OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I find it disturbing that in this climate of austerity and increasing poverty, I am seeing a lot more ads on TV for online gambling.

Politicians will issue warnings against ‘cheap booze’ whilst beer in a pub can be £3 a pint — thus pubs are closing, wrecking the healthy social aspect of just meeting friends or family for a chat and a quiet drink! But GAMBLING? They have even abolished the tax on it my husband tells me and now it’s being portrayed nightly on screen as sexy and fun!

It shouldn’t surprise me. Gambling is like how markets work at their most simplistic — banks take our money, gamble with it, lose, pay themselves huge bonuses for losing and so on. And rich people take a keen interest in relieving the gullible of their cash — the house (ie the share holder) always wins. Financial risk not stability, is at the heart of society — therein lies the problem. But Gambling isn’t good.

I place one bet every year as did my mother (even if it was just a family sweep sometimes) and that is on Grand National day. So I had my yearly bet this year too —  £2 each way on Teaforthree — a very nice horse which gave me back my stake + £3 🙂 In the Bookies afterwards collecting my win, I saw men with gaunt haggard faces directed at the screen, having placed round robins or whatever, they looked like they had to win. I didn’t understand how they could spend all afternoon in that awful shop staring at anything so boring. But then I’ve never been bitten by gambling. Even as a child when we went to Barry’s in Portrush, I never fed the fruit machines or Penny Falls. I’d spend my money on icecream instead. Gluttony is much more my sin! (Oh the government are against that too by the way.) So — gambling doesn’t show — or does it?

It does you know. It shows in crime rates and loan sharks and ruined families and lost houses and the desperation of addiction and it is dispicable to advertise it. It is another synical aspect to the incoherent policies of greedy and indifferent men of power. I’ll tell you where the harm is. It’s at the top of our society and it’s trickling down!