Rich and I went to the Manic Street Preachers gig last night at a packed and raucous Hull City Hall, and concurred that it was a very good night but that the somewhat mushy sound and seats designed for Victorian midgets prevented it from being elevated to a great concert.
The Manics greatest period coincided with the dog days of the last Tory Government and it occurred to this correspondent that the lyric to “A Design For Life” are still as crushingly relevant now as they were when Nicky Wire penned them as a critique of Toryism in 1995.
“Libraries gave us Power”.
The Tories hate the idea of an educated and informed working class as this means their hegemonic tendencies will be challenged because ordinary people realise that they too can rule. Ed Miliband hit the nail on the head when he said that we must stop acting like it’s an aberration to the stated order of things when there is a Labour Government. We weren’t squatters in 10 Downing Street after 1997. We were there because the electorate decreed that they wanted a progressive Left of Centre Government. We weren’t radical enough because we were afraid of the Press and this New Labour flaw paralysed us in the later days.
“Then work came and made us free”.
The Tories don’t want strong economic growth. It’s anathema to them. Why? Because a strong economy means that they would have to share it with the oiks. They opposed the Minimum Wage; they opposed the New Deal and the assorted programmes that saw 2 million jobs created in the first ten years of our period in office. They opposed SureStart and the policies that support families and by God they oppose full employment as it drives up wages, conditions and means that the dole queue can’t be used as the stick to threaten workers with.
“What price now for a shallow piece of dignity?”
The Tories voted against the tax credits that lifted a million pensioners out of poverty, they voted against the Winter Fuel Allowance and when in Government they ran the NHS into the ground meaning four YEAR waits for heart operations and an average of 18 months for cataract and hip replacements.
“And we are not allowed to spend, as we are told this is the end”
The disgusting, base and callous cuts that this revolting Government, the most regressive in living memory are about inflict on the World Class Public Services that we gave to this Nation through successive Labour Governments are political. The deficit is just that, a deficit. The Tories know their economics. They know that if the UK were a family earning £1,000 a month, that family would be £120 overdrawn at the end of each month. The Bank Manager would be concerned and expect them to take remedial action. The Tories talking down of the UK economy is deliberate. Their use of the spectre of the IMF at election time, buoyed up by shameful “reporting” on Sky News and in the print media had one aim and one aim only. To smear the Labour Government into falling into the trap of letting Druggie Dave and Boy George set the agenda and to scare people off voting for us. The New Labour fear of upsetting the Media kicked in and we came up with a daft and dangerous policy of halving the deficit over one Parliament. Not necessary. We have low debt interest; control over our currency and a triple A credit rating. We aren’t stupid either in the Labour Party. Real reform needs to apply to the Public sector to complement the money we put in.
“A design for life”.
Full employment, stable economic growth based on a mixed economy, education for all paid for by a Graduate Tax, peace, Social Responsibility and equality of opportunity for all irrespective of background. That’s our design for life