Don’t Let Them Get Away With It

I'M SO POOR I CAN'T EVEN PAY ATTENTION

Image shared on Flickr via a CC licence by Russell Higgs

Edit: I also recorded a slightly abridged version of this blog (with pretty moving pictures) which you can listen to on Youtube, click here.

This is just a quick blog post, I’m not sure what difference, if any, it’s going to make, but I have to say this, if at the very least to have somewhere to point people so I don’t have to keep on repeating myself.  Warning: may contain anger.

The Tories are going to break our economy. They’re going to dismantle all that is admirable about our state in the false name of saving money.

The Tories, aided by the centre right Lib Dems, are going to tear the heart out of our country. Because they have never needed one, because they can’t conceive (for the most part) what it’s like to be anything but supremely privileged.

And they’re going to do so whilst skipping along to the tune they have a lazy, complicit, right wing media parroting ad nauseum; ‘this is Labour’s fault’ ‘in the current climate’…

Since when was applying market values to education and health provision ever a good idea? How is that working out for the US? We need expertise, and we need efficient, competent services. Market capitalism brings us to bust, or it provides us with a service at the lowest cost. How much is your health, how much are your children worth?

When did we all forget that this was a global financial crisis? Or did I hear wrong, did it not hit the US (well known for their incredibly profligate education and health provision) just as badly as us, and everyone else? When did we forget that it was Cameron and Osborne’s pals the de-regulated (hello Thatcher) bankers that got us here? When did we forget that the NHS was founded in the largest period of national debt our country has ever known?

Fallacy number 1:

‘This is down to years of Labour’s Profligacy’

Did you know that public spending (as a % of national income) in 1999-2000 was the lowest since 1957-58?

Public spending 1950-2010Source (PDF)

There was pretty much a similar degree of fluctuation over Labour’s terms in power as have been going on since 1950, notably with a large injection of cash following 2007 in order to stop the bottom falling out of our little capitalist world. So, y’know, probably forgivable.

And you know what? I am happy for public spending to rise.

“Estimates from the Office for National Statistics suggest that public services have improved considerably over the period from 1997 to 2007 with measured outputs suggesting a one- third increase in the quantity and quality of public services” Source (PDF)

Because it gets spent on us.

I want to live in a state that supports those who are ill, young, old, injured, made unemployed, that works to keep its citizens healthy and educated, things like free swimming, and free school meals for low income families. The amount of money it costs to keep a society healthy and educated pales in comparison to the cost of treating and supporting the ill and unemployable.

Fallacy number 2:

“The cuts have to happen”

No. They don’t. What you mean is ‘the deficit needs to be dealt with’, that is a very different statement indeed. The heart of which is making our economy better, yes?

In the light of the cuts being made/announced by the coalition government the economy has already started to stall, house prices are falling, UK employment growth has stalled, and the next quarters cross sector projected unemployment figures have already risen by 5.5% (the public sector projection is 8%, can we afford to lose 8% of nurses, teachers, doctors, police officers, social workers? And when did we decide ‘bureaucracy’ is a bad word – we do need some administrators and managers).

http://thecutswontwork.co.uk puts it excellently:

“About 1 in 5 of our workforce are in the public sector, and if they lose their jobs, they stop spending, their local shop goes out of business, the government loses their income tax and VAT and if there aren’t enough private-sector jobs to pick up the slack the economy grinds to a halt.

This is Key Stage 2 economics.”

The solution? Cut later, cut less, cut different, tax better, and invest. Check out the solid, and well supported ideas on those links.

Fallacy number 3:

“This about Big Society! Choice! Empowerment!”

This is about the dismantling of a state that the Conservative Party sees as ‘nannying’ (did you ever have a nanny?), what they mean by this is 1) ‘I’ve always looked after meself’ and 2) ‘all this pesky regulation is stopping meh being as super-rich as meh father!’*

I am much more concerned about the use of bounty hunters to police people on benefits’ cashflow, than I am about regulation meaning big business is slightly inconvenienced. Likewise I’d like state education that is run on principles of learning, not market efficiency. How about you?

The Big Society myth is about excusing further cuts with the misguided idea that the voluntary sector (whose government funding is also being cut) will be able to mop up the fallout.

The Young Conservatives say it best:

“Nobody knows what the Big Society means! It doesn’t mean anything!”

“It means cutting about a hundred billion a year from public services,” (source)

*may involve slight stereotyping.

Fallacy number 4:

“Return to growth”

Just thought I’d throw this in the mix. As we sit here on a finite planet, with finite resources, reaching peak oil in the next few years (some think already), gas a few after, and running out of all the nice things like copper and columbium-tantalite (found in every mobile phone) which run our ever-growing economies, maybe it’s time to sit down and compare net growth with net happiness. To consider how ‘more equal societies almost always do better’, and maybe how investing in a green economy will mean more than just jobs, and research industries, but energy security. And perhaps try and conduct our society with a bit of foresight, and a bit of bravery.

Because this is our future.

And what happens, if they get away with it? Well, if you’re like me, you’ll probably scrape through, poorer, harder worked, not as healthy. But our children, our environment, our elderly relatives, the millions of single parent families, disabled people, unemployed, those who work in the public sector, our research industries, the arts and film industry, and standard of living will be irrecoverably harmed.

Our economy will collapse, like the proverbial flan in a cupboard. Mass unemployment, a welfare state that can look after no one adequately, overworked, underpaid public sector workers, people homeless (Labour decreased homelessness by 73% since 2003), no adequate council home provision, families struggling to eat, and the kind of social unrest which drove post-crash 1930s Germany into the arms of the decisive, divisive leadership offered by the extreme right.

I don’t want to be a part of that society.

The Tories, aided by the centre right Lib Dems, are going to tear the heart out of our country. Not because they are fundamentally bad people, many of them aren’t, but because they are blinded by privilege.

By no means will I argue that all spending under Labour was A Good Thing. ID cards, surveillance culture, the big bad terrorist bogeyman, a focus on targets over value, all of this was bad spending. But for the most part, things improved, because when they spent (which they did at levels on a par with most previous governments), they at least understood Key Stage Two economics.

Help me. Share http://thecutswontwork.co.uk wherever you can, and uncover the reality of the Tory economic policy. Don’t let them get away with it.

When we spend money on public services we’re not throwing money away – we’re investing in people so those people can play a role in making our society function.

Without education, people can’t do skilled jobs. Without healthcare, people get sick and become unable to work. It’s way more expensive to put kids and drug addicts in jail than to run youth centres and treatment programmes.  […]

Right now, the most highly educated generation in Britain’s history is ending up in the dole queue because there are no jobs – and meanwhile, the environment is falling apart, and it’s only a matter of time before another financial crisis wallops us.[…] by investing in a Green New Deal we can tackle all three problems: diversifying our economy away from the financial services, getting young people into work, and moving towards a low carbon economy.

We can’t rely on the private sector – investment needs to start now, it needs to continue long term, and what we really can’t afford is another £1.4 trillion to bail them out if they mess it up. (http://thecutswontwork.co.uk)

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20 Responses to “Don’t Let Them Get Away With It”

  1. Andy Holland August 10, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    This is truly a marvellous blog; passionate and well-argued. It should be required reading for everybody. Thank-you for writing it.

  2. David Hyatt August 10, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    You’ve given the best argument against this cuts-obsessed gov that I’ve read since the ConDems came to power. The economy feels like its running out of steam, yet Osboren will probable get away with a “price worth paying” line until it really hits the buffers.

  3. Jamie Pullman August 10, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    Damn right, well said.

  4. Rob August 10, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    I’m broadly symapthetic to what you’re saying, so please take this in the spirit of constructive criticism (and as a Lib Dem voter, I’m probably the kind of person you want to persuade). Here goes…

    The Tories, aided by the centre right Lib Dems, are going to tear the heart out of our country.

    This feels a tad hyperbolic. Pol Pot tore the heart out of his country, and I’m not sure that David Cameron is yet in that league.

    Now, if you think that the heart of the country is contained within the 15% or so (random guesswork figures on my part) of the public service budget that is to be cut, your statement would be true. But most people wouldn’t share that opinion, and you’re almost inviting them to disbelieve everything else you say. People don’t like it being assumed that what’s bad for you is bad for them too.

    Since when was applying market values to education and health provision ever a good idea? How is that working out for the US?

    On health, I think it’s pretty clear that the US solution doesn’t work. But even the French system is more “marketised” than ours and is regarded as being significantly better. On education, the US doesn’t have market values in education; teachers are heavily unionised and there’s a federal Department of Education (for a country with 5x the population of Britain and many more times the land area). Voucher schemes for education have never really got very far in the US. Countries with market-ish systems for education include places like Sweden, and it seems to be working OK for them. Not saying it would work here, but again the rebuttal is pretty easy for any passing Tory.

    We need expertise, and we need efficient, competent services. Market capitalism brings us to bust, or it provides us with the a service at the lowest cost. How much is your health, how much are your children worth?

    Yes, we need expertise. But not everyone can be taught or treated by the greatest experts. It sounds like you’re saying “we should have a centralised system with clever people in charge”, which is a nice idea but has its own down-sides.

    Marketised public services don’t necessarily provide us with the lowest cost – the US healthcare system is hardly low-cost. The NHS won support from “one nation” Tories largely on the basis of being extremely cheap.

    I’m not sure what the “how much are your children worth” question means. Is it better to be asked that question, or to be told the answer by the NHS?

    The amount of money it costs to keep a society healthy and educated pales in comparison to the cost of treating and supporting the ill and unemployable.

    This whole section is awesome. This is a message that is both true and easy to understand, which is a rare combination in politics.

    In the light of the cuts being made/announced by the coalition government the economy has already started to stall, house prices are falling, UK employment growth has stalled, and the next quarters cross sector projected unemployment figures have already risen by 5.5% (the public sector projection is 8%, can we afford to lose 8% of nurses, teachers, doctors, police officers, social workers? And when did we decide ‘bureaucracy’ is a bad word – we do need some administrators and managers).

    Not sure that a fall in house prices is a bad thing. Negative equity will suck for people who bought in the last year or so (including me!), but the current level of house prices is simply too high. A fall in the cost of housing is a good thing, just as a fall in the cost of healthcare, food or energy would be (cue my pub rant about land value tax…). Also, whilst I like the counter-intuitive argument that we do need some administrators, it’s not clear that you would be willing to accept any cuts of any jobs at all. Sometimes, the government does simply get into doing things it shouldn’t, and it’s right to cut back where the government spends money on things that don’t deliver value to the voters.

    Also, non-public sector people will really react badly to the argument that we can’t ever reduce the size of the public sector because to do so would screw the economy – it feels like a threat rather than a good deal. As I said, some people are doing jobs that should not be being done, and it’s right that they stop. It would also be right that the savings made are re-invested elsewhere, but that could be in reducing taxes on/increasing benefits for the poorest rather than simply creating more public sector jobs. The test should be how beneficial the job is for the rest of society – is it creating something we want, or just creating something the government wants?

    Likewise I’d like state education that is run on principles of learning, not market efficiency. How about you?

    That’s a rather meaningless choice – implying that efficient schools can’t bring about learning. It’s even worse when you consider that the choice is actually between schools run on the basis of their ability to attract pupils vs. schools run on their ability to pass inspections and raise test scores. ‘Learning’ is an indirect objective in either case, and the question is over which setup is more likely to achieve greater standards of learning.

    To consider how ‘more equal societies almost always do better’, and maybe how investing in a green economy will mean more than just jobs, and research industries, but energy security. And perhaps try and conduct our society with a bit of foresight, and a bit of bravery.

    This I do agree with. No idea what we should do about it, but I guess that’s why we need to be brave.

    because they are blinded by privilege.

    Well, them and most of the people who voted for them. Which is, after all, quite a lot of people. I think a better explanation than “blinded by privilege” is needed.

  5. Pete Hindle August 10, 2010 at 10:36 pm #

    I just dropped by to say what a great blog-post this was, and how much it reflected and advanced some of the things I’d been thinking.

    I think a lot of the support for these cuts is from people for whom the rate of change in society has been too fast. Perhaps the past 15 years have seen them scared (probably from media sources) and they are happy to see a strike for their values by stopping immigrants, benefit cheats, and the like…

    But it’s also my experience that those people don’t know how they will be affected by the changes being planned now. They don’t know that cuts to the NHS will affect them, or that graduate taxes will affect their family members, because they haven’t thought hard enough about these issues. It’s going to be tough getting that message across now, but if these cuts are allowed to go through uncontested and complete, it’ll be easier to show people why times have suddenly got hard.

  6. Stu August 10, 2010 at 11:39 pm #

    I agree with Nick..er, I mean Rob. The article is a tad hysterical and could do with a more sober treatment of the facts.

  7. Hannah Nicklin August 11, 2010 at 2:52 am #

    Hi Pete, Jamie, David, Andy, thanks for the comments

    Stu, thanks for your feedback, but I tend towards resenting your use of the word ‘hysterical’ and wonder (idly) if you would use such a word in response to the same article by a man? Feminazi japes aside, this piece is in the category ‘rant’ and was labelled as such on twitter. I’m angry, and have no responsibility to treat the facts ‘soberly’, besides, plenty have already done so, I believe in allowing a little passion when trying to turn people’s hearts as well as their heads – as if people only saw facts, this rant wouldn’t have needed writing.

    And Rob, thanks for engaging so thoroughly with my thoughts, I hope I can reply to you satisfactorily.

    ““The Tories, aided by the centre right Lib Dems, are going to tear the heart out of our country.” This feels a tad hyperbolic“
    First off, I will say again that this is categorised, and labelled on twitter, as a ‘rant’, so I hope you can forgive me a small amount of hyperbole, however I do believe that is what will happen following what I believe are anti public-sector ideologically driven cuts, essentially they will drive the care and support out of our society. I’m comfortable with terming that the ‘heart’. I don’t believe that cutting your mooted 15% of public service budgets is the only thing at work here – the change isn’t just cuts, but a small excuse for a big move to private enterprise – see free schools and the ‘localisation’ of funding from PCTs. I think driving our public services into the hands of the private sector is the beginning of their unravelling, and as thus, consider my hyperbole earnestly, if a little poetically, placed.

    The comment about market values with RE the US was meant to be pertinent to health provision, not education, I think better punctuation may have made that clearer. The Free curriculum system and poor funding in the US education system, however, does lead them to be infiltrated by corporate and religious interests offering resources in their favour – something I very much see the ‘free school’ model replicating.

    “It sounds like you’re saying “we should have a centralised system with clever people in charge””

    No, what I say is that we need expertise, efficiciency, and competency, a balance thereof, I’d thank you not to decide I mean otherwise ;-) to clarify: bringing private interests into public health drives all of these things. I do not propose a centralised system, nor a hyper-local one, but a balanced, PCT driven, well invested, communicative one.

    You’re confusing ideas when you talk about ‘cost’ RE US healthcare system. It’s well known that their health costs are a higher proportion of public spending – and for much lower quality service. But my point is that the market-driven system they implemented has driven for low cost to the greater cost to government and health. Insurance companies means that they often make it prohibitively hard to either get a policy in the first place, or claim on one when you need to. This means that many people leave health issues until they really need them dealing with, resulting in much more expensive treatment being much oftener necessary. Likewise there is almost no preventative public health. Further, 7% of healthcare costs in the US go on marketing and billing, (its 2% for medicare – http://bit.ly/dbaJJg). The cross private/public overheads are also problematic. This is what happens when you allow private interests in healthcare.

    The question ‘how much are your children worth?’ is an impassioned call to recognise the value of public spending. I think you’re slightly facetiously picking apart my rhetoric here, (consider this a speech, not a piece of academic work, perhaps!). I also don’t wholly understand what you mean by “Is it better to be asked that question, or to be told the answer by the NHS?”

    “Not sure that a fall in house prices is a bad thing.”
    House prices falling are a measure of an economy stalling, if that example is too problematic, do follow the linked article for many others. Particularly worrying with regards to falling worth of property is the rise in the cost of borrowing, these two things do not a happy match make.

    RE administrators and cuts, I state clearly at the end of the piece that I don’t believe the previous government got it anywhere near right, but I reject the idea that ‘bureaucracy’ is a dirty word – it just means ‘organisational structure’. There have certainly been instances of too much middle management, and the target culture often doesn’t take into account sustainability or quality of attainment. But you don’t amputate your arm because your finger has an infection, you treat the problem, you trim, you look at things on a sector by sector basis, and you certainly don’t say ‘everyone has to lose 15%’ arbitrarily. I also reject the idea that there are hundreds of unnecessary jobs out there, certainly a few trumpeted by the press, but having worked for a both a council and a charity, and both my parents having worked in the police and healthcare, I promise you that the reality it very different. With regards “the savings made are re-invested elsewhere” this is certainly not the mooted intention of the collation, I would also note that a public sector job is not difference from public sector service – the doing of the first provides the fact of the latter.

    ““Likewise I’d like state education that is run on principles of learning, not market efficiency” – That’s a rather meaningless choice”

    Market efficiency is characterised by a drive to the lowest costs for the most permissible product. That is something I am not happy to see in schools. If I had simple said ‘efficiency’ I would accept your point, as I didn’t, I reject it.

    “To consider how ‘more equal societies almost always do better’ […]
    This I do agree with. No idea what we should do about it”

    Buy the book that links to, lots of solutions there, including greater public sector investment to remove disadvantage wherever possible (poverty, education etc.) ;-)

    For a brilliant explanation of ‘blinded by privilege’, check out the (generally unrelated subject matter, but relevant concept of privilige) explored here: http://pennyred.blogspot.com/2009/10/painful-privilege.html

    Again, thanks for commenting, these may be ideological differences we can’t reach agreement on, but hopefully I have clarified some of my points/language.

    Also it is late, so advance apologies for any typos/EVEN MORE MASSIVE HYPERBOLE.

  8. @tontowilliams August 11, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    Hannah,

    Thank you so much for writing this post. It is the one that I have had in my head to write for sometime now, but haven’t had the time to do the research for.

    As you the actions of the ConDem Coalition make me want to constantly fall in to a rant about their seemingly too hasty to change everything that the previous administration had in place, whether it is working or not.

    I feel for this Country. I have never felt that way before, under any previous administration, be it labour or conservative, but I feel we are on a course for hard times beyond any that anyone has experienced. Colleagues who have been around far longer than I can not remember such destructive cuts ever. This leaves me both personally worried, but also worried for the Country and it’s population and what we will have to face over the coming months and years.

    Again, thank you.

  9. Liam Barrington-Bush August 11, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    Hey Hannah –

    Great post! Especially liked this follow up comment: “I’m angry, and have no responsibility to treat the facts ‘soberly’”… Spot on! The idea of removing emotion from debate is such a false notion, I love to see it tackled directly :)

    Having really appreciated it, I also have a couple of critiques…

    The balance between arguing for saving the economy, versus the inherent destructiveness of maintaining economic growth, feels a bit problematic to me. Though I generally try to avoid seeing such big ideas in a binary fashion, it seems that these concepts are basically at odds with eachother, in the sense that economic growth provides both the problem and the solution, depending on how you choose to view it. While I agree that the ConDem budget is in no position to achieve success via either framework, I believe it is crucial to make a distinction between the two (the path of regaining economic momentum, or that of bringing the economy to a halt and re-evaluating our society in more holistic, less-destructive terms).

    Regarding the administration and bureacracy questions (as such questions are now much of how I spend my days…), I think you are right in the sense that immediate cuts are not the answer, but also think there are vast ammounts of waste within a range of public institutions that should be addressed from a patient perspective (rather than exclusively an economic one). What the big 3 parties have ignored, is that these problems have become endemic, and will not be addressed through cutting, but through large-scale culture-shift… I’m blogging about this right now… I came across an article on the ‘cult of professionalism’ a while ago that read:

    “When they say they want to reduce waiting times in A&E, you’ll find A&E managers fiddling the figures one way or another – redefining corridors as wards or trolleys as beds, perhaps not even letting victims into the A&E area until there’s room to get them through in the required time. If the data are corrupt, there’s no way we can know what the facts are.” (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/simon-carr/this-cult-of-professionalism-corrupts-everything-591127.html)

    And there are stories like this throughout many people-serving institutions, which are rarely addressed as core problems. I’m often dubious of the pro-Labour stats generated in recent years (they were notorious on tweaking knife crime stats to fit their often-damaging policing policies [http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/domestic_politics/factcheck+knife+crime+stats/2884652]), as there have been so many examples of bureaucrats fiddling the numbers to back a particular party line. The Tory approach is likely to be the same, but with far less frontline workers to actually achieve positive outcomes…

    I think we broadly agree that the Tory ‘solutions’ are utter bollocks, but I would add that significant change is needed to make public services more people-centred and accountable than they have been… Targets are one part of the problem, but there are a range of other systemic behaviours that also keep people from getting the support they often need… blog to come…

    All this said, I’m sure-as-hell glad I’m not back in Canada! ;) Though sadly, the ConDems seem committed to a very similar agenda that sold my birthplace down the river… Perhaps my next move will have to be to the Nordic countries to ensure a decent quality of life…

  10. Hannah Nicklin August 11, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    Hi Liam,

    Thanks for the detailed response, I always enjoy getting a chance to clarify my meaning like this.

    With regards to your first point – obviously I recognise (if a slightly facile manner, as I’m focusing on a different aspect) the damaging notion of unlimited growth in ‘fallacy 4’, however I don’t believe rescuing a failing economy is the same as promoting unlimited growth thereafter. As I see it, it’s better to change what’s in place, than scrap the economic values we’re used to and start again – the thing is that I don’t actually believe in the effectiveness of revolutions, what I do believe in is *evolution*. I think using the opportunity of a crisis that marks the clear inadequacies of our system and lifestyles to shift our economy to a green and sustainable model (see the quote in the conclusion) is both possible and necessary, and will drive the change to a more holistic manner of living. So I guess that’ll be pragmatic eco optimism? Hope that makes sense.

    Now this administration/ bureaucracy stuff, of course I know there is wastage in the public sector, but firstly (as I set out in the comments) I definitely don’t believe a ‘one size cuts all’ approach to that is appropriate. Again this is about investing for change, not cutting to destroy. I should really arrange for you to talk to my mum (she’s over 30 years in the public sector), about the change she’s seen, and what works/doesn’t. Recently (and ironically) the bane of her life has been the waste of money and poor practice of ‘efficiency consultants’. If you’d be interested I could have a word?

    Further to the quote about fiddling the figures – this is what I mean when I say target culture isn’t helpful – it becomes about numbers, not quality of service. HOWEVER, I also recognise the need, driven by a hounding media, to have figures to justify public spending, and likewise have a measure of good patient care/best practice so no one is left behind. We need a third way, but I think it’s important to acknowledge both sides. It may sound like I’m only championing one, but that’s because I don’t feel the debate is balanced enough.

    And yes, let’s all start learning Sweedish, shall we? They actually have gender equality over there, too. Imagine! ;)

  11. Hannah Nicklin August 11, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    *swedish probably

  12. Liam Barrington-Bush August 11, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    Thanks for the reply Hannah…

    I think on the 1st point, our difference has emerged… I’m a firm believer that when a system is rotten to the core (as I believe the current model of capitalism is…), it needs to be chucked… but understand not everyone agrees with the Collapsomics perspective (http://collapsonomics.org/)… I think our notions of collapse are far to negatively associated… but that’s another discussion :)

    Re: efficiency consultants – awful – agreed… they tend to milk money out of crunching overworked people’s jobs into other overworked people’s jobs… it’s a often a very parasitic role. Which is why I don’t think ‘efficiency’ is the approach (maybe it can be a fringe benefit…), but better impact of services for people receiving them… which is where I think there is a pretty fundamental need for the kinds of culture shift I mentioned, as this is not exclusively related to amounts of money invested… Though the Tory line has nothing to do with that kind of change, I don’t think Labour’s approach did either… I would argue that the debate isn’t being had at all, regarding HOW the systems work – it’s purely about how much money they cost, which is incredibly important, but only semi-useful if discussed in isolation from the working cultures of significant parts of the civil service… (and big voluntary orgs, and government, and banks, and universities…)

    But I digress… I really liked the post + appreciate the debate :)

  13. @Lofty_p / Ian Pannell August 11, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Hannah, as others have said a well written piece. In a page and a half you can’t hope to have all the answers and deal with all the detail, but what you have managed to do is address all the key issues spot on.

    Whenever you decide to run for a role in the legislature let me know, you’ll get my vote.

    ian

  14. Cecilia August 12, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    Hi Hannah,

    When I first watched Cameron’s incoming speech to Number10 he slipped up by nearly saying’ we want to control people’ (he meant to say give people control blah blah).

    As a specialist in the art of language and the sub cues people give off, he made one massive slip up there. It’s very slight and if you blink you’ll miss it. Most people would just think of it as nothing. But not me. I have spent 10years studying/training others in unconcious communication. That for me was the most worrying thing about Cameron. I thought, here we go… this is not about Leadership for him (or the rest of his Eton buddies) this is about POWER. We don’t need to be controlled. Try to control people and you get a very angry, resentful society. People feel undervalued, tired of having nothing and feel even worse for the government and it’s perceived supresssion.

    Ok, firstly people who live on benefits and council housing…The aim seems to me that they are trying to make those people ‘feel’ bad for having to have benefits and live in council housing. (how dare you take from the saintly tax payer you scronger!) Because that’s the message. The typical response being… why should I pay for someone to sit at home while I work… Well, why should I pay to bail a bunch of bankers out of hole they created. You see, it’s a public pot of money that we all at somepoint pay into and take from. Oh and boy did they take from it during the expenses.

    Benefit fraud is rife about £1.5b a year so I can understand why they would want to ‘crack’ down on it. But get this did you know TAX EVASION is up at £15b a year? hmmm well there you go. No real mention of that is there? and you know why, becuase most people who should be paying a hefty tax bill dogde it by various means… through accounts, not decalaring income and so on.. basically the rich or the people on middle income. People in glass houses and all… It’s very unlikey you will find the low income doging tax. They are most likey to be in jobs that are PAYE. So it’s the high earners who are self employed who dodge tax… I don’t see much of that mentioned, do you? What I see here is witch hunt on the poor and socially vulnerable with Cameron.

    He and his Cabinet have known a poor day in their lives and never will. How can he lead us with intergity? The man knows nothing about the challenges of having nothing. He’s treating the country like a private company, just like Thatcher did!

    One thing going back to my point about Cameron wanting control (power) 2 things so far that were not in the manifesto, the redistribution of money in the NHS and the council house reform. Hello, where in your manifesto Cameron did it mention those things? Nowhere! And less than 3 months in… this is what you are doing? Hmmm dodgy.. very dodgy.

    What worries me about all of this is I have seen posts on other blogs with people predicting riots in protests marches.

    Whilst I appreciate all the talk about state scroungers etc… they need to also address the issue of tax invasion. Oh and the £18,0000 they spend on wine in the House of Commons each year, (just saying!)

    Good work Hannah, and yes if you were a man, I am sure Stu wouldn’t have referred to you or the post as ‘hysterical’… :0) x

  15. Kim August 13, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Brilliant post – very eloquent and to the point, and personally I like the fact that it has passion behind it rather than being some sort of emotional-less list of arguments.

    I find the point by Cecilia in the last comment re: language to be a very interesting one actually, and it’s something I’d also picked up on but didn’t have the academics to analyse further.

    I also find it somewhat ironic that Cameron & co have been very good at criticising the last Labour government for their targets culture but have also now brought in a credit agency to look at the benefits fraud issue who are paid entirely based on results and meeting targets >.< The words: 'pot', 'kettle' and 'black' don't even begin to cover it!

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