I had a brown envelope in the mail this morning and my heart sank. Brown envelopes = bad news. More tax to pay? a parking fine? or even worse, another wretched speeding ticket! But no, this one was unusually good news. Notification of my £200 winter fuel allowance. It got me thinking. I'm in a very fortunate position in asmuchas through sheer hard work and insanity I don't really need this money but I have no way of refusing to accept it.
Recently many high profile people have tried to send this payment back but there is no mechanism for doing this, which is mad. Admittedly this money can, and I'm sure will, be sent off to good causes, but wouldn't it be better to have the ability of opting out in the spirit of "ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country". Maybe the better off could also have the option to opt out of receiving family allowance and the state pension too!
And wouldn't it be fun if CEO's opted to reduce their massive salary and bonus payouts, or if some of our public servants declared "you know what, I'm not short of a bob or two, I consider that it's my civic duty to do this job for a modest fee", or if Trade Union leaders said "no £100,000 + exenses is too much to take out of the kitty, pay me less", etc. etc.
Let's start a campaign. Instead of demanding "what's in it for me" lets ask "what can I do to help?" One of the key by products of this might be to take personal responsibility for making our leaders more accountable. And wouldn't it be good if pigs could fly? They don't call me polyanna for nothing you know!
Ambrose Bierce - "Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles."
14 hours ago