Well, they managed it. Cameron’s Conservatives – no doubt already wearying of the compassionate bit – have their ‘stealing the milk‘ moment.
Since Maggie snatched the white stuff from millions of schoolchildren way back when, condemning them to easily snapped arms and legs when they fell onto the rock-hard concrete in their playgrounds (youth of today, don’t know yer born!) her disciples have been on the lookout for their own really nasty moment.
Closing libraries, flogging forests and cutting benefits will only give you so much of a kick, after all, these are the kinds of things that most of us expect the Conservatives to do. Where’s the buzz when you do something everyone has been anticipating since the election last May? Nowhere, that’s where. So you have to raise your game a little.
This should do it. Removing benefits from cancer survivors after one year. Simply put, if you are not on the mend after 12 months, the government thinks we can probably do without you and your weak-assed immune system malingering around. Although perhaps, following this story, they are betting that the number of people reaching that milestone is going to be dramatically reduced anyway. I wonder what the cancer survival rates were in the 1930s? And isn’t it just as well TB isn’t on the rise, eh? Oh.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the things we need to have happen in order for a fairer, more just society to emerge, from economic reforms to climate change measures, as well as improvements in education, health and social care are further away than ever. The systems of government hamper more than they help, either by way of elected officials for reasons of ideology or because they are in the thrall of lobbyists or the Sir Humphreys of this world:
Yes, yes, yes, I do see that there is a real dilemma here. In that, while it has been government policy to regard policy as a responsibility of Ministers and administration as a responsibility of Officials, the questions of administrative policy can cause confusion between the policy of administration and the administration of policy, especially when responsibility for the administration of the policy of administration conflicts, or overlaps with, responsibility for the policy of the administration of policy
Regaining control will be more of a headache than marking an ‘X’ every five years and expecting that to do. It requires engagement and understanding and other words which have become sullied by overuse in the kind of overeager council leaflet often used to line kitty litter trays. But if the last nine months have shown anything, it is that the kind of people who seek elected office can in no way be trusted with the responsibility of it.
On everything from tax kickbacks for the rich to flogging off the forests, our ‘leaders’ are dangerously out of step with what rational thoughts and future generations require. To justify it they point to a woeful majority of voters who agree with some of their policies, although not many of these were explicitly laid out in the manifesto. They can ignore scientists, economists and the advice of history as they run amok and seek to dismantle in months what it took our forefathers generations to establish. The only response we have is to change them for another, similar shower in different coloured rosettes with slightly nuanced policy differences in half a decade.
It’s almost enough to make you turn to drink…