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The Cuts: a callous con trick

Bernard Little, chair of Sheffield Green Party, at the rally against the cuts. Bernard said “These draconian cuts will affect nearly everyone in Sheffield. They will have a particular impact on people in much-needed public sector jobs. Plus those seeking work, women, young people, pensioners, people with chronic health problems and the 70% of people in this city who cannot afford even the cheapest mortgage.
The Green Party takes the financial deficit seriously. But these public spending cuts, the biggest in 30 years, are a callous con-trick. Instead, we must make sure that the public purse gets the 100 billion pounds that is lost every year because of tax avoidance and evasion. We should also properly regulate the banks, tax the well off, fund public services and invest in the green economy. Finally, we should stop spending money on projects like Trident and airport expansion. All that would reduce inequality in Sheffield and secure our future.”

The unedited version of the speech follows.

Speech by Sheffield Green Party Co-Chair 20th October 2010.

“The public spending cuts, the biggest in 30 year, are a callous con-trick. Instead we should properly regulate the banks, tax the well off, properly fund public services and invest in the green economy. Such an alternative would reduce inequality and secure our future.

These draconian cuts will affect nearly everyone in Britain; but they will hit hardest:

thousands of people in public sector jobs,…….young people seeking work, ….the 70 percent of people in this city who cannot afford even the cheapest mortgage,…..people working in public transport and community based independent businesses……pensioners and people with chronic health problems.

These are the people who were least responsible for creating the economic crisis we are in.

Tragically….. the media and most of our politicians are fostering a consensus that massive cuts are inevitable. It is not true……. Every year at least 100 billion pounds is stolen from the public purse through tax avoidance and evasion. These cuts are not necessary…we are being conned….sold an outrageous lie…


We need public control of our money through properly regulating the banks.

We need to remember that well funded public services and paying a living wage are the foundations of a fair society.

We need to invest wisely in jobs and infrastructure that will create greater equality and ensure the health and welfare of future generations.

So why are we in such a mess?

The collapse of our economy has come about through the unwillingness of spineless politicians,….. like the last New Labour government and now the Coalition……., to properly regulate corporate interests and our financial system.

Unregulated banks have….. in the interests of free market dogma… been given the go ahead to gamble with our money in the global casino economy and pursue reckless and irresponsible lending. .

Our politicians have swallowed hook line and sinker the flawed belief system of endless economic growth Economic growth depends on the consumption of finite resources, and we are already living beyond the capacity of the earth to support us. .. .  The global economy is five times the size it was 50 years ago. If our economy continues to grow at the same rate it will be 80 times that size by the end of this century. It is a physical impossibility…

Yet economic growth remains the single most important policy goal of both government and official opposition.

Absolutely nothing has been learned.

The last time we were in such a dire straight was in the 1940′s. We were in far deeper debt…… yet the resolve of the post-war socialist government launched the National Health Service and nationalised many other vital services.

70 years later and we need a progressive government to pursue a new and resilient 21st century economy.

Our youth, home care, housing, and public health and transport services need to be properly funded.

Funding can come from increasing taxes for those earning over £100,000, cutting Trident, the road building programme and socially damaging export credit guarantee scams.

The Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group have shown how a low carbon economy would create one million new… fairly paid jobs within a year…. and spawn hundreds of thousands of other new jobs. That is jobs in insulation, renewable energy and public transport.

We should not swallow the plans for an insecure…. globally mobile… knowledge economy.

Instead we should switch to a low carbon economy through…jobs that last in local manufacturing and ecologically sound agriculture.

To Sum Up.

The cuts are unnecessary. They are a callous con trick….. ‘foisted on us’ by the rich and powerful.

The rich and powerful are using a crisis…a crisis that THEY were responsible for…. to privatise essential services and leave the most vulnerable in our society even more vulnerable.

We must not be taken in by this callous con trick.

A better and fairer world….. is possible…

A world where we co-operate rather than compete…. is possible.

A world where we can all prosper…. while living within the ability of this planet to continue to support us…is possible.”

Bernard Little. Co-Chair Sheffield Green Party. 20th October 2010,

Topics: Bernard Little, Budget, City Wide, Cuts

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