The Distraction

WP_20160621_003 ab0269h Bathley Street pothole
A photo was requested to give form to the works due to repair a local street, and I went along – but really, how do you make such a photo interesting?
But recent canvass sessions have been telling a bigger story – and one that differs from the country’s focus on our membership of the European Union.
Yes, we need more money to get local steets up to scratch – and if only we had a sense of local street renewal as part of a vision for better neighbourhoods.
Biggest complaint in recent weeks has been the scale of the trees in the New Meadows, which planted 40 and more years ago are too often too large and too intrusive – and if ony we had more money (remembering that in the nineties there was no money at all for such “cosmetic” pruning.
Most significant complaint has been from a man fed up with the ASB outside his house – and he wants to move.  Well, it’s more than over-active kids as it happens, but the Police impact on the real problem has been challenged by the reduction in resources.
Then, meeting people who can’t get work.
Qualified, with degrees, working for too long for no money to get experience – and they’ve just been taken advantage of.
Local people who’d been laid off by local firms and been re-employed by those firms on low pay, short hours and reduced terms and conditions.
Immigration?  Exploitation.
Have had this on the doorsteps since 2008 when the boom that led to 4 million extra jobs in the UK was followed by a bankers’ bust, and businesses have taken advantage ever since.
Yet the governments we’ve had have shown poor focus on the labour market, and all the implications it has – for home security, for local spending, for child welfare.
Instead tax cuts for the rich, too many businesses not paying proper tax and cuts in corporation tax with no expectation of improved governance.
Instead distractions.
Distractions. Gross figures for contributions to the EU instead of net.
Distractions. Posters of foreigners in queues with inflammatory language, aping 1930’s Nazi propoganda.
Distractions. Nigel Farage claiming he is a victim of the killing of Jo Cox MP.
The true British working class revolt was in the second world war. Fighting for freedom from the Nazis, and fighting for full employment, social security, homes for all, success for all at school and a heath service – free at the point of use, with utilities and services whose surpluses went into the public exchequer.
That’s a proper revolution.  Not one fed on fear of the other.

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