I have to give Gideon Osbourne credit where it is due. He is a master of the alchemy of economics. We expected today that more austerity would be piled on top of us, instead out of the cauldron he announced that the tax credit cuts were cancelled. Good news, but the reality is it is just business as usual.
The tax credits cuts may be cancelled but that was going to happen anyway as the behemoth of Universal Credit rolls in by 2020. Gideon says there will still be cuts of 12 billion in welfare in this government. What this means 1s the poor and most vulnerable will be picked off quietly. The Labour party have already agreed to these.
Most worrying for me is the proposed Care Tax, Osbourne’s own words. A 2% levy on top of the existing council tax on those councils who provide care. Let’s that sink in. Only on council’s that provide care. Most if not all provide support to the young, the vulnerable, people with disabilities. It is part of our society. The Tory’s shrinking state sees these services as an optional extra, if not Council’s will have to ask folk for extra money. This is part of Thatcher’s vision in her own words a country where there is no society.
For those facing further poverty, asking for extra money will just cause further divide and conquering and continuing stigmatization of those the most need of support. So although they cheered, threw papers into the air when the news about tax credits were announced nothing has changed. A continuing shrinking state, and 12 billion cuts in this government’s term.
There is much we need to campaign for especially getting organized to fight against the Care Tax and any other additional costs. How long til we get an education tax? So sigh nothing has changed. Please see beyond the Tory lies and remember for them it is business as usual. They may have laughed at the little red book but their little blue book is much more sinister.
So it is that annual week of festivities for left activists. The show that is the Tory Party annual conference. They have ventured north of the Watford Gap galvanised by the election result which gave them a majority which they will use to inflict further misery. While the social media showed images of a tory being egged, Boris being ping ponged, the real human tragedies of cuts to working people and the poor are being played out inside the hotels.
Cameron and Osbourne have used every opportunity that there will be no u-turns on the cuts to tax credits which will plummet many working families misery. Cameron wants us to move towards a “High Wage, Low Tax, Low Benefit” society. It’s commanding heights will sweep away those unable to work or those that earn less than the 50K paid out to our elected politicians. Jeremy Hunt today at a fringe meeting rallied the troops with a call for the British economy to become more like the successful economies of China and the USA. Our economy was once as buoyant as theirs when we used slavery and near starvation well knownwages to enslave the working poor. America so for its economy which sees the once thriving heavy industries dying. Where single parents are bussed 100s of miles a day to work for the minimum wage. Where children do not see their parent and where food banks are accepted. How about China’s thriving economy where workers are paid pennies to provide the latest craze the West wants. Where workers live in squalid conditions. Is that the society we want Britain to become? Well the tories in Manchester do. Let’s have a conference in Manchester Dave can visit Salford Boys Club in between demonising the ordinary folk. Those who did not egg or spit but marched in defiance and the desire for a different way. We who believe this are the majority remember that.
Osbourne spoke today of the blue collar tories, the powerhouse of the North. A new dawn for the market economy when English local authorities can set their own business rates. The market is king. Greed is good. The tories claim that they are the party of the worker and perhaps they are if you have never had it so good though most of us are being left behind. They claim Corbyn and his move to “the left” is a return of the eighties. The truth though is their party personifies all that was wrong about the 80s the pretentiousness, the Geko mantra “Greed Is Good”. Look after your own as there will be no services left to support the most vulnerable, no solidarity apart from the old school ties networks.
It is ironic that this happened on the day the tax was levied on poly bags in England. We in Scotland and Wales look on amused as England have their five-minute tantrum. We know that like us they will be carrying poly bags around to save the charge. Now I know this is good for the environment but my concern is the use of the stick. In shopping bags the 5p up you have to pay but it concerns me the tories like this updated form of Skinnerism, Use punishment to make the rats crawl through their maze quicker.
I predict the stick approach will be popular with the tories. Already Duncan Smith is talking about reducing universal credit for part-time workers if they refuse to work extra hours they are offered. Many in this age of zero hour contracts will welcome an increase in hours but what about those faced with circumstances that mean they cannot manage these extra hours. What about single parents, those with caring responsibilities, those who disabilities and ill-health but of course the tories have never been good at seeing the bigger picture and rewarding those who despite the obstacles they face manage to work part-time.
I dare to dream of a society where we can care for each other. I dream of an Independent Scotland that does not take the austerity light course but offers an alternative approach. I dream of a society where we respect and care for each others. The marchers at the Manchester Demo were on the same side of the fence as me the right one. I hope one day there will be no more tories in Scotland. Dream with me, see through their lies and believe that through collective responsibility and in a socialist society which will be kinder, fairer and more equal. Being on the Left is something to be proud of, let’s not let the tories claim to be a centre party. Let’s expose them for what they are the gatekeepers of privilege and power. Dare to dream.