Well, in a nutshell, what you all need to know is that this great country of ours is under attack, and it is under attack from the enemy within – the ConDem coalition. They seem intent on destroying everything that is good (in my opinion) about this country, and once it’s gone, it won’t be easy to get it back. I make no secret of the fact that I have been a life-long Tory voter, but NEVER again. I believe that if you don’t for somebody then you have no right to complain when it all goes wrong, so I will be voting for somebody in future, but never again for this shower of s**te. I would rather vote UKIP of Monster Raving Loony Party.
Much has been said on my blog, and those of my fellow bloggers, about the ConDems reforms of the Police Service, so I won’t take up too much of your time repeating it all again except to remind you all that by 2015 the Police Services of England and Wales will collectively have their budgets cut by 20% and 16,000 police officers lost from our streets. That in itself is a big enough undertaking with some very serious implications. Make no mistake, even the Met, the largest Police Serice in the country, is going to struggle to meet its targets post Olympics, and we haven’t even heard the last part of their austerity plans yet. If you want to see how your local force is shaping up to the cuts go to the HMIC website and choose “Find Your Force” then look at the austerity report for your area.
But the Condems haven’t stopped there, oh no.
Then we have the creeping privatisation of the NHS. Our government has abolished its obligation to provide us free healthcare. Our government has privatised the NHS without us knowing, Our government has been paid by healthcare firms, they have worked alongside them, they have worked with them, they have worked FOR them. They even employ former employees of these private healthcare firms. None of that can be contested, they’ve declared their corporate interests before. Our Lords are benefiting to the tune of millions, if not billions, by privatisation of the NHS, but no-one seems to notice. When 6,000 nurses got the sack, and Lord Ashcroft’s business replaced them with temps (earning him untold fortunes), no-one seemed to notice. Interestingly, like the Police reforms, the BBC chooses not to report these things. New hospitals are PFI funded. I went to visit my sister in a brand new hospital recently (Kings Mill, like the bread) and the first thing I noticed in the entrance were the 2 Car Park Pay Stations, no way are we going to get away without paying for the car parks. Then as I ventured further in I encountered Costa, WHS Smith, a jewellery shop (a jewellery shop in a hospital FFS?) and a hairdressing salon. Where were the League of Friends I ask? I read recently that Interserve has taken over the Royal Marsden NHS Trust (amongst others) arguably the finest Cancer Research and treatment facility in the UK and right up there in the whole world. The Financial Times also reports this from behind its paywall
“Three NHS Trusts have pooled together to outsource all their hospital, community and primary care facilities management to one provider, Interserve, in one of the largest deals of its kind. Around 2,000 staff will transfer to Interserve, the FTSE250-listed outsourcer, under the agreement, which is worth £300m to the company over seven years.”
Does this sound familiar? Does this give you cause for concern?
And don’t think that the Ambulance Service has escaped either. As I reported in a previous blog, earlier this month the Public Accounts Committee published its report entitled Transforming NHS ambulance services. As soon as the government understand how the Ambulance Service works, it has made it clear that it intends to reform it.
The Fire Service. Heard much about that recently? Last year central government cut 1,500 front-line fire service jobs. So far this year a further 1,000 have gone. Fire Brigade pensions are going the same way as the police, pay more, work longer, get less. Countless fire engines have been mothballed and fire stations closed, and government are making plans to privatise parts of the Fire Service. Sound familiar? See the FBU website for more detailed information about what is happening in your area.
The British Army. Did you know that there are now approximately 35,000 more Police officers in this country than there are full time soldiers? In mid 2012 the full-time strength of the Regular British Army stood at a mere 99,670. I do hope I don’t get thrown in the Tower for revealing this statistic, but it shocked me to the core to see that the Police Service, even after its shrinkage, was much bigger than our Army, and it will only get worse with the next Defence Spending Review. If only Adolf had waited, he could have taken us easily.
And finally, I am indebted to fellow blogger Tom Pride for bringing the plight of our Coastguard service to my attention. We have long read on twitter how the Coastguard service is under attack also, how Coastguard stations are threatened with closure, pleas to sign their petitions also. Well, it’s actually worse then that. Tom has blogged again today and provided absolute proof of the lies spouted by David Camoron. He produces a letter signed by said Camoron, and dated 12th July 2012 in which he categorically states that no Coastguard stations will close before 2015. Well, it’s now the end of September and closures have already begun. Not worth the paper it was written on. You can find Tom’s blog here and read the full story, be sure to read the Comments as well, quite illuminating
Each of these issues is major in its own way, each of these issues impacts in some way on our safety and/or well-being. What scares me most is that they are all happening AT THE SAME TIME. The Government are determined that by 2015 the shape of this country will never again be the same. I assume that neither the Tories nor the Lib Dems will be re-elected but who knows? Whoever forms the next government will undoubtedly be unable to reverse these decisions, and that is why we need to do something about it now.
The only action plan that I can think of is that old rivalries are put aside, the Federation and the Unions work TOGETHER (I know, it will never catch on will it?) and fight these reforms with a united front. Together we stand and all that. Divide and Conquer. We’re all facing the same problems and we have a common enemy. I don’t pretend that I know how it can be achieved, but I do believe that individual fights are doomed to failure. The ConDems have proved that they are too arrogant to consider anything other than their own proposals. Some of the Lords and MPs stand to make quite nice tidy sums thank you out of privatisation. But can we afford to let it happen without that last fight. Dunkirk spirit and all that.
If this is the last that you hear from me, you will know that I have been thrown in the Tower, or that the Blog Police have confiscated my quill.