Makes a good sound bite I suppose, but only someone born after 1950 could make it!

The difference between now and the 1940s is that then we had just had 6 years of war and the cities were full of bomb sites, clothes and possessions were getting shabby, clothes food and fuel were rationed and the rations were due to get even more stringent, families were having to get used to one another again after the long separation, some more successfully than others alas. Families were living in any kind of accomodation they could find after having their houses bombed. Some of them were lucky enough to find kind relatives to take them in, others lived in Nissen huts and wooden sheds.

Now we are facing a tightening of belts sure, but it follows a period when many got used to a pocket full of money,or credit cards, and used it to fund a lavish life style so I suppose it will feel like austerity, relatively speaking, to them. The people who used their homes to raise money to fund this will now be in negative equity, but at least their mortgage repayment will be lower and , unless they are wanting to “downsize”,  it doesn’t matter what the house is worth, it is the same house.

I do have every sympathy with those who have lost their jobs, but some will take this opportunity to change direction and may look back on this time as the time they changed their lives for the better. I realise that not everyone can take this path, to them I say, “Try to get through this because these things are cyclical and better times will come”

There are many web sites offering helpful tips on saving money and recipes for inexpensive meals,which don’t have to be boring because they are inexpensive and some are very simple for those who have not done much cooking.

It is reported that the waiting list for allotments is long, but for those who do start gardening for economic reasons may find that they find themselves a satisfying and healthy hobby and make new friends into the bargain.

I think one of the big differences in the two periods is that in the 1940s people  were so relieved that the war was over that they looked forwards with optimism. Our parents after all had lived through hard times before ww2, the first world war, the general strike , the depression in the 30s. Many people then went without food and shoes, there was no welfare state then to help them, just the humiliation of begging from the board of governors at the relief board. I don’t think anyone will go without food in the “austerity” to come and I think it is irresponsible of MPs and the media to use such emotive words. I think it is demoralising for people to hear them and it would be more encouraging to tell people how to cope with a downturn in their finances.

They keep labouring the point of how long it will take to restore the finances, and how much debt per family,but it took 50 years to pay back the debts after the war and they didn’t feel like “austerity” 

My father always said that it is not disasters that form our characters, but how we cope with them.

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