Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

Cuts, what cuts?

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Foolish: Unionists protesting against the “cuts” in Central London

This weekend my wife and I were visiting London to meet with a friend who is over from the Falkland Islands, who I went to university with. Whilst we were in the capital, we decided to visit the Churchill War Rooms in Whitehall. But as we ascended into Westminster from the Jubilee Line it is then when we came face-to-face with the mob, complete with waving Red flag. RMT socialists in fluorescent tabards wearing “Toryspotting” t-shirts were wandering menacingly around Westminster tube station and drunken marchers were accosting police in the subway to Whitehall. Lovely.

I have got no problem with people peacefully protesting – which after all is a right of a subject citizen in a free society – but it is the sheer ludicrous nature of the protest, organised by the TUC (who else?) and later addressed by Labour leader Ed Miliband. It was an “anti-cuts” march. But what cuts are they protesting against? Far from cutting, this Coalition government has INCREASED public debt by £120bn this financial year alone! Sure, spending has been marginally reduced, but only to the 2005 boom year levels. This weak government has hardly scratched the surface.

The UK owes over £1 trillion. The UK is not some abstract entity: it is me, it is you, it is your partner, it is your child, it is your neighbour. We were promised a bonfire of cuts by both Labour and Conservatives but we have a pilot light of tiny cuts, and instead of taking the brave decisions required,  Cameron, Clegg, Osborne and Alexander have decided to impoverish the next generation. Currently, every man, woman and child in the UK owes £16,951 of public debt and climbing. By 2016, the country will owe £1.5 trillion to our creditors, 35% of which are from other countries. This is REAL money which WE must PAY back or in the case of the UK which our children and grandchildren must pay back through ever higher taxes in the future.

These people getting in my way on Saturday should thank themselves they are not Spaniards – now that is a country which has had to make real cuts with unemployment at 25%. Spain was also bankrupted, like the UK, by socialists. But now a conservative government are taking the tough choices to put this southern European country back on an even keel and to save Spain’s future for her children. Compare this to Blighty where the public sector is still bloated with pointless diversity officers and five-a-day coordinators still taking up space and taxpayer’s money in local councils up and down the country.

Most of the public sector workers marching in London on Saturday will retire on index linked final salary pensions which private sector workers could only ever dream about. The vast majority of private sector workers either a) don’t have a pension or b) are solely reliant on the stock exchange performing well when they retire. In other words instead of a guaranteed pension paid for by the taxpayers of the future (yes your children and grandchildren will pay for your pension Mr Public Sector Worker), a private sector pensioner will retire on the money he or she has saved from their wages of today in the form of a saving account which has been gambled on the stock exchange in the hope they will make enough gains to feed themselves in their old age. If the money is not put in today, there will be no money in the future, unlike with a public sector pension. Is that fair?  Perhaps, the private sector employees should march on Whitehall!

Real economic meltdown: Greece descends into rioting this year

At the moment, all you see on the streets are “woe is me” public sector workers, paid more than private sector workers in many cases, marching for even higher wages and even safer pensions. But eventually the penny (pun intended) will drop amongst the silent private sector majority and then we may see even more on the streets. But let’s hope for the country’s sake, a real political leader will be in charge by then. If not, take a look at Greece for a vision of the future. Now, I wonder who my friend from the Falkland Islands would like to see back in charge of Blighty?

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Author: gavinmaclure

IT professional; political blogger, former Conservative councillor

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