Tuesday, 9 November 2010

21st Century Outdoor Relief

Last week I attended a meeting in Leeds where Tony Woodley spoke to Unite activists about the public sector cuts and the need to organise resistance. He based his speech upon class issues saying that these cuts were the most savage attack upon our class he has ever seen.
This has been confirmed with the Government's latest proposal to cut benefit payments made to the long-term unemployed unless they participate in unpaid work such as street cleaning.
This will take the welfare state back to the days of the workhouse with the  Overseers of the Poor doleing out money to those they deem to be deserving of it.
Being unemployed is not a lifestyle choice but a situation forced upon a section of society that has grown up in communities that have seen reduced investment in industry, an ever continuing move towards low paid work and a decreasing level of education for their children.
This proposal is without doubt a step towards the criminalisation of the poor.
Yet we are told we are all in this together but where is Lord Ashcroft when it comes to paying his taxes?
Over £26bn could be raised if we were to tackle tax avoidance and a 0.5% tax upon every transaction in the city of London would pay off the public debt within 12 months.
Why not invest in building homes, improving the infrastructure and continue to provide decent schools that would see an increased level of education and allow the working class to rise as one out of the depths of poverty.
This kind of investment would create jobs and provide apprenticeships that would increase the skills of our children  giving them a future and a stake in a better society.
Instead we have a Government intent upon blaming the poor for being poor and leaving children to be taught in schools crammed full of asbestos.


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