When the rich man tells the beggar

Scavenging for scraps in the car park

I was waiting to have a tooth out when I was urged to "accept we're poorer than we were."  I thought of my pension age forced up to 66, the £50,000 or more I lost. A day went by, the tooth came out and I count that cost too as I swill my privatised gums with salt water. 

The Bank of England chief economist harnessed the deafening machinery of public relations, as power-crazed as the factories of northern England weaving cloth for the empire, to tell me what I know. Where he slipped up was in using the personal pronoun. His fundamental error reminds me of the dandy, the ultimate self-publicist, separated from a world of working people by silk, satin and wigs. 

Here, too, in the stratum of PR and personal branding, you find the artist with decades of highly paid corporate work subsidising his photography/novel/album dining with the economist. Neither suffers from self-doubt. So they say 'we'. 

The trouble is, questions about entitlement are difficult to navigate. Does wealth trump everything? In the Scope £1 shop in Portslade yesterday a woman with an armful of clothes was listing her bills. Sainsburys in West Hove makes you scan a receipt to get out and Aldi in London Road searches bags at the till. Yes, we're poorer. The difference is in scale. 

On the subject of teeth, I urge you to scroll down this page and read a brilliant poem by Martina Evans, Can Dentists be Trusted? followed by her poem, Cows, which I have on my fridge because it's so beautiful.