Saturday, 26 March 2011

Today's March and some advice for Mr Cameron

Us political types find it very hard to look at the other side of an argument unless forced to. Cameron will know what he thinks about today before it happens. He also knew today would come long before he was elected. Any government proposing even a fraction of the cuts this coalition are unleashing were always going to face large scale public protests.

He will, I'm sure feel fairly unruffled about the fact that hundreds of thousands of people will give up a precious Saturday today. They will travel to London from every town and every village of every country of the United Kingdom to give him a message.

I'm sure he thinks he knows what that message is. He thinks that today will be about a minority who want to oppose for the sake of opposing, who just don't want to understand the details of his policies. He knows that just a small percentage of the country will be in London today and I'm sure, believes that these are people who would never vote for him anyway. To him, I imagine they are an amorphous mass of public-sector-worker-leftie-benefit-scrounging-student-radical-militant-crusty-drains-on-society.

I'm also sure that he thinks it's a gift that Ed Miliband will be speaking at the rally today. "Red Ed" eh? First chance to take to the streets and he couldn't resist. Oh how those Tories and Cleggs will laugh at the sight!

I would like, this morning to give Cameron a little piece of advice that I'm sure he'll ignore.

Ask yourself Mr Cameron, are people marching against your cuts or are they marching against your policies, against your incompetence?

How many of the people marching today have made the effort because you've let them down? How many are marching to save the NHS from privatisation? How many are sick or disabled, marching against plans to cut their lifelines? How many are marching because you tried to sell off our forests and it opened their eyes to other things they can't accept? How many are students facing £9000 tuition fees? How many are terrified that you are destroying our economy?

Just 30% of the public approve of your government. Around 60% think you are cutting too far and too fast. For everyone marching today, 100 people sit at home and will them on.

Did you see those oh-so-well-heeled Gloucester ladies on the BBC News last night Mr Cameron? The "Marks and Spencer's 12"? Clutching their petition of 15,000 names, hoping the 12 of them look like 15,000 today. They're marching. When asked about Big Society, they sneered. "This is the Big Society? - No it's the Big Corporate Society (genteel approving claps) and we're all saying no! 

Will you see those too ill or too disabled to march today Mr Cameron? Because we'll be taking over the internet and jamming emails all day long.

Will you see the frightened Mums or the desperate Grandparents or the sons and daughters left without hope?

When you sneer at Ed Miliband, do remember those Gloucester ladies and middle-England forest protesters and academic librarians too, won't you Mr Cameron. And remember that he might just be on the right side of public opinion after all.

Most of all Mr Cameron, don't for one minute think that because this is Britain, today means nothing and will come to nothing. Don't for one second lull yourself into believing that today's protest is anything different to protests taking place around the world - in the Middle East, In North Africa, in Europe.

An out of touch leader, acting without a mandate, causing fear and division can be rejected just as surely in the UK as anywhere else.


 

45 comments:

  1. I doubt today's march will make any difference to Cameron's owners. If you believe in conspiracy theories, the reason for the cuts is to disable the majority of the population and leave them vulnerable to the effects of the coming financial crash, so his masters won't want him to change anything. If you don't believe in conspiracy theories, now might be a good time to start.

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  2. What's your alternative?

    Everything costs money after all. At the moment, it's mainly employed people earning from £15k to over £150k, plus small business. The super rich and corporates avoid a lot of tax but pay some.

    The cuts that the coalition government are proposing aren't that major so far, there's definitely going to be much worse to come but the facts are that we have multi-trillion pounds of public and private debt and the government receives £140bn less than it pays out, so the debt will continue to get bigger until the economy picks up or cuts are made.
    The coalition is actually reducing the deficit, so clearly what they're doing actually works. If it was simply the case that they were chucking people on the scrap heap, then they'd have to pay more out on benefits and their cuts wouldn't work.

    There are many things that I think are wrong with society. I believe that our government should give individual investors more power, so that they can hold corporations to account. I believe that we should have a transparent society where secret deals with corporates and the super rich are exposed, complaints data about companies are published etc. I believe the public services need to be made more productive, and this means cutting out the waste e.g. quangos and other bodies which claim to fulfill a public function but provide little evidence of results. As a society we need to stop looking to the law, government and councils to solve our problems and think what we could do for ourselves. The problem with the public sector is that they have no skin in the game. If you've been ripped off by a company whose more committed to help? You or some jobsworth in Consumer Direct? If your kids playground is falling apart are you more concerned or a jobsworth in the council? This is what's wrong with this country. We don't want to help ourselves any more.

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  3. We are allowed 25years to pay our dedt if you have a mortgage, why does the govenment want to pay of this dedt in 4 years. Should there be a rull that the debt is set aside for all future govenments to pay this debt of say over 25years.
    or 50years. it took 75years to pay of the debt to the first world war.

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  4. Anonymous - As you ask, I'd do what works.

    I'd build and I'd grow and I'd employ, just like we did after the second world war when our deficit was 4 times higher than now.

    I#d do what the state must do during a recession and support workers and families.

    Gideon is has already ADDED 44 BILLION to the debt through his cuts. The deficit won't go down and he'll say we need to cut more. It hasn't worked in Ireland, it hasn't worked in Portugal or Spain or Greece - they've just seen bonds go through the roof and gone cap in hand to the Euro bailout fund.

    Cutting waste is fine - cutting wheelchairs for the disabled and women's refuges and hospitals and schools is just going to hurt us all and leave us uncompetitive.

    You don't need to believe me - unemployment is up, debt is up, growth is down, inflation is up and soon interest rates will rise, because it's all Gideon has left.

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  5. @philpenn, The government wants to pay off the deficit, not the debt in 4 years. Our debt is multi-trillions of pounds, our deficit is £140bn. After 4 years, if the government's plans are successful, our debt will no longer be getting any bigger. I don't think any of the parties have plans to eliminate public debt completely. It would certainly take more than 25 years, if people whinge about £30bn cuts per year, even if the current cuts continued indefinitely and the economy stayed the same, it would take more than 50 further years to elimiate the debt completely.

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  6. ahh, that good old "you got the deficit mixed up with the debt" sneer.

    We've always run a deficit - the Tories handed over a deficit of 40 odd billion in 97. For 200 years of the last 250 our deficit has been bigger.

    We're all being conned. Scarily we were conned exactly this way in the 30s and look how that ended up.

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  7. @SueMarsh, The guardian has published statistics showing government deficit and debt since 1946 (in spreadsheet at bottom of article) and graphs for the deficit since 1979 and debt since 1976. It makes grim reading. The deficit did come down last year, and the public debt as a %age of GDP has also come down.

    It was a different situation after the war, companies and large parts of housing needed re-building so it was obvious that investment in these areas wouldn't be wasted. It's much more difficult now. We're competing with the rest of the world, and our economy is still relatively successful, so you need to ensure that investments are made in the right area, which is a challenge for any party.

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  8. http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/oct/18/deficit-debt-government-borrowing-data#

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  9. Perhaps Mr Cameron would like to 'see' my Daughter in Law who has had her incapacity benefit stopped?
    This beautiful girl has Crohn's Disease, arthritis of the spine and chronic iritis....
    She is an excellent mother to a six month old baby, has a husband who works full time, while studying to advance his career.

    Yet this government has taken away the small sum of money she receives to compensate for her inability to maintain a reasonably paid job?

    We are not a wealthy family but we do pay our dues. I did not vote for this government, nor do I want to listen to their rhetoric.

    I, for one, will be supporting the Marchers every step of the way.

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  10. @SueMarsh, we've not always run a deficit. The guardian stats (lifted from Office of National Statistics) shows that the government had a surplus between 1947 to 1974, 1988 to 1990 and 1998 to 2001. As a householder would you be comfortable that your debt kept rising year on year whilst you were earning less money than your outgoings? I think most householders would have contacted Citizens Advice if they were faced with the statistics that the current government is facing.

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  11. http://eoin-clarke.blogspot.com/2011/03/march-for-j-m-keynes.html?showComment=1301133454047#c4522401408725906235

    My brilliant friend Eoin Clarke puts it so much better than me James.

    As for saying things were different after the way - the effect was the same, and if you travel the country I think you'll find plenty of housing that needs re-building!

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  12. OK, we've run a deficit 200 years out of 250!

    You can't compare household budgets with national ones. That you do is exactly why were facing a disaster,. Osborne makes the same mistake.

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  13. Sue, it was completely different. At the time, we still had customers abroad who wanted our jobs. I'm sure that we could re-build lots of boarded up houses in rundown towns throughout the UK, but they need to be filled with people who have jobs to take care of the houses. So the 1st problem, in my opinion is to get productive work for people in those areas, then it's worth the investment to re-build the houses.

    I've had a quick scan of Eoin Clarke's blog.
    His first graph is demonstrating how public debt shot up as a result of WWI and WWII. The recent part of the chart is misleading as a lot of our national debt is now off the books e.g. our bankrolling of Lloyds Banking Group and RBS and the public-private partnership deals which have become prevalent in the last 20 years.

    The GDP growth is impressive but is taken over a short period of time 20 years. Ireland and Iceland had an even more spectacular growth spurt during this period. We've been in relative economic decline since 1870 but with brief moments in which we deluded ourselves that we could reverse the trend during the Thatcher era and more recently during the Major/Blair/Brown (up until financial crisis) era. We need better solutions than turning our country in to a country open to casino capitalists and unregulated business. It may boost the GDP figures short term but isn't a long term solution.

    I'm apolitical. I don't think Tory or Labour governments have a clue on how to solve our problems and I certainly don't profess to have an answer either. Our problems are that countries with cheaper costs can produce better value goods than we can.

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  14. @SueMarsh, Why can't a government run a country in the same way as a householder runs their home? The net result is the same.

    If you don't have the money to pay your creditors, you'll have to default on your debt and apply for bankruptcy or an IVF. If a government can't it has to default on it's debts i.e not pay the interest that creditors expect for gilts (government bonds) or go to the IMF for a bailout.

    In the same way that lenders get nervous when they can see that your debts are rising but you have no visible means of paying down your debts, a country's creditors also take a similar view. If we take no steps to reduce our outgoings, our creditors will start to demand higher interest payments for our debt. This is what's happening in Greece, Portugal and Ireland recently.

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  15. Excuse me, but why is it that WE have to be the ones to come up with alternatives? Why is that argument always tossed out there? Didn't we vote people into office to be able to do that work for us? Don't they tell us they're more than capable on a regular basis (usually before elections) to make sure that the Common Man will be all right and go after the Powers That Be who have the money since, quite honestly, none of the disabled/ill/pensioners/single families have it? That's what the government is supposedly FOR - to handle that sort of thing, find those alternatives and find ways to keep people from getting crushed.

    The "alternative" was to vote people into office. Those people are not doing that, and going back on every promise they ever made. So, this is what you get. End Of.

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  16. To be a bit more upbeat.

    The impact on jobs in the west in the last 30 years has been caused by the opening up of competition from eastern europe, south america, china and india. Each of these regions are rapidly growing whilst western economies are stagnating but there are signs that things will improve soon for the west.

    Not all of the regions are good at all things, however. China, for example, is very strong at manufacturing goods, whereas India is stronger at providing low-end IT, business and financial services, Russia and Brazil supply raw materials. There are already signs that the profit margin that could be made from producing goods in China and shipping them to the west are diminishing rapidly. So when my kid leaves university we may well have a reasonable manufacturing sector once again. I'm sure whichever government is in control in the interim will be claiming the credit for global movements like this.

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  17. james - I'm actually really glad you're commenting, don't mean not to reply, just very busy. Would love to answer fully later though :)

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  18. @Oya's daughter. I used to think that politicians make a difference. I believe in the wisdom of crowds nowadays. The problem with the current form of democratic system is that it's open to lobbying and corruption so corporations will always win over the interests of the electorate.

    For example, New Labour who are supposed to represent the working class and disadvantaged passed the Enterprise Act 2002 which makes it a criminal offence for regulatory authorities to publish details of complaints that they have received about companies. It's only in recent years that they created new legislation to allow financial companies complaints data to be published and this isn't detailed enough. Ever wondered why we still have programmes called 'Cowboy Builders', 'Watchdog', 'Rogue Traders' on the TV?

    Trust nobody and do your own research.

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  19. Sue, Fab post, good to see you are in great fighting spirit, having noted previous comments!

    Love you..............

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  20. James - Yes, it may be, just like it was in my parents' day when they marched during the civil rights movement in the US. And so what did they do? They marched, they got out there - they put themselves directly in the line of fire and said "no". Eventually, it worked. Things can change, but they certainly will NOT change if folks sit about and merely trade theories as opposed to actually trying to affect change in the first place.

    I am not a politician, a conspiracy theorist, a economics wiz, or even remotely privy to the budget. What I am is a mother, a disabled person, and I'm angry as hell. Just like the women who stormed the Bastille or chained themselves to the stairs of Parliament or got hanged or shot at in the early 60s in Georgia.

    So Armchair Activist I will be...and at least then I can carry my great-grandmother's family name and hold my head up whilst doing so.

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  21. "I imagine they are an amorphous mass of public-sector-worker-leftie-benefit-scrounging-student-radical-militant-crusty-drains-on-society"

    Couldn't have put it better myself. I notice everyone on the march is in receipt of tax payers money rather than net contributors.

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  22. Haha Anonymous - Selective quoting won't help you either.

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  23. from one Anonymous to another....

    we would all do well to remember that the 'net contributors' would not be able to function without the public sector workers
    or can we assume that you don't use the Health Service, Public Transport, schools etc????

    or are you one of the merchant bankers that have got us into this fine mess? perhaps thats why you choose to be anonymous? :O)

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  24. A big concern of the disabled is that many of them face being taken off disability benefits not because they are fit and well but because so many are to be culled in the name of austerity.I am disabled having worked since leaving school some many years ago i am now suffering from conditions that cause me great pain and having to rely on morphine and my bed for 20 odd hours out of every day.Truly awful is how i would describe my life and to have my problems compounded by a work capability test that is not fit for purpose just adds to my anquish.A lot of people have no problems with being tested for their disability benefits but they need to be fair and be a true indicator of a persons capabilities instead of the current test which is obscene in its blatant assault on commonsense.To anyone not familiar with the Work Capability Assessment ESA i would strongly suggest you look at it ..you will then i am certain understand where the conflict arises,it,s nonsense a total farce.That is why i support the marchers and anything else that will make this Government review matters with compassion being at the centre of such action.

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  25. I fully support the above post the only people worldwide who talk about cut's for others are aways wealthy always remember that and you wont go wrong

    The conservatives will only last another four years but they will cause a great deal of damage in the mean time primarily to the sick and disabled

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  26. Private sector worker
    Sue, you seem unable to grasp that if these cuts are not carried out, we put ourselves into the hands of outside interests - ie the bond markets - who will force far deeper cuts upon us.

    Your strategy is `I'd build, I'd grow, I'd employ', yet everything you write in your blog is anti private sector, corporations, bankers. You want to target these people to raise tax, and yet you want to raise money through `growth'. I suggest you really have no grasp of business, how to create growth, and what the private sector needs to encourage growth and employment.

    The working people in my factory do support the cuts. They are the people who are paying the taxes that keep the public sector going, and they are not happy with the overspending of Labour. This is basically a public sector demonstration.

    It's easy for people like you to say `get growth'. You have absolutely no idea how to go about that.

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  27. I am NOT anti cuts (amazingly) I am all for FAIR CUTS and alot of these cuts are unfair.

    Attacking the didabled and and saying they are suddenly able to work when the specialists and all people connected to these people KNOW they cannot work due to whatever their malady is - Is cruel and heartless and inhumane. Sending people who are about to die out to work and stressing them in their last few months of life is inhumane. Telling people who are unable to hold down a job that they must go on JSA is inhumane - and the ridiculous ATOS know this but they are all about the money for them and sod everyone who passes by them - The weak are expendable eh.

    Some of the cuts DO have to be made - Privatising the NHS will only take us back in time and will only hurt the people - Remember alot of countries are jealous of our NHS.

    A country can be judged upon how it treats its weakest members - And this government have shown categorically that the weakest members are to be denied any help and to be villified and called liars and scroungers and scumbags.

    Yes - make cuts to places where cuts should be made, make cuts to the places where money is thrown away, like in parliament where they waste thousands on wallpaper to decorate an office they are rarely in! Make cuts to the rich - Cuts we can see! It is always the poor who hold the country up. It is always the rich who throw out the rules while they sit up on their pedestals looking down at us plebs.

    What if every poor person in every single job refused to go to work? The country would grind to a halt. Yes I know that wont happen but should it - Then the govt would have to stand up and bloody listen. It seems this govt have money to give to everyone else - to spend on bombing people and giving themselves big handouts and nice little presents for themselves. Seems that when they leave govt they still are set up for life, they have it out in place that they will be set for life. When we lose our jobs nobody gives us pay for the rest of our lives! No - We have to belittle ourselves and become a scrounger signing on.

    If this government want to be liked at all - They should relaise that the disabled do not ned millions wasted changing a working DLA system with very small fraud to a more than likely not working PIP which is just a drain for money and giving it to ATOS who will no doubt in their infinite wisdom - say that all the disabled people are suddenly cured which they wont be and then lives will be lost.

    Therte IS a way to make smaller cuts and bring in the robin hood tax. Get the unpaid tax paid - and look into the waste in the NHS like them paying ten times the price for every thing they buy. Look into the waste in the MPs lives like them paying tons to all different companies just for their telephones. They all ned to understand that THEY hold the reigns and if they refuse to buy at these extortionate rates then prices will lower and thus savings will be made. For a £1 titanium screw the NHS will pay £10+ - They need to refuse to pay these prices and then the companies would fold if they didnt stop ripping off the NHS!

    There are ALWAYS ways of reducing the outgoings especially when the MPSs are spending ridiculous amounts on ''our behalf'' mostly on themselves when they do not need these bonuses or payments for the rest of their lives after they leave office - That is not how the world works - They get voted out and they get 60k a year money for life? Thats a joke!

    This govt is a joke and if they TRULY wanted to cut the defecit they would look closer to home first!

    The disabled are just a weak target they have grabbed onto cos they know that they arent strong enough to rampage enough.

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  28. So, to the Anonymous who questions my intelligence.

    "If these cuts are not carried out, we put ourselves into the hands of outside interests, ie bond markets"

    And what about Ireland and Portugal and Spain and Greece? THEY "carried out" austerity cuts and they ARE in the hands of the bond markets - 10.3% and 13.5 % for Portugal and Ireland I believe?? So that's that out then.

    "everything you write in your blog is anti private sector, corporations, bankers." Wow, have you read all of my blog then? Blimey, thank you. I used to be a trader and your comment is just silly. I WANT businesses to thrive, I WANT the private sector to do well, I just don't think ensuring no-one has any money to spend is the way to do it.

    Did it ever occur to you that people like me want to STOP the government from making awful mistakes?

    My ideas for growth are those of Keynes and Krugman and Stiglitz and Blanchflower. Not in bad company am I? Couple of Nobel prizes in there. As for having no idea how to achieve growth, I am not the chancellor who's seen growth projections fall from 3.5% to 2.6% to 2.2% to 1.5%. Whoops eh?

    I'll leave you with this thought. If the UK started to invest and train and employ and build, do you not think people would be queueing up to lend us the money? Do you not think other countries might worry a little that we might get ahead? Do you not think they might worry a little that they ought to do the same? If enough did, we just might pull ourselves out of this mess, but just like the 30s, they're all cutting at once - the race to the bottom will be brutal.

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  29. Now to engage with someone a little more sensible.

    James - thanks for all the comments. I think that in some ways today WAS a smokescreen. You'r right to say that over the last 30 years or so, we haven't invested in the way we should have, wages have fallen behind, productivity has been artificially propped up, businesses have chased shareholders rather than excellence and "profit" has ruled all to the point where businesses have actually lost their edge.

    UKPLC has chased every bubble that came it's way with disastrous consequences. That'll be the outcome of relying way too heavily on a greedy speculative financial sector.

    We have to be much more long term. Business must invest and train workers and keep them in the country by paying them competitive wages. I advocate looking very closely at why Germany are doing so well.

    They might be part of the austerity brigade, but they have a sound foundation to their economy. We could learn much from their attitudes to employing the disabled, tax breaks for businesses that invest and train etc. .

    We have real skills in this country and far from joining the "stack it high and sell it cheap" theory of economics, we could focus on excellence through pharmaceuticals, biotechs, green industry, IT, and engineering.

    There is a way out of this, but cutting women's refuges and wheelchairs and care packages will not do one thing to address the underlying problems in our economy. I do agree though that they need addressing

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  30. And yes, I'm delighted to quote Ken in my argument :

    http://www.leftfootforward.org/2011/03/an-economics-lesson-for-the-growth-deniers/

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  31. As always sue you make a good point. The conservatives know that if they can get rid of all the sick etc then there job is done. We are the last hurdle for them to crush
    Just supposed we didn't exist they would have no one left to attack now there's a thought i wonder who they would try go after.

    Personally i cant think of anyone but am sure that the conservatives would find someone or something that they didn't like and would try to get rid of it in whatever way they could

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  32. "A country can be judged upon how it treats its weakest members"

    Absolutely, but I don't think we do too bad compared to the billions of hard working poor in India, China, Indonesia, Russia, Africa, South America, the Middle East even the USA, anyone wanna swap?

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  33. I was looking for a B of B flag or somebody today - was so upset I didnt see or hear anything about DLA or anything like that :-( And I watched for hours - Guess i must have blinked at wrong moment

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  34. He's right. There are countries that treat the weakest like shit a lot, so Britain should be able to treat them like shit a little and still call ourselves civilised.

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  35. Anon, I don't think disabled people have been represented well at the protest or treated at all well by the wider anti-cuts movement.

    Fourth time I've put a shameless plug on Sue's blog, but I blogged my views on it: http://masondixonautistic.blogspot.com/

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  36. I don't think any hard working family begrudges a penny to the truly needy and wishes they could do more, I agree the disabled were not well represented, but look at the march today it shouldn't be about us against 'The Government' us against 'capitalism' or the 'Tories' or the guy that has more money than me. The government is us, the taxpayer, the voter, capitalism is us the worker, I mean when did the unions stop representing people who actually have jobs? Most socialist workers I know are unemployed or unemployable.

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  37. James - Going back to your charts, it shows Labour ran lower deficits than the Tories, it only shot up after the credit crunch and Labour ran longer surpluses.

    As for the deficit going down last year - in which part of the year, do you know? Has it gone down since Gideon took over? How about our debt?

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  38. 'Hard working' Mail reading families quite frankly do begrudge every little penny of welfare spending, at least those who have never had to change an adult diaper themselves.

    I can't talk to these people, these passive-aggressive, two-faced I'm-all-right-Jacks. We just go around in circles again and again and as they know they've already lost the argument on welfare policy they resort to changing the subject, it's rampant all over the web.

    Sorry but we are not in this together and there is an 'us' and a 'them'. The Right-wing having made its bread on the scapegoat of 'the other' for decades should now get a taste of their medicine. They are now 'the other'.

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  39. The main aim of these cuts are focused on the sick etc as that is where the debt is without the sick etc lets just say for the argument we don't exist then this country doesn't have a problem

    We are the problem and that's is the only problem period and by hook or by crook if this debt doesn't start to go down the conservatives will attack the next weakest link which are the over eighties with a euthanasia bill as they to cost the country a fortune

    All people with dementia will be targeted and if the debt still doesn't go down more extremist measures will come about that's for sure

    If anyone thinks otherwise then you have not lived the life i have

    One way they may achieve they aim is to try a new tactic which has just happened to me where you get a letter from the DWP saying you have been overpaid for the last few years and your benefits are to be reduced by £500 a month to make good the excess that you have had

    You can appeal which takes up to two years through the courts and that's what i am now trying to do with my mp I'll let you know the outcome as and when

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  40. Anonymous said...

    "A country can be judged upon how it treats its weakest members"

    Absolutely, but I don't think we do too bad compared to the billions of hard working poor in India, China, Indonesia, Russia, Africa, South America, the Middle East even the USA, anyone wanna swap?

    Anytime if i could get a visa i could live reasonably in the third world make no mistake about it and i wouldn't need to keep looking of my shoulder either every time i step outside the front door i am kept virtually a prisoner don't forget and it's not a sob story either

    my body's the proof at the end of the day and yes my mp is shocked but his hands are tied as the DWP are all to powerful even for him

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  41. I have swapped - I was in the US and homeless completely, lived in some areas most people in the US aren't even aware of. And get this - it also meant I was FREE of all this bollocks; the thing about living outside "society" is that you suddenly realise how little "society" makes sense.

    Then I came here and I was surprised that a country actually cared about those marginalised people (Well, except if you're a traveller, or foreign, or a darker shade of pale, but I digress...). The welfare system actually seemed to care. A health visitor whose job was to HELP me, not try to take my son away if I showed any wavering doubt? Bonus!

    And now, that's all under threat. For whatever mad reason the UK looks at the US way of doing things and thinks it's a brilliant idea. But I've been over there and I can heartily say that No, it Doesn't.

    The BNP wants to blame foreigners and disabled, the Daily Mail wants to blame everyone other than themselves, Labour blames Tories, Tories blame Labour and nothing gets done. I don't care who caused it. I don't care who started it. All I care about is who has the guts to FINISH it.

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  42. **The welfare system actually seemed to care. A health visitor whose job was to HELP me, not try to take my son away if I showed any wavering doubt? Bonus!**

    I agree I thought that tehy cared when I became disabled and I was in a way bouyed up by that like 'I may br broken but they actually care that I am' Now - I feel that I am scum just because my body gave up on me and now the govt are giving up on me and treating me like this was a choice for my own future- When I had a future planned and it so was NOT this!

    I fear for my future now. I fear every time the phone rings that they will have started on me about ESA which as we know is so unfair its a joke. I fear that if I lose my DLA i wont be able to survive.

    If this govt actually gave a rats behind about the disabled people they would not be treating them like fakers when if you have got DLA in the first place you have seen doctors and specialists a plenty. This ATOS crap s just awful. And for ATOS to throw an obviously disabled person into a quagmire of stress and crap trying to find a job they are unable to do or they will remove your benefits for 3 bloody years meaning you lose your home, your family, your LIFE. And that is OK in the eyes of the govt?????

    3 years? I feel that my future is doomed to living on the streets and waiting for the inevitable end that wont take long as I dont have body fat to live off and I wont have money either.

    Unlike the bods in govt who are all lardy arsed people who sit around in westmister drinking and eating well and sitting on their benches making weird noises while others are speaking. They're alright so sod the rest of us, we are just nothings and we are expendable. They have to protect their own millions.

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  43. Private sector worker

    `My ideas for growth are those of Keynes and Krugman and Stiglitz and Blanchflower`.

    I don't think that Keynes ever advocated running a structural deficit at the height of a boom, which is what the Labour Party were doing.

    As to growth you say 'If the UK started to invest and train and employ and build, do you not think people would be queueing up to lend us the money?'

    You are obviously not involved in private business, as I am, as your statement is incredibly naive. People are not queueing up to `lend us money', unless it's at an incredibly high rate considering current bank rates. They are however lining up in droves to lend money to Chinese, German and Indian businesses, who can offer either/or, cheap labour, high technological skills and low overheads.

    People who aren't in business are incredibly glib about growth, as if it happens organically. You still haven't made one suggestion about growth that a business could use. Can you think of one?

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