In the middle of the night our time, somewhere between a quarter and a half a million people marched through London to express their frustration and fear about the impact of huge cuts in the public service.
Most are unglamorous, obscure, unfeted projects, staffed by employees who are not very well paid, but hugely committed to what they do. All of these losses come as a result of the government’s decision to cut spending by £95bn over five years.
Our government has been steadily making cuts since they took office. Most are unglamourous, unfeted projects. Most of the people affected are the already disaffected.
There’s been a steady campaign by the government to build a picture of a public service which is bloated and inefficient.
And to build a picture of the recipients of public services especially beneficiaries, as being rip off merchants. People who didn’t deserve the help anyway. Or should be standing on their own two feet by themselves.
Now we face the prospect of a zero budget. Just think how many more jobs will go, how many more services will be cut, how many more older people will be colder and left to cope on their own. How many more small children in families with low or no incomes will go without a meal, a new pair of shoes, access to a computer at home, while their parents can’t afford the school uniform, the school trips, the essential trips to the doctor, let alone a holiday.
There are no new jobs on the horizon. There are no new industries. There are no really good ideas that people can latch onto and think “this is our future” “I get what this is about”.
There is no hope.
Meanwhile our front pages are full of finger pointing and rotten egg throwing at the latest scapegoat in a political scandal.
My country matters. My electorate matters. I’ve got people who need jobs, who need to know they have a future. I want to give them hope.