Unkind cuts: Why we should protest

I never intended to use this blog as a political soapbox, but I can’t help writing about the things I see happening around me, and after all, what use is a socialist who ignores social issues?

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Here in the UK, our coalition Government has been aptly christened the ‘ConDems’ by the media, and those bright enough to see them coming from miles away.

They have only been in power for a few months, but already the coalition has set in motion negative events which will resonate throughout British society for decades to come.

This is a government without scruples, with no feeling for natural justice and without a clue. We are witnessing the wholesale destruction of our welfare state; and what is there to replace it? Nothing!

The ConDems argue that an abstract idea called the ‘Big Society’ will plug any gaps left by the ‘deletion’ of local services. They call this ‘localism’ – I call it a tragedy.

I don’t use that word lightly. It is both a tragedy and a travesty, because genuine public life is coming to an end in England, and it’s happening now. Every socially useful institution I can think of is being axed, and those services which remain are being castrated.

But that’s not the real tragedy – what churns my spirit is that there is nothing tangible to replace the essential public services we are losing. There is a very human side to this. The ConDems can’t understand that if you remove a day centre for the elderly from a community, some lonely old person completely loses contact with the outside world.

This is a Government which promised to protect the vulnerable. They lied, and they will go on twisting the truth because that is the nature of neo-cons: they actually believe their own delusions.

The ConDems are unable to grasp that our world is in fact a concrete reality, where the withdrawal of services can mean isolation, poverty and a premature grave.

I’m not exaggerating either: the slashing of state benefits and local services will mean homelessness for many – lives stripped of meaning and joy. This is as nakedly evil as walking up to a complete stranger in the street and throwing acid in their face.

During a so-called ’emergency’ Budget called earlier this year, the ConDems pledged to cut welfare spending by £11 billion. Recently, Chancellor George Osborne vowed to cull another £4 billion from the same purse.

I live in a neighbourhood which can ill afford such reductions. There is genuine poverty and social exclusion here, and it grieves me to know that innocent people will suffer as a direct result of this entirely unnecessary act of social vandalism.

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I am already seeing more people out on the street – begging has long been a problem, but it’s actually getting worse. Hardly surprising when so many people are being cast aside by this cold, uncaring and worthless Government. And they haven’t even started yet.

It is utterly shocking that so-called liberals have allowed themselves to be hypnotised by the promise of power; and frankly insane that the British public appears not to understand what is happening on the ground.

I know that given the global financial crisis we are facing, some cuts in public spending were inevitable. I also know what Bertrand Russell once said, “All movements go too far”, though it seems this one has wasted no time in weaving its misguided wickedness.

The answer is to organise! The ConDems must be opposed at every line end. This is not a plea for New Labour to return, but it is an appeal to everyone reading this to do something about it. We should all ensure that we are in a union, write to our MPs and – where practical – attend demonstrations. I would not rule out civil disobedience if it comes to that.

October 20 will see Osborne the Fool announce even more public spending cuts, and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is organising a mass protest in London the day before his spending review.

A further public protest is planned for March 2011. Please attend if possible, and let your voice be heard. What we do not defend, we stand to lose forever.

There is no localism or ‘Big Society’, unless you see these poorly defined ideas as a neo-con ruse to hide the fact that our government is keen to avoid direct decision making in these times of economic strife.

The ConDems’ spending cuts are a smokescreen for patching up the dreadful mistakes of modern capitalism, and there can be no excuse for this attack on ordinary people. Governments are supposed to serve people, not destroy their lives with pseudo philosophical nonsense.

Make no mistake, the poor will suffer and rich people will not. This is a lesson which we must learn today, because these changes will affect YOU.

Tomorrow will probably be too little, and much too late.

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