The rich are getting richer. The middle class are getting poorer. The poorer are also getting poorer. The poorest are getting locked up. The story of a trio of no fixed abode getting arrested for stealing food from a bin caught my attention. My eyebrows were raised further when I read that the legislation they were being charged with was a rather ancient bit of legalese that was entered onto the books before dear old Queen Victoria had even sat her ample behind on the royal throne.
But what really had my eyebrows spin out of control into full Roger Moore mode, was a line from the CPS, declaring why they wouldn’t drop the case. The reason – “….because we feel there is significant public interest in prosecuting these three individuals” . We have vital funds being cut from social programs throughout the country, food banks have gone from being unheard of to common place, and wages have stagnated across the economic board. Well the bottom 99% of the board. But what the public is really interested in, apparently, is seeing what few pounds they have left, being spent on prosecuting three hungry fellows for taking discarded food from a bin to eat.
I am going to be bold and dissent from this ‘majority view’. I don’t think the public could give a crap about three guys stealing food out of a bin. If they had an opinion, it would more than likely be to ask why the shop is throwing away edible food. In fact, I’d go so far to say that I could stand on a high street quizzing passing John and Jane Does for weeks, months or years before I’d find anyone willing to hand over their cash to put towards the prosecution costs of the CPS in this case.
Alas. My voice, and the voice of the public, does not actually count towards what is defined at ‘the public interest’. And my tax money will be wasted. It’s another sign that we’re not ‘in this together’. It’s more evidence of a serious disconnect in our social infrastructure. Do any members of the ‘virtual public’ care to defend the CPS? Have I got this all wrong? Have I missed something? Maybe. Maybe not. Anyway, I came across this photo earlier. Seems appropriate.