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'|
- front-line police numbers down by 21,000
- 600 police stations closed
- 50 fire stations closed
|Fewer police on the streets - community policing broken|
- 100 Job Centres closed
- 433 HMRC tax offices closed
|It first happened under Thatcher in the 1980s; it's back bigtime since 2010|
- rough sleeping up by an astonishing 163%
- 2,620 deaths of rough sleepers
- Foodbank usage up to a shaming 1.3 million
|We are many; they are few|
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.