When Mrs MP and myself were evicted from our home of eight years by the Church of England, the only place we could afford to live was a former mining village in County Durham with a "bad reputation" that keeps accommodation prices down. I was a bit worried but it turned out to be a great place to live. Everyone's friendly and everyone is in the same boat. Because we are a "rough neighbourhood" we have the privilege (not normal for a village of our size) of having a couple of excellent community police officers stationed here and I have seen far less trouble, and feel far safer, than I ever did in the middle class, Newcastle neighbourhood where we previously lived.

However, there are hidden costs to being poor. I have just got round (eventually) to changing the address for my car insurance policy. The bloody insurance company want a considerably higher premium from me because I, allegedly, live in a "rougher" neighbourhood. Now, I have no idea if there is more car crime in my village than in High Heaton (although within a month of our move to Newcastle, ten years ago, Mrs MP had her car stolen and dumped in the River Tyne). However, it strikes me as incredibly unfair that because poorer people have to live in areas where crime is more widespread because of the poverty of the inhabitants, they have to pay more money for protection from crime than people who can afford to live in posh neighbourhoods. The rich can afford higher premiums. The poor cannot.

Basically, capitalism is not content to simply create unfair wealth distribution. It also insists on kicking its victims when they are down.

My name is MadPriest and I'm an out and proud socialist
(just like Jesus was and is and will be for ever).



  1. Get a PO box in another town where the rates are cheaper, and tell the insurance company that’s your address…. that’s what folks do here.

  2. It’s no different over here with the (expletive deleted) banks. The less money you have the more they charge you in fees.

    Many of us would be better off keeping our money in our mattresses.

  3. Yes, it’s safer (unless your mattress makes a bad deal and goes bankrupt) and, of course, out of the sight of the taxman.

    I heard a lovely bit of newspeak the other day on the TV. I suppose I’m part of what used to be called “the black economy” (not a very positive sounding word). But this expert referred to it as “the informal economy.” Now isn’t that a nice, cheery word? I’m no dodgy, cash in hand ne’erdowell – I’m just relaxed.

  4. I have thought for some many years now that there is, somewhere, a vested interest in keeping the poor and indeed creating more poverty so the workers of the world end up actually being de facto slaves. Of course, I may be paranoid.

    Yet, this week a huge group of us were treated to three days with an economist, who said that the “The Economy is God” lot have a vested interest in increasing unemployment because it lowers the entrance wages of incoming workers. Huh. Maybe not so paranoid.

    The question is, what do we do about it?

  5. Wait for the apocalypse….. There’s a new book out by Lawrence Kotlikoff and Scott Burns called “Clash of Generations” that shows where we are headed, and what we can do to prevent it (but the powers that be, won’t). The day the rest of the world realizes the US is totally broke – as in much broker than Greece ever dreamed of being – is the day the US won’t be able to sell any more of its gummint paper and we’ll have to pay for our spending ourselves. We borrow 40% of our current budget now, so there is NO way we could pay up ourselves. We’d go down the tubes so fast, and this time, we’d take the whole world with us. Mind you, it’s all preventable and fixable, but the power structure, politicians and business rich don’t want to change the rules of the game they’ve devised, and they will be caught up in this also. In the Weimar Republic, everyone went broke when the balloon went up…..