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Politics

Gill Kennett: “The Deficit is an excuse to drive down our wages and take the benefits of those who need safety nets.”

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By Hull City Councillor Gill Kennett (Hull Red Labour Party) Holderness Ward.

“George Osborne has announced his post-election Budget, which includes devastating cutbacks to essential care services as part of his plans to claw £12 billion from vital welfare funding.
He is not clawing it back from the £25bn lost each year in Britain through tax avoidance, he is not clawing it back from the richest 1.000 people in Britain whose wealth has doubled since he has had his hands on this countries finances.

“No it is clawing it back from the family of a little boy with Cerebral Palsy who is so desperately ill that he is at the moment confined to hospital. So they claw back the vehicle that enables his parents to be with him, care for him and love him. They claw back his benefits that enable his parents to eke out an existence enough to be with him, care for him and love him while still looking after their other children. Disgraceful.

“It is clawed back by destroying vital services that keep families together, services for young people that prevent offending behaviour, local services for children with mental health issues, thus forcing them hundreds of miles from their families. The list goes on and on.

“Why is he clawing it back? Why is this government so ‘hell bent’ on taking us back to the days our grandparents spoke about and the days we thought were lost in the mists of time. The days we had been spared by the brave actions of the giants of the Labour movement, of trades unions that fought for the things we take for granted, but not for long I fear.

“This deficit? It’s a myth. A myth created to enable an excuse to drive down our wages and take the benefits of those who need safety nets. Of course there is enough money around in the 6th richest country in the world; it’s just not shared out. It’s filling the coffers of the small % who seek to own everything including us and our labour.

“This deficit is a myth and is being used to manipulate those who should be standing up against it, to ‘manage the misery’ and talk about difficult decisions and I have even heard the term ‘compassionate cuts’. Cuts are cut no matter the colour of the politicians that are carrying them out. I personally would argue that they are even worse coming from those who are supposed to represent us, i.e. the Labour Party. At lease we know what to expect from Tories.

“This deficit is being used to deduce the work forces to the point of exhaustion, reduce the resources, reduce the support, create a culture of blame and tension, therefore setting them up to fail. Then what do they do? Create a whole new language, narrative and have the conversation.

“‘We do things differently’, people want choice and the rest, and you have heard it I know. Then they form arm’s length companies, bring in the private sector and such like. If by chance you disagree with these solutions you are treated as though you want people to suffer and not have a service and that you quite possibly want to club baby seals. If you disagree with these solutions you are told that at least you have a job and you need to be a team player. If you disagree with these solutions you might find yourself moved in one of the endless restructures guaranteed to deskill, devalue and disempower.

“There you have it. Problem > Reaction > Solution? The spin machine where the problem is created the reaction happens and the solution appears. In this case, the solution always seems to involve the workers taking the knocks and that which we have always seen as not for sale i.e. health, social care, education and care for the vulnerable, becoming a profit making venture.
This is the true agenda behind the deficit myth, to roll back the state and please the shareholders.

“We have not got long to stop this, if Local Councillors and others in power continue to be bailiffs for this government, if they do not find that ‘line in the sand’ that they cannot cross, then they will henceforth be remembered as those who betrayed the vulnerable and gave away the hope for future generations.

“Please join unions and continue to get left wing officials elected, become shop stewards, join left groups and get elected, attend the People’s Assembly, organize and fight back. Show these selfish greedy, uncaring individuals that we are many, they are few.”

Gill, along with Dean Kirk and Gary Wearing had the courage to vote down a cuts budget. They refused to roll over and be the bailiffs for this diabolical bunch of desperadoes who stole £248 a head from Hull residents in brutal spending reductions.

Unbelievably a leading Labour Councillor described the smashing of local services as, “compassionate”.  We do truly live in tragic times when it comes to that. 

Gill, Dean and Gary were rewarded for doing what their residents asked for at the ballot box by being kicked out of the Labour Party.

They went on to form Hull Red Labour, a Party of which I am proud to Chair.

Please join us.

HRLTimetochange

Finally I want to pose one question. If you are a Labour member and intend to vote for Jeremy Corbyn, what’s the end game, what’s the strategy for when your man loses and a Blairite is leading the Party? That’s not facetious, it’s a genuine point.   

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About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.

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