Have we forgotten our roots?

Keeping up with the neighbours has been the driving force for our economy since the 1950s and has begun to drive the desire for solar panels today.

Appearing to be middle class.

Appearing to be middle class.

Although this social-climbing can help drive the uptake of alternative technologies going forward, unfortunately, this desire to be accepted as an equal among the German car clad driveways of Britain has tainted our society’s ability to empathise.

As a forty-something growing up in the 1970s, the desire of my parents to be middle classed was always overshadowed by the hope to survive the economic problems of those times.

Today, I hear people who should know better, now condemning the victims of our current economic woes and this has awoken me to the mass hate-filled indoctrination being spewed out by interwoven media and politics.

What is occurring here is a classic distraction from the ‘bankers greed’ and the political ‘regulatory cock-up’ that caused the economic calamity. Haven’t you noticed the blame game and burden has gradually shifted over the last few years to the lower end of the financial scale.

Most of my generation that grew up through the 1970s were considered working-class people at that time, and many have managed to ‘work’ their way to a middle-class lifestyle today. However, we should never forget our roots, and we shouldn’t allow government policy to starve families and send children to school hungry as we see today.

Those families facing food banks today could easily have been our mothers and fathers had we entered the world – one generation later. Imagine your father on a zero-hours contract or your mother sanctioned from critical social support and delivered into the hands of the payday loan industry just to keep the electricity on!

Today’s “don’t look at the bankers, look at the pond life” propaganda is being churned out through our television, newspaper media and even through our Prime Minister. Disgusting!

The Nazi machine used this appalling propaganda technique to devastating consequences and we now we see the same hate-filled rhetoric directed at the victims of today’s failed policies from both previous red and blue governments.

They say as we get older, our views become more conservative, but as I pointed out in my last article, baby boomers buck this trend. See the benefits of solar technology, but please cut through the appalling propaganda aimed at victimising the most vulnerable in our society.

What we do best in Britain is hypocrisy and in the race to keep up with the Joneses next door, lest we forget that for many people that consider themselves to be middle-class today – are only a redundancy away from rejoining those whom they look down upon today.

Comparison to others

We teach our kids to “never mind what others are up to, just concentrate on what you’re doing”. So why do we adults find it so difficult to follow this advice in our own lives?

All my life, I’ve been bombarded by marketing images of ‘the perfect lifestyle’, yet the “because I’m worth it” generation is the most prominent consumer of antidepressants. Connected? Almost certainly!

People are now awakening to the fact that consuming and consumerism can’t make you happy. The realisation that the ‘highs’ of that new car, house or holiday will very quickly fade and the vicious circle of requiring new stuff will have to continue to avoid life’s inevitable lows away is, in fact, a donkey and carrot scenario.

Avoiding depression in this world doesn’t help with acquiring new stuff as countless depressed millionaires will testify. It can only ever come from dedicating yourself to a purpose greater than yourself. Chasing material dreams lead to disappointment – eventually.

The credit crunch was caused by a mass delusion that everyone could be middle classed. Anyone can have anything – even on the tick. However, this dream was just that – a dream sold to us all to keep the economic engine turning. Today they’re big idea to fuel the stalling economic engine is pension freedom.

This period suggests to me that those who lead us are fast running out of options. Economically, they’re throwing the furniture on the fire to keep it burning, and they don’t care who gets burnt. The vultures are now circling around your pension pot.

The only solution to our economic and environmental woes is to help transform our society into an alternative technological world. Imagine if households worldwide didn’t have to spend greater and greater amounts of their income on the simple act of heating and powering homes.

Trillions would be freed up to boost economic activity and reduce the environmental impact that industrial fossil fuel burning has. A double win situation as far as your wallet and grandchildren are concerned.

Getting smart about our long-term energy policy individually and nationally can help us all to enjoy more spending power without having to dip into people’s pension pots to keep a fuel-hungry economy afloat.

Is it me, or does this election campaign remind you of a child, promising to brush their teeth to get the biscuit, but never intending to fulfil the deal. The next time you hear a politician banging on about “fracking is our future”, think to yourself, “then what comes after that?” Short-term economics from people who can only see as far as the next election isn’t going solve our economic, energy and environmental problems!

I’m in no doubt that astute baby boomers will drive the future of solar panels and the middle-class obsession with ‘getting one over the neighbours’ long after the incentives have concluded.

Awaken, install and support your children’s solar panelled future – because if a working class lad like me can see their benefit, potential and importance, then you’re already behind the times.

With all that said, if you want to ‘outshine’ your neighbours, then install solar panels.

"Light is life."

Stuart Lovatt 2015-04-14