Saturday, October 09, 2010

Letter to David Cameron

"In proposing a reply to one’s opponents, in the best Oxbridge tradition, it is traditional to start by finding at least one flattering thing to say of them. This letter is in more of a Roman tradition. I come not to praise Caesar but to bury him.

Was the tone struck at the start supposed to be Churchillian?

“We can build a country defined not by what we can consume but by what we can contribute. A country, a society where we can say I am not alone. I will play my part. I will work with others to give Britain a brand new start.”

Winston was rallying the country to stand up to the Nazi hordes when he asked us to fight them on the beaches, a somewhat more noble enterprise than your government is attempting. You are asking us to bow down to the greed of the financial sector and the bankers who have cost this country dearly, to self-flagellate while you pull the great achievements of Britain down about us. You are defending the indefensible, declaring war on the working people of this country.

Of course the reference may have been intended to be more to JFK, asking not what the country can do for you but what you can do for your country. But you sir are no John Kennedy, more the boy who cries wolf trying to scare us into believing the unbelievable.

Like your Chancellor before you, you are content to lie to the British people, spouting the same old right wing ideology dressed up as urgency and necessity and accepting the praise of the IMF, a discredited body who failed to see the financial storm coming even as the tornado blew in. Your economic policy turns the clock back to the disreputable Tory policies of the 1920’s. Another Great Depression anyone?

But then, when my family were standing in dole queues then, yours and Osborne’s were probably dining at the Ritz. Then, as now, as the song goes, it’s the rich what get the pleasure and the poor the bloody blame.
“Reduced spending,” you say will be difficult, “but lets remember a lot of businesses have had to make savings in recent years”.

But can you answer an honest question? How many businesses have remained solvent while cutting wages, cutting investment and selling off the plant and machinery? But that is what you propose to do to the British economy, isn’t it?

You cannot be serious in asking us to trust your government with the NHS when the White Paper that your party has just produced will dismantle its infrastructure and sell off the component parts to the highest bidder, producing a health care system akin to an American model where treatment depends not on your illness but on the ability to pay, thus ensuring the highest profit for privatised providers?

Please don’t ask me and the rest of the working people of this country to believe you when you talk about poverty. For the Tory Party, poverty is another country, one you have never visited and have no intention of travelling to. I doubt that Mrs C counts out the leckie money, the rent and the council tax from her meagre minimum wage, to see if she has enough left to feed the kids that week. Spare us the crocodile tears.

“Fairness isn’t just about getting help from the state”? Your quote. You said it. What about the help given to the tax dodgers and non doms who fail to pay their way? Why is the state helping them dodge paying their fair share?

You talk of “more freedom for local councils to keep more of the money when they attract business to the area”. At the same time you deprive local government of funds necessary to keep services running. We remember the great cities of this country in the 1980 are when you tried the same tactics. When Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester were starved of necessary investment and they became urban wastelands from which businesses fled. We don’t look forward to time turning back.

We know what you mean when you say, "No more top down, bureaucrat driven public services”. Strip out the adjectives and there is the truth: - No more public services. Strip out the professionals, as you said of the police service and leave law and order to the special constables, the Keystone cops, or the hobby Bobbies. And since we don’t have enough university places or apprenticeships for our young people, let’s ship them to the colonies, sorry offer them “international service". Thunderbirds are go!

I’m afraid your roots as a PR man are showing. Your performance as an international statesman is as convincing as Roger Moore’s in 007. There is no integrity, only bluster and sounds bites hiding the use of political power as a means of ensuring that post war social democracy is dismantled, and that we return a life that is solitary, poor, nasty brutal and short.

So I won’t be heeding you plea “to pull together”. In my world suicide is to be avoided, as bad for the health".

Jane Carolan - hat tip UNISONactive

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