Stay in touch!
Sign up to be updated with Evolve's latest stories, and for opportunities to get involved.
Last night, whilst talking of how improvements to public services required “grown up debates”, Philip Hammond explained he was now aware that:
the British people are weary after seven years’ hard slog repairing the damage of the Great Recession.
“Weary”. That’s quite a choice of word, when discussing the lives of real people destroyed in the last seven years, isn’t it?
‘Tired’ of dying
Yes. The 30,000 deaths linked to cuts in health and social care were rather ‘tiring’ for families coming to terms with the death of their loved ones, as a direct result of policies you and your predecessor imposed Mr Hammond.
No doubt the 36% increase in children contacting Childline in the last four years, children battling depression and anxiety are pretty ‘bored’ with the mental health epidemic their generation faces.
Of course, the excess of a million people who’ve relied on foodbanks in order to survive are pretty ‘fed up’ of having to resort to charities simply in order to feed their families.
The 4,134 people who slept on the streets in 2016 admittedly probably do find not having a home quite ‘draining’. The 54,000 single mothers affected by the benefit cap do find the constant battle a bit ‘trying’. The 57,750 households accepted as homeless and in priority need in 2015/16 are a bit ‘troubled’ by their inability to acquire secure and permanent accommodation.
“Weary.” What a word to choose. Try ‘ruined’. Or ‘utterly broken’. ‘We’ve been slaughtered by austerity’.
Hammond glibly states that those affected “have travelled a long way, but still the sunlit uplands seem stubbornly to remain one further ridge away.” He wants us to know that he ‘understands’.
He doesn’t, though, does he? None of the Tories do. They are completely clueless. In fact, they’re only NOW talking about austerity because the middle classes have had enough too, and because their popularity is plummeting. The most vulnerable in the country were hit by austerity immediately – but did they care then? Of course they didn’t. They just tried to convince us the poorest somehow deserved it.
And all of the above does not even mention the damaging effects of public sector cuts and salary freezes in this country. Hammond patronises us to posture:
the serious question to the electorate cannot be, ‘would you like us to tax someone who isn’t you to pay for you to consume more?’, but, ‘would you be willing to pay more tax to consume more public services?’
Well Mr Hammond, if our tax-payer money actually equated as fewer deaths, more children having a viable future, citizens being able to eat, people not sleeping on the streets, and secure housing for everyone in the country, I doubt you’d hear much complaint. Anyone with a conscience, who’s physically able to afford it probably would be prepared to pay a bit more.
What they’re not prepared to pay extra for, is MPs to award themselves continuous pay rises while everybody else burns.
Become An Evolve Politics Subscriber
Your subscriptions go directly into paying our writers a standard fee for every article they produce. So if you want to help us stay truly independent, please think about subscribing. We literally couldn’t function without the support of our fantastic readers.
Or a One-Off Donation to Evolve Politics
If you don’t want to subscribe, but still want to contribute to our project, you can make a one-off donation via the donate button below. All your donations go directly to our writers for their work in exposing injustice, inequality and unfairness.