PSYCHIATRISTS always listen carefully to the metaphors people use. Symbolic language is a map to the soul, after all. Tune in to phone-in shows today and you’ll hear folk saying they feel "beat up", they "can’t take any more punishment", they’re "under attack". Their words reveal an unmistakable sense of victimhood, of inherent violence done by those in power to those without power.

History warns that’s never a positive. Victims seek revenge eventually. People, in their millions, feel alone right now, as the economy dies and ruin beckons. The Tories – symbolised by Liz Truss – offer nothing but sneers, humiliation and pain. Ms Truss channels the spirit of Mr Bumble, Oliver Twist’s workhouse beadle. More?! How dare the poor demand more "handouts" – what do they want to do? Survive? Meanwhile, Boris Johnson enjoys his second summer holiday.

Sir Keir Starmer has just unveiled his cost of living plans … after his own holiday, obviously. He’d freeze the energy price rise for six months and hand – yes, "hand" – energy companies £29 billion as compensation. To finance that, Sir Keir would scrap the pitiful £400 payment the Tories planned, and tweak the windfall tax on oil and gas producers. It’s absurd, cod economics: bailing out a profiteering industry, and taxing it to help pay for that bail-out. Little wonder that cries go up: "Just nationalise them".

For clarity, Labour’s plans will still leave everyone facing £1,971 energy bills – enough to swallow an entire month’s pay packet for many. Average bills last year were £760. In 2020, they were £450. Yes, Labour’s plan will prevent bills spiralling to a predicted £3,600 in October, then £4,200 in January and possibly £5,000 come spring 2023, but it’s a sticking plaster to staunch what will be for many a truly fatal wound. Families are already going under, people are already on the breadline. Sir Keir’s plan merely arrests terminal decline while keeping the poorest on agonising life support. There’s no hope with this policy offering, merely limited suffering. And, of course, it all comes with zero suffering for predatory energy companies and their shareholders.

Read more: From London to Edinburgh and beyond, politics has failed the people

In Scotland, the SNP does nothing but talk. There’s no solid plan. No detail. Of course, the Scottish Ggovernment doesn’t have the full powers to deal with this crisis – but some coherent policies, rather than half-baked sound bites, might be nice. Even from a self-interested perspective, wouldn’t coming up with concrete suggestions reflect better on the notion of independence? Maybe some undecided voters might be won over if Nicola Sturgeon laid out in detail exactly what Westminster parties should do, rather than enjoying the sun at the Edinburgh Festival.

It’s as if the giants of capitalism have gathered around the people and are subjecting us to a sustained beating. That might explain all those violent metaphors folk use now to explain how they feel amid the economic crisis.

While the banks, energy companies and big supermarkets batter the hell out of us, the Tories stand on the sidelines smirking. Now that the victim has been punched to the ground, Labour has finally found a modicum of decency and stepped forward saying "alright, they’ve had enough". But that’s it – that’s all Labour is doing is saying "don’t go any further". There’s no first aid, no redress for the pain suffered – in fact, the assailant is rewarded. The SNP, meanwhile, is nowhere to be seen; nationalists are too busy hoping continued suffering and failure will play to their own political ends.

There will be no respite, let alone change, for ordinary people unless energy prices aren’t just capped, but cut – and cut to an acceptable standard. Last year’s figure of £760 should have been the line in the sand: this far and no further. Nor can politicians claim to be intelligently engaged with the problems around our energy system unless the question of nationalisation is part of the discussion. If our energy system is so flawed that the only way it can continue is to destroy vast numbers of citizens then it’s no longer fit for purpose, and consideration should be given to state takeover. France is nationalising energy giant EDF for £8.5bn.

There can be no solution to long-term poverty until wages and benefits are brought up to a standard which gives everyone a decent life. If our governments are so useless that they cannot institute a policy of full employment, then it’s incumbent upon political leaders to make sure ordinary people don’t suffer for their inadequacies. Our banks should also be subject to windfall taxes as has happened in Spain.

We chase down the poorest for rent arrears while allowing corporations to pay no tax. What money the Government does spend –like the support during the pandemic – simply makes the rich richer. Workers are told to be thankful for a job.

Read more: People are angry. They want victims to blame. These are dangerous times

All political parties are bereft of ideas. Politicians no long "manage", which is their one responsibility; they think they’re celebrities. They just insult each other – "bulls*****r", "p**s off", "attention seeker", "disgrace" – and imagine that passes for leadership. Leadership would be realising that if we’d insulated homes and put solar panels on every roof, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

A class war is being waged against the people by politicians – which makes perfect sense as they live gilded lives at our expense. Why would they want change? Indeed, it’s in their interests to make sure we don’t think about the forbidden issue of "class". The best way to do that is to make us turn on each other. So it’s convenient that over recent years, politicians have done nothing capably except for pushing culture wars and identity politics. The whole nonsense around "woke" Brexit, even Scottish independence – it’s all a handy way to distract us from the most pressing issue: that ordinary people are getting poorer, while the powerful get richer.

Politics has failed. People feel used – and used brutally. It’s little wonder there’s so much talk now of social unrest. If anger does spill on to the streets, politicians will have nobody to blame but themselves. There’s only so much aggression that can be suffered by a victim, until they lash out in anger.

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