davidjay wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:37 pm
But like unemployment in the eighties it still won't affect that many people. There night be three million unemployed, with maybe another six or seven million affected, but there's still five times that many who will be unaffected, so for them the government is absolutely wonderful and it's the workshy claimants who are the problem.
There are some fairly big differences though:
1. Unemployment in the 1980s was a lot to do with the slow decline of manufacture and heavy industries that realistically people knew had a finite lifespan (debate about the shitty manner this was handled in by Thatcher notwithstanding). Today though, we have whole sectors of the economy shutting down practically overnight that would be *entirely* viable if coronavirus hadn't happened, or if not shut then left facing such drastic changes only the largest will survive - and even then with heavy cuts.
2. There won't be anyone unaffected because unemployment is a side show to the main problems of coronavirus and brexit - it's not happening in a vacuum. Unemployment figures will go hand in hand with death rates, brexit red tape, supply shortages, increasing evidence of government corruption etc.
3. The visibility of the unemployment is much higher because it affects *everywhere*, not just locations built up around the sectors that got killed off in the 1980s. Mr and Mrs Bloggs in Kent in 1982 probably struggled to empathise if a coal mine in Northumberland shut and killed the town it was in because they're not going to go down the pit themselves, don't live there, and were never likely to visit or move there. The 2020 Mr and Mrs Bloggs will absolutely notice if their local theatre, cafe, restaurant, pub and childminder go to the wall and their kids can't get summer jobs or get into college because their grades were depressed, or if they lose money because Mr Bloggs' import business is strangled by brexit red tape etc. There's no escaping this one unless you're super-rich.
4. The government we have now are uniquely useless. Thatcher and her govt. lacked empathy and made awful, cold choices, but you couldn't truly argue they were *incompetent*, and corruption was still a resigning matter. Almost none of the current cabinet would last a week in Thatcher's cabinet, either from ineptitude, inability or greed.
Johnson loves to divide and play us vs them - it's how he won Brexit and how he's staggered on so far. But he's running out of thems and he's making it so there are fewer and fewer uss. When it's just the Tories pinning this on the young, old, unemployed, employed not going to work in the right place, NHS, Care homes, scientists, experts, minority groups, protestors going out, people shielding too long staying in, remainers, brexiters who want a deal etc. etc. then who is left? The penny will drop once everyone has had their go in the blame spotlight.