cutting out the heart instead of the fat

28/12/2011


the summer riots, cameron couldn’t have planned it. the lazy, violent gang culture causes mess, + the charitable, tax paying middle class clean it up. ‘broken society’ the diagnosis, ‘big society’ the cure. the idea was that ‘big government’ had destroyed our sense of community, causing people to become selfish + ignorant of others, but what about the ‘big economy’ + its role?

when children are being raised in workless households on workless estates, coming of age in a dole queue, with those fortunate enough to have a job faring little better, struggling in insecure, unsociable + monotonous jobs that barely pay for the rent let alone a lifestyle, should we really be saying that reducing government intervention is the solution? or should we instead say that the companies who overwork + underpay whilst polluting our culture, environment + even our bodies without any accountability, should maybe be forced to take some accountability?

i would prefer it if the government actually got involved a bit more instead of sitting back + letting big businesses exploit us at every turn. our co-operative government pledged to make society more fair + safe, yet continues to let big businesses run amok with no responsibility.


our government has got involved in organisation cuts however. here are a handful:

– ‘natural england’, the official body responsible for advising + defending environmental interests at the highest levels of government (essentially a wildlife watchdog), had its budget cut to the bone, reducing it to nothing more than a customer focus group. the potential for rolling back over sixty years of environmental protection is now very real, with 159 regulations on biodiversity, wildlife management, landscape, countryside and recreation now able to be lifted to allow ‘business to perform better’.

– ‘scottish natural heritage’ (scotlands major conservation agency), are also facing cuts deep enough to threaten not only the endangered animals they protect, but their ability to meet their legal obligations on the environment, leading to court proceedings + large fines from the european commission for breaching habitat + wildlife directives.

– the nhs are cutting services under the financial pressure of a £20bn savings drive, with four out of five doctors having reported bed closures, pressure to prescribe cheaper, slower acting drugs, cuts to occupational support + reductions in community health services.

– hinchingbrook hospital this year became the first to offer a full range of privatised services, with private company ‘circle healthcare’ signing a decade long deal worth £1bn. unfortunately this is not a tory only policy, as labour leader ed miliband last year met with the same company to ‘discuss the future role of co-operatives + mutuals in delivering public services’. other recent policies include encouraging foundation trusts to raise up to half their funds through taking out private work as well.

– recent school polls have shown headteachers cutting music, arts + sports teachers, as well as the hours pupils spend on these topics. at some schools the budgets for these subjects have been cut by up to 80%, + 43% of schools had cut out one or more of them entirely.

the super rich evade tax estimated at a total of £70bn a year in the uk alone. the government are making cuts of £20bn a year, including cutting 12,000 staff from hm revenue + customs over the next few years, the very organisation whose purpose is to collect tax + tackle tax evasion.

is there not something seriously wrong with this?

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