Letter: Food-banks, fireworks and council houses

Too many fireworks?
Too many fireworks?

Doubtless, some of your readers will dismiss my views as those of a miserable old killjoy - or worse!

But I cannot help but wonder in this age of so-called austerity when food-banks feature prominently in Horsham that even the smallest road is crammed bumper to bumper with symbols of wealth - some houses sporting no less than three vehicles.

Or are they merely signs of extensive personal debt?

Also fireworks - which in days gone by were reserved for very special occasions, such as Guy Fawkes night and New Year, are now commonplace. And they don’t come cheap.

And I sometimes wonder how cash-strapped parents manage to fund their off-springs’ ‘Proms’ - yet another American import - along with the dross of Halloween.

Also, take a look at any Horsham supermarket - jam-packed with expensive cars with the latest number plates. Inside customer fill their trolleys with enough food to feed a regiment.

And one is prompted to reflect upon what the term austerity means in our neck of the wood. If this is austerity, what will prosperity feel like?

I am of a generation that experienced the War - also the years of rationing and austerity that followed.

My gap years were spent in military service - much of it in wartorn Berlin so I cannot accept that we are currently living in a period of real austerity save that food-banks in our town are a lifeline for some. It would appear that the poor and needy are always with us.

I can also recall Harold MacMillan’s clarion-call of prosperity - ‘You’ve never had it so good’.

How right he was - but then his government did oversee the construction of over 400,000 much-needed houses. Compare that with the record of our present administration and local authority.

By selling off council houses at bargain-basement prices, the Tory government of the day depleted our national housing stock. And now we are paying the price in terms of affordable housing for the young.

Add to this the pace of technological change - the former news vendor at Horsham railway station no longer stocks newspapers as commuters prefer to stay glued to their smartphones.

All this is supposed to be progress - so I must concede and keep using the tablets!

Robert B. Worley

Bourns Court, Ayshe Court Drive, Horsham