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2011 – the year of our discontent

December 31, 2010

There is no point in being optimistic. Below, are the people and things  destined to wind us up in 2011.

Eric Pickles

"Han, Han, make-cheesay. Pa'sa tah ono caulky malia. Ee youngee d'emperolo teesaw. Twa spastika awahl no. Yanee dah poo noo"

The former leader of Bradford has form in making inept and cold decisions that affect the public services we recieve. Madly in love with his localism bill, he will spend 2011 laying the blame for public service cuts on local government whilst giggling like Jabba the Hut at the public sector’s inability to defend itself.

Unions

Which brings me to public sector unions. TUC, PCC, Unison and all the rest have been pitifully quiet or ignored. This year, our union told us not to go home early on Christmas Eve because people who had taken a day of annual leave would unfairly miss out. Whose interests are these people protecting? It’s getting harder and harder to take unions seriously at a time when we need them the most.

Lib Dems – all of them

I still believe that old TINA chestnut about the Con Dem coalition. There really was no other way – to leave Labour in power would have saddled us with another unelected Prime Minister (constituionally correct, but publically unwelcome) and a government who didn’t deserve to stay in power after a rubbish election campaign and a couple years of malaise.  But the Lib Dems have been an embarassment and I’m embarassed to have supported them. Alarm bells started ringing when Clegg accepted role of Deputy Prime Minister (the joke job Labour gave to Prescott) and their press conference offered up pally affability, when grass roots Lib Dems wanted challenge and debate. Civil liberties are the only achievments of the Coalition so far, and this was the only aspect of politics the parties agreed on. In everything else, Cameron has had his way. Lib Dems are stuck and will be useless in 2011. Criticise the Coalition and the right wing press will be fueled. Defend the Coalition and the left wing press will lambast.  They should just ride out the storm until they lose what’s left of their seats at the next election.

"Sorry, I didn't get the liberal memo about publically AND privately supporting right wing media oligarchs"

Ed Milliband

Apart from criticising the cuts he has not had much say in opposition. I think 2011 will be a disaster for Ed. There is this idea that he has a long term game plan, that he is sending his feelers out to concoct a mastermind of policies and political tactics that will decimate the Coalition. Or not. I think he underestimated how difficult it is to undermine a Tory-led goverment when the shadow cabinet is just that – a very similar version in demographic and class of the real thing. Low opinion polls mean nothing too – opinion polls only matter at elections. If he wants Labour to clean up at next year’s local elections, he needs to do more. All the opinion polls tell me now is that in May, people won’t vote at all.

The Big  Society

The government wants to do less so that we can do more. We should clean the piss and graffti from our estates. We should donate to charities that lose their public funding. We shoud run nurseries and play schemes (even though being redundant means we won’t need these services anyway). We should also hold street parties and picnics and get to know our neighbours. We should run libraries and meals-on-wheels blah blah blah. I have never heard a government talk so much about what we ‘should’ be doing. The Big Society is a bizzare mash-up of the Tory ideology of self-sufficiency and big hearted Socialism and is absolutely guaranteed to make our lives miserable.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/dec/31/funding-pressure-on-charities

http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/ten-big-questions-about-the-big-society

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/the-big-society-a-genuine-vision-for-britains-future-ndash-or-just-empty-rhetoric-2030330.html

Happy New Year!!

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