I thought I was going to be able to avoid writing to the Echo and concentrate instead on growing vegetables and wild flowers in my garden but recent events have stirred my anger to incandescent levels. I've always believed that if one treats others with respect they will usually respond positively. But, looking around me I can see that the likelihood is that the vast majority will continue to be treated as 'slaves' until all of us die in a world that we have treated as if it is a toy to amuse us without exercising a glimmer of common sense.

If only we had a leader with the same sense of justice and fair treatment as Clement Attlee. His post-war progressive income tax of 95% for the excessively rich would soon halt the ability of some of our CEO's to pocket obscene rewards for sitting on their backsides for a few hours each day and watching their company stock prices rise. One received a bonus this week of £64 million no less. This is against the backdrop of universal suffering of an army of heroes in the NHS risking their lives indiscriminately on little pay, inadequate protective clothing and in many cases also having to pay landlords a fortune in rent. Not to mention the care-home disaster.

As a society we've become complicit in the belief that wealth is a measure of our worth. I should say 'are' complicit since power and ownership have preoccupied homo sapiens since time began. How many of the beneficiaries of Attlee's post-war socialism, council housing and wealth-equalising measures have since turned their back on their pasts, learned how to speak with the 'right accents' and adopted lofty attitudes to those in distress? A good many I think.

The 1740 song which ends "Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves! Britons never, never, never shall be slaves" is enigmatic. In those days, we needed a strong navy to protect us from the slavery and inhumanity we were already imposing on other countries in building our own 'Empire'. Ironically, we have now 'imprisoned' many of our own citizens in 'slave-like' conditions of poverty, 'chicken-coup' housing and poor health! Grenfell and Windrush are sickening examples of our awful habits.

While workers express doubts about rushing back to expose themselves to Covid-19 for the sake of the economy (which incidentally has been of little previous help to them), business owners are starting to express views implying they are 'idle layabouts' and 'if they don't go back to work they shouldn't get furlough payments'. I might as well continue talking to my brussel sprouts!

Mike Joslin