New Year, New Start? Not for 2011.
As the clock strikes twelve tonight people up and down the country will be raising a glass as per usual but this year it will be in defiance rather then celebration. As December roles casually into January the British people are about to welcome in the disastrous consequences of an age of austerity that harks back to Thatcherite economics and Victorian treatment of the most vulnerable in our society.
Two thousand and eleven will not, despite our Prime Ministers promises, see the private, faith and charity sectors sweeping in on their white horses and providing public services. It won’t see the liberation of the masses from the entanglement of beuracracy and it won’t see a nation made richer by cuts because, frankly, that doesn’t make sense.
Two thousand and eleven will see a widescale destruction of our public services. Libraries, including the one around the corner from me, will close, public sector workers will be laid off, hospitals will be under more and more strain and the poorest in society will, as we have come to expect, be hit hardest.
There is, however, a silver lining to this greyest of clouds. We’re not going to take this lying down. It’s not just the students who are up in arms, it’s almost everyone. At every step of the way the government is being challenged on it’s decisions and, increasingly, going back on them. Local people are campaigning against cuts at every level, from little libraries to new schools. Unions are planning industrial action on a scale not seen in decades, autonomous groups such as UKUncut and False Economy are raising public awareness on economic alternatives and even The Archbishop of Canterbury seems to be on side. The British public are becoming less and less ignorant of the economic truth and more and more fed up of the false logic being fed to them by the coalition government.
This year it won’t be the coalition government who save the country, it certainly won’t be The Labour Party. Two Thousand and Eleven is going to see the largest and most sophisticated radical movement in Britain for decades and, without a doubt, it’s going to get the government on the ropes.
Happy New Year