We Can Have Both

It’s not us versus each other

Kevin Jones
2 min readOct 30, 2021


Don’t be sucked in by this type of meme: asking why homeless vets can’t be looked after before refugees, or why foreign children should be looked after before our own. It is doing exactly what they want us to do: being angry with each other so we don’t direct our anger at them.

This question about taking care of vets, particularly, is a distraction so you don’t ask the difficult question: why can we afford the things the government want¹, the things that benefit only the elite, when we can’t afford the things that would improve life for all of us?²

This dichotomy is false, we don’t have to fight amongst ourselves.

The fact is our government could help more people, but they choose not to. They choose to help themselves. They choose selfishness when they could choose to be selfless.

The money can be found when they want to find it. Billions of pounds in PPE contracts, test and trace³, but a slash to aid budgets, to green improvement grants, to local authority funding.

Maybe it’s true that they can’t help all people, but they could choose to help more people.


¹ Royal yacht, Brexit, lavish flat refurbishments, appropriation of taxpayer funds, tax breaks for fossil fuel companies, private prisons and healthcare, etc.

² Foreign aid, rehabilitation of criminals, public healthcare, local services, public transport, universal credit, etc.

³ the £37B budget for Test and Trace is especially galling. The commons spending watchdog noted that it had failed to meet its main objective, but that £37B is bigger than the budget for Hinckley Point C, the new nuclear reactor being built on the Severn.



Kevin Jones

Maritime Sustainability Specialist. Editor of Rethink Convenience and author of the Live Circular newsletter