GraveTalk 37: Cost Of Living

Prices are rising! Is it due to leaving the EU? The pandemic? The Ukrainian War? Or just because of some greedy people inflating costs to get more money?

First of all, money is just a man-made invention; something to trade in return for goods. In the good old days, people could trade a load of different items in return for goods, however, money has taken over due to the population growth and the majority of people don’t have any goods to trade (no prostitution jokes, please!) and because money (currencies) are far more easily to manage universally.

There is no real reason for price increases. Inflation is what you make it. Greed is the word. You have the banks setting the rates and governments printing money, which is effectively worthless. Take livestock for instance. Chicken meet has gone up, but the chickens haven’t changed, have they? The cost of keeping the chickens may have but not by that much. Chickens eat grass, bugs etc… that occur naturally. To slaughter a chicken doesn’t cost that much either… just get a knife and slash its neck, skin it, and then sell it. Milk is another one. Cows eat grass and then a farmer (sorry child labourer) has to connect hoses to the udder and then extract the milk, through “massaging” – or by something else if you’re Welsh – and then pouring the milk into bottles/containers. However, it’s not the farms that make the profits.

The farms are selling goods to the manufacturers/supermarkets, who in-turn are selling the goods for high margins. This is why the farmers received funding from the EU and to this day I don’t know why the farmers thought leaving the EU would be beneficial. Why did they believe the government would continue to subsidise them, when the government only likes to subsidise themselves!

Let’s move onto fuel. Now, at the time of writing the cost of petrol has started to come down to under 170p but why did increase in the first place? During the pandemic petrol prices went back to the prices of the early 2000’s of £1 or under (in some places) – during a time when the majority weren’t allowed out. Yet, when people are out and fuel is NEEDED, the costs shoot up. Why? Surely, the costs should come down when people are out buying fuel regularly as opposed to when they’re not because petrol stations will be making their money back quite quickly. When people aren’t buying fuel, they will be making their money back more slowly.

Energy prices are the same. Now, I won’t be a smart-arse here because for some people it’s not as easy as putting on a jumper, wrapping up in a duvet or lighting a fire because they can’t, and the cold and heat can be deadly. Yet, like fuel companies, gas, electric and water providers are just downright being greedy. Keeping warm in the winter and having access to water is a basic right to existence – you can’t charge for that! No one owns water! Vulnerable people are the ones feeling the strain while these lazy, greedy gits in suits just swim in the profits – extortionate is not the word!

In the UK over the last few years there has been all this talk about the costs of school uniforms. Okay they may be justified with P.E. kits as they need to be specific to the school but for primary and secondary school uniforms why should they cost loads? Firstly, trousers, socks, shirts, shoes and summer dresses. They can all be bought from Asda (or you used to and if not for the summer dresses, then you definitely can get the rest, except maybe for ties) or other stores – why do they need to be branded? The whole of uniforms is to be equal and stop kids from going in with branded clothes and causing stress for the kids who can’t have them. However, this is down to the culture of today as people don’t want to buy supermarket (cheaper) clothes – unless it’s Primark!

Moving onto the jumpers and blazers. Again, you can buy any coloured jumper/blazer and just buy a sew-on badge. Yet, because sewing is becoming more and more a past skill (That’s called being polite for people getting lazier) we opt for the easier option of getting the blazers/jumpers with the badges already on.

This is not about leaving the EU, COVID, chicken prices, school uniforms or energy costs but rather the bus and train strikes.

The train staff seem to be constantly striking. If it’s not about the guard role it’s about wages. The guard role (I pointed on this in the very first-ever GraveTalk) is just about moving with the times. But as for the wages, the guards hardly do anything. They check nobody is obstructing the doors and go back in their cab – occasionally coming into the carriages manually opening the doors. When passengers (not customers) want to ask them, the guards say they can’t talk to them yet or quickly answer. When there are unruly passengers, they just walk by, ignoring the situation. I’m not saying they should put themselves in danger, but they could try and help a bit more – the guards like to mention that part of their role is keeping the train safe for all passengers, so do it!

Despite the issues with the guard’s role at least they do more than the train driver. Like the bus drivers all they do is drive the train. Bus drivers just sit down for 4-6 hours just driving – you can’t even ask them about stops as they just ignore you (Not sure if that’s just for me or if that’s a recent change but before the pandemic I could ask about stops and I got a response). Bus and train workers already get paid more than the minimum wage – with them getting between £22,000 – £25,000 a year, and apparently, they get a wage review every year (That means they either stay at the same rate of pay or get an increase – they can’t get a decrease).

I am not against people wanting more pay but there are people on much less who rely on bus and train services to get to work, and they don’t have the luxury of going on strike. Strikes are supposed to make a point and if workers go on strike, it is widely believed that they don’t get paid, however, I have heard that (with the bus drivers, at least) the unions pay them £70 a day – not sure how true that it is and if it is, then that is wrong. They may be losing their usual pay but at least they are getting some payments unlike the poor souls who suffer because of them.

Bills and costs are increasing but that’s down to greed – greed of the people in control. Take the price caps. A cap (apart from being something you put on your head) is supposed to be the absolute limit but what’s the point if the government/people in control just keep raising the cap? The world is just full of piss-takers and unfortunately, they just seem to get away with it!

Let me just make one last point!

With all the price increases, there are some advantages. As I mentioned before about sewing being a lost skill, with the increases to the costs of living, maybe we will see these lost skills being more common and utilised. Parts, like car parts, don’t cost that much – just go to places like (Not a plug or paid advert – I use these a lot and they do have a lot of selections for all cars) – and with YouTube and online guides, doing DIY repairs couldn’t be easier. Okay, there are some things on cars, and other things, that may need a qualified person to do but most things anyone can do. Take, using a car as an example, oil changes and servicing. It’s simple to do but we just take our cars to garages. Clothes repairs. Instead of just throwing them out why not learn to sew? Yes, we have Timpsons, who are affordable but why not save a few quid and learn the simple tasks?

It may be hard to take in and for some people a bit insensitive but the cost of living increases may be the best thing for Britain, changing out buy-new culture and start a new recycle/repair culture!

And that’s it! Another GraveTalk about things you may not have thought of. Most of it may be a load of crap but I hope you get the meaning behind it. I have a lot of catching up to do with work and other things and with Gig Season fast approaching, I am going to try and squeeze in as much as I can to get things done – I have about four more GraveTalk’s that still need finishing and some that need starting. I also need to crack on with Traveller’s Cure and about five books to start/finish – If only I had a little Chinese Boy to do the work for me! **JUST A JOKE** I may not have time and take on too many things at once but that’s my choice and that’s just life!

Hope you enjoyed this GraveTalk and hopefully you will enjoy the next one!

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