Austerity. Now there’s a word that’s been banded about like it was going out of fashion ever since the credit crunch began to bite – and never more so than in the last week since the coalition government announced their radical Budget. A public sector slashed into little salami slices? Fair enough, if that’s part of the solution to clear this country’s frightening debt levels. I only wish the greed which epitomises our ‘fat cat bankers’ didn’t still resemble the appetite of a sturdy pig…
Putting all thoughts of troughs aside, austerity’s precise economic meaning is clear-cut but you could be forgiven for conjuring up positive, homely and healthy back-to-basics ideas and images when you hear this word being mentioned in polite conversation.
Whether it’s Nigella blathering on about the virtues of home-made chutneys, or some lesser-known craft guru spreading the word about the delights of hand-woven knits, we’re now living in a world where goods and services which scream ‘rustic’ and ‘made with love’ have more kudos – and often come at a higher price – than the polished, homogenised and mass-produced items people who are really living in austere times can only afford.
Like it or not, over the last ten years Britain has developed a ‘have now pay later’ culture which has led to us all being in a right old pickle (home-made?) and this leaves a rather nasty taste in my mouth. What happened to the idea of saving for something rather than opting for instant gratification and splurging on your credit card?
I used to sound ludicrously old-fashioned for having this perspective about money – but now apparently my take on living within your means is one we’re all being encouraged to adopt.
Greedy bankers may still be acting like pigs at feeding time but it’s us – the vast majority of the public – who’ll be living off our piggy banks for a long time to come.
Before I go….
Here’s my new profile on Silent Cities: http://www.silentcities.org.uk/about/our-board/stella-eleftheriades/
And one last thing…
Would you like to be a guest blogger for stellamedia speaks? I’m looking for volunteers to step into my writing shoes every now and again and I am happy to return the favour if you’ve got a blog too.
If you’re interested in this suggestion or would like to find out more, drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org