Saturday 16 March 2019


The SKWAWKBOX exists as an online social media platform to tell the truths that the Establishment would rather not see publicised. That's how it sees itself and I think it does a fine job. It fulfils that remit. Here's a link to join the 48,000 plus who are already subscribers - press here.

Last Tuesday - March 12 - the new SKWAWKBOX post was entitled: 'List of Tory 'achievements' makes horrifying reading' and carried this sub-title: The blight of Tory government on the UK and its people in a few short bullet points'. It continued: 'As the government prepares for the Chancellor's 'Spring Statement', a list of Tory 'achievements' since 2010 has been circulating on social media. It makes the bleakest of reading.' Indeed it does.

I want to widen the circulation of these 19 bullet points by reprinting them in this post. They provide a devastating catalogue of the misgovernment we have suffered over the last decade. I have grouped them into categories and introduced illustrative material:

With grateful acknowledgement to the cartoonist

Education and the nurture of our young people

  • 470 schools closed
  • per-pupil spending down by 8% (20% on over-16s according to BBC News last week
  • 1189 Sure Start centres closed
  • 760 youth clubs closed                       (CONTINUED) 

  • 675 libraries closed
  • a horrific 4.1 million children in poverty
  • two out of three children in poverty in working households - the idea that work is a route out of poverty is a lie for millions
  • teens stabbed up by 93%

Socialisation without a face, under the whip of Ofsted - a failure to nurture the whole child - what price education?


  • NHS A&E crisis at a 14-year high
  • NHS patient satisfaction at an 11-year low of 53%
  • 100 NHS walk-in centres closed

The lapel badge reads: 'I love Jeremy Corbyn'

Public Safety

  • front-line police numbers down by 21,000
  • 600 police stations closed
  • 50 fire stations closed
Fewer police on the streets - community policing broken

Government Administration

  • 100 Job Centres closed 
  • 433 HMRC tax offices closed

It first happened under Thatcher in the 1980s; it's back bigtime since 2010

How Our Society Has Suffered

  • rough sleeping up by an astonishing 163%
  • 2,620 deaths of rough sleepers
  • Foodbank usage up to a shaming 1.3 million

Why has there been such misgovernment on this appalling scale?   

Make no mistake, these actions are deliberate and their consequences accepted as co-lateral damage - the necessary price of achieving the objective.

And what is the objective?

The reduction in the size and cost of the state

Conservative governments since 2010 have succeeded in slashing the size and costs of the state as measured in relation to GDP - (Gross Domestic Product).  

In 2010, OECD data showed that general government spending was 47.6% of GDP in the UK.

In 2017, OECD data showed that general government spending was 41.4% of GDP in the UK. 

The Conservative-led government (2010-15) and then the Conservative governments of Cameron and May pursued a policy of Austerity that was justified by an ideological commitment to an economic doctrine called neoliberalism. Put simply, it is the view that the smaller the state, the better off we all will be. It is a lie. And its consequences have been cruel. Those responsible are heartless. They have grown richer; most people have become poorer. Our society has become more divided, more unequal, and more discontented. Yet the neoliberal-minded Tories would love to see general government spending shrink further still. In 2017, the level of general government spending in the USA, the land of privatisation, was 38% of GDP. That would seem an excellent goal to such political bandits.

We are many; they are few

As Jeremy Corbyn and other socialist leaders in the UK remind us:
'Austerity was never an economic necessity. It was always a political choice.'

It seems to me that a Conservative - a Tory - can be defined by his or her attitude to taxation and the state. 

A smaller state means the government needs less money. Wealthy corporations and individuals will then pay less taxation - and become even wealthier. Meanwhile, the government will default on its responsibilities to govern in the interests of all its citizens. Such fair, decent and morally sound government requires a redistribution of funds from the few to the many - a transfer designed not to impoverish those who have most wealth and power but to improve the condition of the many who will always suffer if market forces are left unregulated.

Boiled down like this, the issue seem very simple.

What deep insecurities lead people to want to hold on to money that is surplus to any reasonable definition of need in order to prevent its transfer to a government to use for the common good?  That's the question the political analysts and the commentariat should be asking. And so, may I suggest, should the voter.

Nevertheless, we will overcome.


  1. the moral integrity of any society lies in how it helps and supports those in need. This should enable them to live with self respect, without a need for "charity" - or the use of food banks.
    There has been a lack of moral integrity in our government since 2010

  2. This is a well illustrated, powerful indictment of the Conservative government!