This is not a ‘political’ blog in the sense that I don’t ‘do’ political commentary: I don’t feel fully qualified to do it. However, in a week when a bunch of smirking and laughing millionaires began to effectively dismantle the welfare state, something in me snapped….please be aware that when you have privilege and you say you are making tough choices: smirking and laughing do not help in convincing the rest of us.
I have never voted Tory in a General Election: I could never bring myself to. But I do remember a Conservatism that did not victimise and scapegoat those at the bottom, that argued that wealth brought responsibilities. I don’t see that much anymore.
So I thought I would quote Neil Kinnock, at the time when Labour were in the wilderness in the 1980s. More particularly just before Labour were heavily defeated in 1983. I find his words passionate and oddly prophetic:-
‘I warn you. I warn you that you will have pain – when healing and relief depend upon payment. I warn you that you will have ignorance – when talents are untended and wits are wasted, when learning is a privilege and not a right. I warn you that you will have poverty – when pensions slip and benefits are whittled away by a government that won’t pay in an economy that can’t pay. I warn you that you will be cold – when fuel charges are used as a tax system that the rich don’t notice and the poor can’t afford. I warn you that you must not expect work – when many cannot spend, more will not be able to earn. When they don’t earn, they don’t spend. When they don’t spend, work dies. I warn you not to go into the streets alone after dark or into the streets in large crowds of protest in the light. I warn you that you will be quiet – when the curfew of fear and the gibbet of unemployment make you obedient. I warn you that you will have defence of a sort – with a risk and at a price that passes all understanding. I warn you that you will be home-bound – when fares and transport bills kill leisure and lock you up. I warn you that you will borrow less – when credit, loans, mortgages and easy payments are refused to people on your melting income. If Margaret Thatcher wins on Thursday, I warn you not to be ordinary. I warn you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill. I warn you not to get old’.