Spare a thought for the country dwellers…

 Back to cold mornings again and only one glove. The car is running with condensation, but at least it is running; not frozen solid. And I think we’re going to have to give in and put the heating on proper so it’s a bit warmer in the house to start the day.

Then I see the headlines; more fuel price rises and I think again.

As usual it’s the poorest people who are going to be hit hardest by that. Not well paid politicians whose income affords them to heat two houses, let alone one, who are mostly tucked up in cities and only ‘play’ at living in the country at weekends, who seem to have absolutely no idea how families living in rural areas are dependent on affording petrol.

We would use the buses if they weren’t almost three miles away and actually came at a time that linked up with going to work. If there are school runs to do families need two cars if one is already out at work – many workplace hours don’t match school days so combining journeys is difficult. And it’s hardly appropriate to make your kids walk three miles home from the bus stop in the dark on a winter’s evening. If they hadn’t shut the village schools the kids wouldn’t have to travel so far, but they weren’t thinking green at the time only saving costs by having less schools and staff to pay for. Even the college bus is now so expensive, as the transport company try and cope with rising fuel prices, it’s almost more cost effective to run our teenager the ten miles by car.

So much for wanting to be green. Rising prices just force you to go for cheap.

Okay, so we could move into the towns where there are more facilities. But not everyone can do that even if they wanted to. Who’s going to tend the land, cut the caulis and harvest the potatoes? Who’s going to look after the earth that provides the food for those wealthy politicians and city dwellers? Who’s going to run the shops and teach in the schools? What would become of the rural economy on which all of our lives depend even though that fact seems to remain conveniently hidden?

The food we eat, the health of the earth and the plants and the animals and the planet depend as much on the rural economy and the people who live it as it does on industry and the people who work in built up areas. Yet country workers are some of the poorest paid people in work. They live and work in the coldest environments with isolated and older cottages the hardest to keep warm, travelling a constant challenge.

But it seems that because of that isolation they have the smallest voice and will face the biggest hardships, especially the elderly as it’s the older generation that often remain. Local councils may want to attract younger families to rural communities but despite the benefits of rural beauty hardship isn’t that attractive.

Meanwhile, I’ll try and find the other glove before I next go out. But to try and save on fuel I’ve bought a pair of mittens; they are to wear inside the house!

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One thought on “Spare a thought for the country dwellers…

  1. What a lovely blog. I really enjoyed reading this and your thoughtful style of writing… (I could do with mittens myself right now!)
    I’ve actually just started up a blog of my own as part of my coursework towards my degree in politics and media… looking for followers right now as i’m fairly new to this. So if you have a minute would you mind checking it out?

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