One of my photos

Back to life (back to reality)

November 3rd, 2010 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 1 Comment · Politics

Now that the moving mostly out of the way I am starting to dip a toe back into the outside world.  Even acknowledging that there is an outside world is a step forward I suppose.

On reflection, ‘dipping a toe in’ is not quite right and ‘diving in at the deep end’ might be more appropriate, as I was speaking at a public meeting about the Stop the Cuts organisation.  Along with getting married, getting divorced and moving house public speaking is supposed to be one of the things people get most stressed about, and I am no exception to that.The invitation to speak arrived last week and I accepted without thinking of the implications – like actually having to speak for a start.  I think I underestimated how long it would take me to get straight so in the end I didn’t have time to properly prepare except for an hour or so typing up some ideas after work today.

These meetings are usually full of SWP/SLP/Respect typeswho spend half the time laying into New Labour, and I am often the only Labour member there.  Not a problem.  After standing for Labour in Horsham it will take a lot more than a room full of prople trying to out-left each other to get to me.

As per usual there were lots of eloquent and passionate speeches about how the only answer is to ditch the capitalist system,  and not enough practical proposals.  Its not that I don’t like the idea of a socialist paradise with mutuals and workers co-operatives replacing big business, but I’m all too aware that it is hard for one socialist country to exist in isolation in a capitalist world and more importantly that if only 17% of the electorate even bothered to make the minimal effort to vote in a recent byelection in town then the chances of them rising up to revolt are slim indeed.

It wasn’t all bad though.  There was lots of talk about forging links with other Stop the Cuts groups within the region and to make an effort to try and bring all those affected by proposed cuts together under the same umbrella.  A representative from the Brighton group was also speaking, and they have had been setting a good example.

I was also relieved to find some other Labour members there, including Chris Oxlade and Colin Lloyd.

The main point I tried to make was that we have to concentrate on getting the message across that these are not “unavoidable cuts” as a consequence of “Gordon Brown’s deficit” but totally avoidable cuts.  They are ideologically motivated and most of the taboid press is complicit in making sure the word “cuts” never appears without the word “unavoidable”.

Just getting all the tax that is avoided and evaded would be worth more to the public purse than all the cuts and assaults on social housing.  Not only that but it would be popular and would not screw up the economy the way that 490,000 extra unemployed from public sector redundancies will.

Now if we can just stop arguing amongt ourselves and actually unite to get that message out we might get somewhere.  The Tory tactics are always to divide and conquer and the only way to counter that is to unite and resist.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • skud's sister

    I’m always amazed by the number of intelligent, well-intentioned people who confuse the fact that there ‘ought’ to be enough money to solve a problem with the fact that there ‘is’ enough money if they just complain enough about it. Pragmatism and giving realistic alternatives (which will get the backing of a wider range of people including the business sector) always seemed a better way of doing things to me. It does also help if everyone is aware of their responsibilities as well as their rights….