Vicky Hills is quite right to be disgusted by the state of the grassy areas in Sutton Bridge that have always been mown in the past. The question is – ‘what’s changed?’ Easy! The ideological Tory lie of austerity has caught up with us.
The county council, being starved of money from central government, are obliged to make decisions about how to spend their decreasing budgets. I remember filling in a form where I disagreed with the proposal to stop grass-cutting and argued further that the council should just resist central government cuts. But I’m just a cranky old lefty.
In the Tory manifesto it says: “We see rigid dogma and ideology not just as needless but dangerous...” Austerity is just such a dangerous dogma. Vote Tory and the dogma will take hold even more.
It’s their way of systematically demolishing the welfare system that came into being in 1945. Then, according to their manifesto, they intend to make it easier for the shale industry. Grass cutting will shrink into insignificance when shaling starts up around Sutton Bridge and our MP’s beloved Moulton, suitable areas on the shaling map.
You cannot trust the Tories. They are ‘strong and stable’ in support of the wealthy. The rest of us can rot amongst the weeds.
The Tory manifesto is full of empty platitudes with many contradictions. For example: “We will continue to take action to improve animal welfare...”, but not, of course, for foxes or badgers or elephants (wealthy antiques traders have been lobbying May to drop the ban on ivory).
“We will restore the contract between the generations, providing older people with security against ill health...”, while Jeremy Hunt sees “...the ageing population as one of the biggest commercial opportunities...” for private business organisations to rake in the money for insurance. So I am just a ‘commercial opportunity’ – it’s so nice to know that’s how the Tories think of me.
Their manifesto contains weasel words about the NHS which is described as “...a system of solidarity to which we all contribute, not just to help us and our families when we are in need but to protect others in our community when they need help too. This not just expediency: we do it because the support we give each other ties us together...”
But under the Tories, many of whose MPs have a stake in privatising the NHS, much of it has already been quietly privatised, an aim that Hunt advocated back in 2005. They do not dare tell us this openly.
Family doctors in Bournemouth running the Dorset Private GP service are offering “the unhurried, thorough, personal care we believe is best for patients.” Patients pay £40 for a 10-minute phone consultation, £80 for a 20-minute face-to-face appointment and £145 for 40 minutes with a GP; they will be seen faster and get longer appointments than their NHS patients. How long before all ‘ordinary, hard-working’ NHS patients become ‘second-class citizens’? That’s the shape of things to come under the Tories.
I could go on...
A long way from grass-cutting in Sutton Bridge but the way things all connect up is what the Tories hope we won’t notice.