FROM the cradle to the grave, our genetic identities mutate in response to our experiences in life.

Most of us are defined by our pasts and to varying degrees we are all ‘moulded’ at birth.

One might fondly imagine that we all have the free will to become whatever we wish for in a world full of opportunity.

However, our genetic blueprints and the people we descend from are the main determinants of our futures.

The Ministry of Justice research on prison populations in the UK and US showed that ‘risk factors for future offending included low family income, delinquent or convicted family members, histories of violence, parental mental illness, poor relationships with parents, low IQ and low school attainment’.

Meanwhile, the rich continue as usual to buy their children private education and healthcare and provide them with valuable ‘networking’ skills.

The richest 1% of households in the UK each own fortunes of at least £3.6m, according to new official figures that show the inequality gap was yawning even before the pandemic struck.

At the other end of the scale, the poorest 10% of households have just £15,400 or less, with almost half of them burdened with more debts than they had in assets, according to figures released by ONS.

I asked myself how this huge amount of inequality has been allowed to continue but looking back in history it seems that human beings have always been greedy and marauding.

‘Slavery’ still thrives. For instance, we buy expensive goods manufactured overseas in ‘sweat shops’ where even children have to work extremely long hours for very little pay.

Ironically, the prices we pay for them here are probably high enough to justify manufacturing them in the UK and paying our own workers a fair rate of pay in the process.

The ‘middle men’ and zero-hour contracts are the problem. Look at the energy suppliers’ and water companies’ gross profits, dividends and executive pay.

Energy companies are even legally forcing their way into destitute people’s homes to install pre-payment meters in order to charge them even higher rates.

The incompetence of our water companies has made our beaches unsafe to swim in and leakages are common.

Whilst millions are suffering the hardships of poverty, hunger and ill health, our Prime Minister clearly believes that smilingly serving food to the hungry will raise his popularity.

We haven’t got over his new £300,000 swimming pool costing £30,000 a year to heat whilst many of us are literally freezing in our homes. Life is a dream with hundreds of £millions in the bank!

If someone is hungry enough to steal a loaf from Tescos he could easily be given a jail sentence but it’s one law for the rich and another for the poor.

I see taxpayers are going to have to foot the legal bills to defend Johnson and Hancock over their alleged Covid misdemeanours! The ‘foundation stone’ of Tory policy is somewhat euphemistically described as “trickle-down economics”.

This is how it works: millionaires and billionaires are favourably treated so that they can get even richer so that some of their wealth will ‘trickle down’ to the rest of humanity. Fat chance of that! According to the Forbes List, during the Covid pandemic the total wealth of billionaires worldwide rose significantly over 12 months, the most dramatic surge ever registered on the annual billionaires list.

Just think how those extra £trillions profit could have funded renewable energy and stopped Climate Change in its tracks!

The New Year is a time when traditionally we look to change the way we live and make promises to ourselves to change for the better. We, the public, are the only ones who can make change happen.

The ‘abuse’ of Capitalism by those in positions of responsibility has now reached unsustainable levels. Enough is no longer enough.

There’s an abominable stench of moral decay, corruption, greed, political incompetence and lack of leadership at Westminster that can only be put down to Tory governments since Margaret Thatcher publicly proclaimed that “Greed is good”.

We must consider very carefully who we vote for at the next General Election and bear in mind that Tory M.P.’s have continued to support leaderships that don’t give a damn for us. Unbelievably, the Prime Minister and his Chancellor fail to realise that economic growth cannot occur if people have nothing left to spend after paying their rents and fuel bills and buying something to eat!

Let’s turn that Tory non-existent ‘trickle’ into a ‘torrent’ of cash with a ‘post-war’ 95% top rate of income tax and a wealth tax for good measure. Then pay public sector workers properly, repel privatisation of the NHS and Social Services and resume providing care for the aged at a reasonable cost. Look around you Rishi! It’s not something you should feel proud about.

Mike Joslin Dorchester