Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year

In Cornwall, for many 2013 has been gruelling. Job prospects and real wages continue to drop away. Housing stock is ever-reducing, though I see in estate agents' windows second homes being flogged off in St Ives or St Agnes: not helpful. Cornish folk are strong, and many live in communities which try to look after everyone. Yet even in these close-knit societies people seem near to unravelling.

More and more I encounter a weary resignation, a battered worn-out acceptance of the next affliction or sacrifice demanded. Constant food price rises; dwindling public services; small businesses starved of cash; the disappointment of the young unemployed; elderly people too frightened to put an extra bar on the fire. Cliches? Not any more.

Just recently it’s been the expense, for many the worry of Christmas. And all the time cruel advertising pounds out the same command: buy more stuff, and be quick about it.

We’re about to enter the sixth year of recession without an end in sight. Banks prosper, everyone else is on their uppers. This is the Cornwall of Cameron and Clegg; it’s unbelievably harsh. I don’t know about you, but I’m almost out of Dunkirk spirit.

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