Do you live by bread alone? No? Neither do I. Apparently if you don’t you are in the minority for, we are told, ‘it’s the economy, stupid’. This is why we vote as we do, take the job we do and are motivated to do… well, everything really. This seems to me the assumption behind political debate and most broadsheet journalism. Destruction of the environment (or ‘development projects’) is lauded for stimulating the economy – the green belt is a Labour achievement and we intend to build upon it. I’ve lost count of the Newsnight debates between an environmentalist and businessman where they disagree solely on the economic benefits of fracking/house building on green fields/bypasses. You’re an environmentalist for God’s sake! At least mention the environment…. I like it. It’s nice. Leave it alone.
I would also like to live in a street that is a community. I’d like to have neighbours who are people I know not economic units always out maximising their income. I’d quite like to earn less and stay at home more.
Actually, come to think of it, I can honestly say I have never met anyone who took a job solely to maximise their income – everyone I know chose a career on the basis of airy fairy things like personal fulfilment and happiness. And I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t saddened when the field next door became a housing estate.
When our electricity was cut off for 6 days(!!) I was forced to listen to my saved podcasts and they go back some way. Radio 4’s Today programme, to which I am an irritated convert, visited Northampton North in October 2013 and interviewed a sample of 15 voters. ‘Who is planning to vote in 2015 primarily on economic issues? Oh! Only two?’
Hallelujah! Maybe we don’t all worship Mammon after all.