Power cut or power up?

Dunno about you, but I’m bricking it. As the economy spirals into freefall and prices skyrocket, I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling the fear. These are seriously scary times. Often it’s the unknown that fills us with dread, but no-one needs a crystal ball to know that we’re all in for a rough ride, a VERY rough ride. 

Well, not all of us. A few members of the mega rich won’t be too troubled when winter energy bills land on their organic, artisan woven cashmere doormats, but in my wee corner of the world, the sense of doom is ramping right up. 

How exactly are we supposed to get through this? How are we supposed to remain upbeat when all we can think about is how the hell we’re going to find £3.5K for the leccy? How can we survive another societal body blow so soon after the scourge of the pandemic? How, in the name of God/Allah/the wee man, are we going to feed the kids? Hats off to the third sector organisations already offering practical money-saving and house-heating hacks, but for a huge number of us, top tips won’t even touch the sides.  

Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

Me? I’ll probably be okay, albeit with some serious belt-tightening, but that doesn’t stop me feeling frightened of what’s coming down the track. You know it’s bad when even the Chancellor says that middle earners like me will need support. No shit, Nadhim. As a self employed person I’m all too aware of my fiscal vulnerability. My income is entirely dependent on the economic health of my clients, and my lot are generally not FTSE listed, mega-turnover multi-nationals. The organisations I work for are filled with dread too and already looking for places to make significant savings. As a result, people like me may find ourselves out in the cold before very much longer. And that, my friends, is scary biscuits. 

So yes, I’m anxious. But I’m trying not to let the fear become all-consuming. And that’s because my own situation is pretty peachy in the grand scheme of things. Somehow or other I’ll make it through this latest bump run the road (even if that bump is of Ben Nevis proportions). I can’t help feeling worried for myself, ‘course not, but the my anxiety is diddly squat compared to the utter dread being experienced by those who are already skint.

Attempts to allay people’s financial fears seems pointless, these are truly terrifying times. As a former member of the fourth estate, I’m conscious and uncomfortable about role the media is playing to ramp up terror about what lies ahead, but there’s simply no ignoring this crisis.

Solutions? I have none. Except that I’ll gladly join the chorus of voices shouting for emergency action from those who can get us through these dark days. I wouldn’t bet my last fiver on protective measures coming from Westminster or Holyrood any time soon, but our governors better take heed. When enough of us step up, as surely we must, we can generate real people power.