Monday 21 March 2011

We Didn't Vote for This

Bestest-Niece (22) has decided she wants to go on the "March for the Alternative" on Saturday. ( Not only does she want to go, but so does her flatmate and two of her friends.

These are four young people who suddenly talk about politics. A lot.

Since last May, if the bus is late or the milk is sour or someone has a hangover, the standard response in their shared flat has been to shake one fist and mutter darkly "Cleeeeegggg!"

Recently though, this has turned to bewilderment, and at at times, horror. A generation who, until now, haven't really thought about politics much at all are suddenly finding that it does matter to them.

A few weeks ago, my mobile rang and it was bestest-niece, shaking with rage. We all have something that matters to us more than other things. She had just heard that half of all the women's refuges in the country were to be closed as part of the austerity cuts.

She didn't believe it at first. "How can they do that?" She spluttered. "Don't they know what this will mean? How hard women have fought for this tiny bit of protection?? Don't they know we need more refuges not less?"

It hasn't had much press - most people probably don't even know, but for bestest-niece, it was the moment that she started to question exactly what is being done in her name. It was inconceivable to her that something so vital should be affected by cuts and however bad our financial situation might seem, she suddenly saw clearly how counter-productive some cuts could be. She saw how they would almost certainly cost more than they saved and most importantly of all she started to ask whether the human cost could be counted in pounds and pence.

Anyway, decision made, much hilarity followed as we tried to decide on the perfect banner slogan -

"Tories - Putting the "n" into Cuts"
"Eton Trifles"
"The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off due to budget cuts"
"We're all in the shit together"

Quite a few more are unprintable, in Cameron's parentage, Clegg's honestly issues and Osborne's reproductive ability, but in the end, we decided on the truth :

"We didn't vote for this"

Because no-one did. If Cameron had been honest as he stood behind that debate podium, he would have finished off any chances his party ever had of being elected again. Can you even imagine it?

"As I stand before you today, I vow that everything in this country will be opened up to privatisation. Schools, Hospitals, everything. We will close your libraries, raise VAT, sell off your forests, privatise the NHS, slash the military, close women's refuges, sack policemen, close hospitals, ban the homeless, evict the poor and take wheelchairs away from disabled people"

It is quite wrong to say "Oh well, politicians always lie." Until recently, manifestos were considered binding and pre-election pledges more or less adhered to. Never before, in the history of UK politics has a government taken power with such an absolute disregard for the mandate it received (or didn't receive) at the ballot box. Worse still, this government has no mandate for these cuts. The LibDems fought the election on the same financial platform as Labour - halving the deficit and waiting until recovery was assured before cutting.

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people will arise from their sofas, put down their remote controls and sacrifice a day off work to go to London. They are going to remind this government that they have no mandate for the destruction they're causing. They are going to warn this government that a mandate is a mandate and it can be removed at any time.

While Mr Cameron focusses his attention on Foreign Affairs, while he defends the oppressed of Libya, he must not forget for one second that democracy is in the hands of the many not the few and he must not for one second fall into the trap of believing that Saturday will be all about a bunch of crusty militants causing some fuss. Saturday will be the first chance that bestest-nieces up and down the country get to show this government that they are concerned, that this is not what they voted for.

If bestest-nieces in Sussex care enough to march, then you can bet that young people, disabled people, pensioners, Mums, Dads, teachers, nurses, doctors, police officers, councillors, professors, students, judges and many, many more will be marching too.

Their message will be clear : leaders acting like dictators can be opposed in any country, not just the Middle East.


  1. So can we bomb the Coalition?

  2. People always say that politicians lie but this is beyond the pale. They are elected on what they promise, that's what people vote for. So when they do something that's completely the opposite of what they promised they shouldn't be allowed to stay in government. A government elected on lies is not democracy.
    I'll be there on Saturday. And my 15 year old is coming with me

  3. Brilliant Sue! Just trying to work out what to out on our banner! My daughter who values her time with her children and hubby at weekends and has never gone on a march before in her life is coming.
    I'm marching (or crawling in agony most like lol) for my children, my grandchildren and their futures and their right to have a welfare state, a state education and an NHS free at the point of need.
    Cameron did not have mandate for this and we are going to remind him, he was trusted, he promised new transparent politcs and lied and has broken his promises and he broke our trust in him.
    Today I published a report on my blog which I have been researching for some time, it contains details of lobbyists, think tanks, private health care companies and how close they are to the Conservative party, it also names some Tory donors connected to private health care. TBH the problem is so bad and so widespread that I could not possibly include all that I discovered and the some of the new names I discovered warrant research in their own right. I hope one or two people get to read it, apologies for the length, but it is a real shocker1

  4. Gracie - Don't apologise, I've been waiting for it eagerly - glad you pointed it out.
    I'll have a read when I've got half hour and a cup of tea, then a ever, I'm sure shock will make me post it all over the place :)))

  5. When David Cameron stood on the podium he sounded desperate in his tone of voice and i am completely baffled on how the public fell for it
    What does it say about this country ?
    Well it tells me that the British public by and large are mixture of being selfish and gullible or both

    Anyone must have seen the desperation in his face that would indicate he would lie at any cost and win as speech is what he is good at

    Gordon brown however was no angel made worse by calling a woman bigoted none of them won a overall majority

    There are a few good mp's that would make good leaders but somehow i don't think that will ever come about in my lifetime

  6. Very true. They never received a mandate to do what they're doing, lest we forget labour sneakily destroying our country and our freedoms - and pissing our countries finances up against a wall allowing the bankers and rich cronies to get away financial crimes to the detriment of every citizen in our country. We have all been shafted the last 12 years of labour, and we're now being enforced some medication which no one wants. The system is well and truely F*%ked. Never mind the east seeking systemic change - we need it here in our very own country. We need to stand united and say - NO MORE

  7. protest? the miners protested and were demonised poll tax protesters were made to look like rabble ,country side marchers were made out to be animal killers ,those on the dole are scroungers ,those on sick are liars and cheats.this is what we are brain washed into believing because it suits us.divide and rule is the way this country has worked for years.and very few people over the last 25 years have had hard times real hard times that make you stand and fight for your rights.nope this country is a shadow of its former self.we have sold out to eastenders and a few take aways.we have no industry no wages for millions of people that live on benefits a situation caused by governments social control? .either that are we are tied to a vastly overprice house that keeps us under control.we have slipped into servitude and there is no easy way out.

  8. Great post. I've been posting some stuff on why people should protest but it seems too late for that now. Here's a reminder of the game being played with the NHS - get pissed off people. Get very pissed off: