THREE letters in Monday’s Examiner shone a light on aspects of life under the Con-Dem ‘cruelition’.
First, Peter Garside told public sector workers that they “still don’t get’’ the fact that they don’t do real jobs.
If they’re sacked they ‘would be missed by no-one.’ PF (why the anonymity?) told us “the public sector does not generate any income for the country.’’
So, Mr G and PF, a question for you. How do we do without nurses, doctors, care assistants, police officers, firefighters, crematoria workers, teachers and social workers, etc?
The idea that public sector workers are a drain on the real economy is, of course, exactly what the Tories believe. They want to roll back the State.
They think that if they do that, then the private sector will be freed of these dreadful burdens and bounce into revitalised life.
They’ve whipped up hysteria about the credit crunch as an excuse to do what they did between 1979 and 1997. They cut spending year after year until our hospitals and schools were on the rocks.
Now they plan to cut spending by £40bn, more than the markets (which got us in this mess) say is needed.
They’re not slashing spending because they have to. They’re doing it because they want to.
We shouldn’t be surprised that the Lib-Dems are happy to tag along after this. In 2004, the Lib-Dem MPs who are in the Cabinet wrote chapters in ‘the orange book – reclaiming liberalism.’
They wanted to say what it meant to be a liberal. Guess what? On the economy, they called for more use of ‘market forces.’ If it quacks like a duck ...
Attitudes like Mr G’s and PF’s explain why Labour’s school rebuilding plans and the NHS 18-week maximum wait for treatment have been dumped. Who needs them? Instead, let’s have leaky roofs and 18-month waits. Don’t worry about the private sector builders who won’t get the jobs building schools!
Second, reader Jerry Condon from Quarmby blames Labour for the financial crises in 1931 and today. I’d like to give my understanding of 1931 and ask Mr C to give us his.
Go back to 1929. ‘Free market forces’ had been let loose in the USA. There were no rules (‘red tape’) trying to control (‘strangle enterprise’) what banks did. They gambled with customers’ money.
The result? The 1929 version of the credit crunch, the Wall Street Crash.
Banks closed, dragging businesses with them. Millions lost their jobs. Since they weren’t earning they spent less which put millions more on the dole.
Governments all over the world collapsed. In Britain, the (minority) Labour Government fell apart. Labour Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald became the figurehead leader of the government, made up mostly of Tory MPs. Then the new government did the worst thing it could have done. It cut public spending.
That’s what other governments did. As my economist friends would say, they ‘reduced demand’ further. That’s what caused the Great Depression.
Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling were determined not to repeat these mistakes. The Wall Street Crash and our credit crunch were like the world economy losing a lot of blood – and fast. They persuaded other countries to give their economies an emergency transfusion to keep them going.
The Tories, free-market addicts as always, opposed all this. They saw a great chance to turn complicated events into an American-style billboard campaign to make it sound as if it was all evil Gordon’s fault. The Press dutifully dropped their (justified) criticisms of the bankers who’d done most to drop us in it.
Now, instead of the transfusion, we’re getting the modern version of medieval blood-letting with the Con-Dems applying the leeches to drain away the blood that’s caused the problem. Apparently.
So, Mr C, it seems clear to me that the 1931 and modern-day crises both started in the USA, both came from the obsession with ‘free markets,’ and hit countries worldwide.
The main difference I can see is that we had a Labour government that led from the front in trying to stop a repeat of the Great Depression. Now we have another similarity. We have a government which says we need to, in effect, chuck folk out of work to get things moving.
R A VANT
CAN I say a very well done to the organisers of this year’s Deighton Carnival which took place last Saturday at the Deighton Centre.
The carnival was brilliant and the best ever, a very good family atmosphere with loads to do for the kids and adults.
Good things do happen in Deighton and the annual carnival is the best thing that happens for the area – very positive and long may it continue.
I hope the council keeps supporting these events. It puts a smile on everyone’s faces, plus we had brilliant sunshine on he day. Well done to the organisers and next year is the 10th anniversary.
very happy resident
IT’S rarely said that cash and politics are playing with people’s health in our town.
We’ve seen part of Huddersfield’s hospital services moved to Halifax and now St Luke’s Barton Unit faces closure.
In the 1990s I did a spot of adult training on the unit in the occupational therapy department. I spoke to elderly people who had lost their partners and were disabled, being shown how to cope better on their own.
One old man told me what had happened to him. I was nearly reduced to tears. It’s called being human. He took pleasure in coming to the unit, being helped and meeting people.
Do we care about people or do we care about costs more? Cash has been wasted on the NHS admin house in Leeds Quarry House so if costs are to be reduced, start there. People come first, not cash. They deserve a better service.
Waste of money
IT’S not often I go to that end of town, St George’s Square, but the other day I did.
I’ve lived in Huddersfield all my life, nearly 82 years. I’ve seen the square change quite a few times, but this time what can I say about it without being negative?
What a complete waste of a lot of money! There is nothing nice about it, just a big empty space of nothing and those water ‘things’ would be a big joke if they hadn’t cost such a lot of money and what it is costing to run them.
I can’t even draw a straight line, but I’m sure I could have come up with something more pleasing to the eye than that.
How much more money are they going to throw away?
Take Greenhead Park, that’s another. There was a lovely boating pool there. They filled that in at a cost of how much? Now they are digging it out again – a lot more money thrown away.
I’d like to see things made nice. What’s wrong with nice flower beds and trees which would have looked lovely in St George’s Square?
Next time they decide to alter anything, I think they would get better results if they asked children at school to draw up plans. I’m sure they would have done a lot better.
If they have that much money to throw away, how about Kirkwood Hospice for a start and many more things that I could name where the money would be better spent instead of stupid ‘water things’?
I CAN’T believe that the local residents would oppose this development (‘Homes plan in Upper Denby, Examiner, June 29).
After all, the kindly developers will build ‘consistent with the organic development of the local settlement, rooted in the local vernacular.’
Obviously this will involve wattle-and-daub and an element of thatching. The addition of outside privies with family drops can perhaps be seen as a marketing plus.
A curious date
DOES no-one here in Huddersfield care about the arcane knowledge that surrounds the upcoming year of 2012?
Has Huddersfield nailed its colours to the mast of general ignorance? Or is all this too ‘conspiracy theory’ to be worthy of notice?
My personal view is to stay with the intelligence demonstrated by the Mayan Great Calendar – accurate for the last three millennia.
References to this date are found in every creation myth known globally.
So I simply want to say how sad I find this lack of curiosity.
L M Scott