Dear Mr. Predator

“In a sense I've failed – I get on very well with everyone, even those, dare I say it, at the bottom of the food chain. I should have thanked them.”Quoted by a retiring MP on his failure to give an appropriate valedictory speech other than to hold up a card saying 'Bye Bye'.

Dear Mr. Predator,

I hope you don't mind me addressing you as a predator – it's just that I assume from your comments that you must be somewhere near the top rungs of the food chain and I don't know what else to call you.

I'm deeply grateful that you remembered us little people and while I know we were just an afterthought it was nice that you remembered all the work we do for you; the real people. Important people like politicians, lawyers, developers and corporate lords like yourselves rarely suffer from an underwhelming ego and it was nice of you to spare a thought for the bottom feeders like me. It's hard work down here and as we cooked your dinners, washed your knickers and taught your kids to read (you being so busy and all) we marvelled that despite all your money and and your wives' surgical enhancements, you still played around and she was still a mean drunk. I'm talking generically of course. I guess being at the top of the food chain doesn't necessarily make you happy but as we waited on your tables at 3am in the morning we whistled in amazement and sighed “Man. You guys really do rule.” You are the new heroes it seems.

I spent a fortune on getting my only son through university, dreamt he'd find a cure for something. Thought he might turn out to be of some use to someone other than himself but now he says he wants to speculate on the markets. Whatever that means. Kids are bound to disappoint. I guess he wants to be just like you. I know what you guys do is really important.

You've told me so a hundred times and sorry for asking but.. .what is it exactly that you guys actually do? Here at the bottom of the food chain I know exactly what we do. Hospitals, schools and restaurants are full of us humble bottom dwellers. Our incomes are nearly always very active – if not bloody exhausting. Just ask any nurse or primary school teacher or better still go and fill her shoes for a day. You might be surprised – she wouldn't know a passive income if it bit her on the bum and don't try telling her about your investment portfolio woes either it's unlikely she'll be feeling your pain. You see – she has to perform or get fired – that's how it works down here. I don't really get it myself – but how come you guys can fail spectacularly and then get a performance bonus or an 'exit package' worth millions? The only exit package we see is the last pay cheque.

Still, I hear some of you are finding yourselves in a bit of a tight squeeze lately. Last I heard you were asking for a bailout – what happened to 'let the market rule?' Isn't the market the great leveller? You always talked about the level playing field like it meant you were going to drive a bulldozer over anyone that got in your way with their petty regulations but what do I know?

I'm still waiting for some kind of wealth to start dribbling down from you guys up on the top rungs – remember the 'trickle down' theory? I did wonder why it was that the bottom dwellers only deserved a drip or two when what I'd have preferred is a decent slice of the pie. Still we didn't have access to cheap and easy credit to build our own empires over the last 15 years and you guys certainly weren't supporting the great leveller of capital gains tax so now, not only are you guys at the top – and we're at the bottom - there's not so much a gap as a gaping chasm between us. Still, that' s all behind me now – I'll be retired in a couple of weeks. I'm sure glad that I listened to that nice finance manager who got me to invest in.. what was it? Stocks? Bonds? I can't remember now – I was too busy with my two jobs and the boss's daughter being on P, it was all I could do to keep a track of their family silver and keep the house tidy after her parties.

I'm looking forward to putting my feet up down here at the bottom of the food chain. I think I deserve it and it's nice to know that I have been appreciated.

Yours sincerely,
Mrs Bottomfeeder.

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