The Rise of the Brylcreem Warrior

Testa de cazi
Tory boy and notable dick-head (hence the picture above) Wavey Dave Cameron carries on apace with his big society delusion, dragging us siren-like to a mass watery doom.

I’ll give him his due. The Brylcreem Warrior always has a smile glued to his fatuous face during his very public vapourings about localism and the rising tide of ‘entrepreneurs’ who are supposed to sail the Good Ship Britannia towards a safe harbour. There’s nothing safe about his shenanigans though.

‘Why?’ you may ask with an ugly sneer smeared across your lips, as you advance towards me, coalition manifesto in hand as though to batter me to death with that tome of the party faithful.

‘Simple’, say I, retreating slightly before your withering gaze. ‘There’s no-one left to deliver Deluded Dave’s perfectly potty vision’. Even a swift straw poll will reveal that local services are dying out faster than fleas on a dead feline. Virtually nothing has been left untouched, as the voluntary organisations, who will supposedly step in – like the hero in a cheezoid Hollywood movie – lose their grant funding and lay off their staff in droves.

Oh, go ahead and volunteer then, but don’t expect to actually get paid for your trouble. Not a bean will you get, because this year heralds a tsunami of public sector job cuts. ‘So what, I don’t work for the public sector. And anyway, they’re a bunch of greedy bastards chugging along on the gravy train.’

Wrong fool. They deliver the local services (‘localism’ in action!) which we all depend on. Are you old, and did you depend on Supporting People grant funding to pay for your meals on wheels? Bad news I’m afraid; that particular pot of money is no longer protected. To use the parlance of the public sector it’s been ‘un-ringfenced’. It will now be used to deliver essential LOCAL services – or should I say, ‘More essential than looking after all those inconvenient oldies who clutter up our country. Hell – they haven’t got long left, so why even think about them?’

All right then. Are you a young person trying to get a start in life. Too bad! Your LOCAL (there’s a clue there isn’t there) Connexions service has already been axed by Dave the Tory Tyrant and his band of thieving brigands. You’ll be okay though, because these days you should apparently ‘take responsibility for yourself’ and do your own donkey work. No-one could accuse this lot of shirking when it comes to unfeeling idiocy. Whatever happened to cooperation as a way of getting things done?

Are you a small organisation trying to deliver local services to your members, thereby generating the ‘green shoots’ of economic recovery we sometimes hear about? Too bad. Who do you think will supply your grant funding now? The public sector. Sorry! Its pockets are empty. The private sector? Nope – they are laying people off and pulling up their proverbial drawbridges. Localism is a canard – where else can services be delivered if not locally? In dream land obviously.

Some people view the public, private and charitable (third-sector) as completely separate, and the coalition often implies that local authorities should look to the private sector for greater efficiencies. This overlooks one simple fact: these sectors are not independent, they are completely interdependent. Local government is quite complex, but historically, it has been very good at working in partnership with both private and voluntary organisations. The coalition’s massive round of public sector cuts is tearing apart private contractors, and forcing charities to withdraw funding from people who really need it.

Localism and the ‘big society’ is akin to chopping your friend’s legs off and saying, ‘Go for a walk pal’. It’s an  irrational idea used to mask the real agenda: the removal of the Welfare State. I support the idea of distinctive local services, and I even agree that the third sector should play a much stronger role in society. Third sector organisations must be supported and enabled, but instead they are being quietly pruned to death through an act of ideological vandalism.

Don’t believe me? I can prove it. This site contains data showing that so far cuts to the voluntary sector total almost £49,000,000 – and that’s just the start. In case you are thinking, ‘What’s this got to do with a blog about bohemian life?’ I would say, ‘Loads’. Those small distinctive organisations help to prop up creative projects around the country. Without them we might as well sell out and get jobs in call centres, because at this rate there won’t be much left of our local services.



Fight the coalition’s cuts!

Here in the UK our Coalition Government has published their controversial Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), which I’ve had the dubious pleasure of reading.

Never in the history of UK democracy have so few written so much blinkered bollocks for the benefit of so many. David Cameron and his condom-headed cohorts are trying to brainwash us into thinking that the round of cuts announced in the review is ‘fair’. Apparently, ‘We’re all in this together.’ His ideas are ‘radical’. I beg to differ!

Thinking people everywhere will resist the coalition’s cuts every step of the way. There are few liberals in government at the moment – but plenty of crypto fascists and power grubbing careerists with their faces deep in the trough of iniquity.

You might wonder what place an entry like this has on Boho Musings, but conservatism is largely the enemy of creativity. For example, the Spending Review is intent on cutting arts projects all over the country.

To add some figures to this vituperative rant, the Arts Council of England will make cuts of about £350 million over the next four years. This is an outline figure, but it will cripple creativity, while stifling  intellectual and cultural growth for decades to come.

These days everything is run by accountants, and while I think it’s sensible to factor money into important projects, I see these cuts as retrograde. They are designed to hurt the very people whom we should be encouraging during the global recession.

This short piece can’t begin to discuss on the sheer scale of the CSR without losing its focus. In any case, few people would want to read about it here, but unlike Nick (not-really-a-Liberal) Clegg, I have examined my conscience and found a sickening void at the heart of Government. It’s between his ears.


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.