on your assessments of risk. If you say that X is risky and Y is not, when X is about to happen, investors get frightened.
In 2008, very few economists or ‘market experts’ predicted the collapse caused by trade in bundles of sub-prime mortgages and now we’re supposed to trust their expert analysis of the risks of a ‘Yes’ vote?
I have news for you: we don’t care. We really, really don’t care. We’re tired of glass ceilings and we’re tired of picking up your bill for unsupervised banks and for the ideologically-driven drivel of ‘austerity’ which is really nothing more than mechanism by which privatisation of public services is sneaked in the back door in advance of TTIP.
As you’ve hurtled from one meeting to another in London, whether in the back of a taxi or a limo, you’ve probably not had time to notice the poor people on the streets. Well guess what? They’re just like us here in Scotland. I’m not the only one to still be looking for a good job in the downturn. I don’t own shares, equity or even contribute to a private pension. Those things require a well-paid job.
I’m one of the 99%. You know, one of the so-called ‘little people’ but guess what? I have a vote. My little person’s little vote probably doesn’t account for much but it is mine.
I’ve watched you in your limousines and your taxis, I’ve seen the way you talk about us on news and current affairs programs and the way that you write about us in your right-wing newspapers. We want to work but we can’t because of choices you made. Congratulations! You got rich selling our stuff, our natural monopolies – energy utility companies, train companies, postal services and now the NHS – on the cheap and made yourself a nice fat profit. I’m happy for you. Really.
Now I’m here to collect on what you’ve previously charged to account. No good debt goes unpaid and all that.
While you’re worrying about a slight drop in share price, I see neighbours who depend on public services. While you worry about long-term economic prospects and talk about fiscal blah, I’ve seen people hurry embarrassed from a food bank, people who have jobs that simply don’t pay well enough for them to guarantee three meals a day for their children.
Well, my little vote plus their little vote plus their friend’s little vote outnumber your rich man’s ‘No’ vote. So go play, trade your shares and your stock options but remember this: everything has a price. The price for your illicit, unethical gain is about to run its term and now it’s time to pay.
We’ve learned how to live without, to make do and mend, to survive but you haven’t. You’ve simply acquired lots of stuff. Let’s hope it’s enough to see you through. This neo-liberal party is at an end. It’s time to unload the jack-hammers, the sledge hammers and the crowbars, this house of corruption and ill-gotten gain is coming down because we Scots can do more than Occupy London, we can do a Matthew 21:12 and smash some glass ceilings.
That’s why I and so many other Scots are voting YES.