A full coach headed along the M4 towards London. 47 people with the same belief that the government of the UK is morally wrong in its attacks on the most vulnerable members of British society. Through so-called austerity measures the government is targetting the disabled, elderly, single parents, and children – often the poorest members of society.
The UK is the 4th wealthiest nation in the world and the fact that 3.5 million of our children live in poverty is a social disgrace. That is 27% of UK children, more than 1 in 4. The claim by Prime Minister David Cameron “we are all in it together” is made a laughing stock when one of his ministers, Ian Duncan Smith, claimed £35 expenses for one breakfast. That is almost half the amount a person in need of state aid gets to live on each week.
Today 47 of us traveled to London to join 250000 fellow citizens to protest against austerity. We are not all in this together Mr Cameron. How can we be when the British government votes against closing loopholes in legislation that allows corporations to avoid pay taxes. At the same time the government will chase an idividual if they miss one penny in income tax.
In the last week I have spent time talking to the people in my neighbourhood. Few felt secure in their future. My elderly neighbour is dependent on care and is genuinely worried that will be taken away from her and she will be forced into an institution. Another neighbour is a mum to a 9 year old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, she works part-time and relies on tax credits to make ends meet.
As a member of the Transgender community I am aware that the statistics state 65% of that community live below the poverty line due to being born Transgender. During transition it is likely the transitioning person will rely on sickness benefit aid such as ESA. Many struggle to convince DWP that surgery and therapies are a medical need not a choice.
The people have had enough and it is time to fight back
“I believe people should be treated humanely, fairly and with respect,” said my fellow activist Laura Steel.
Like Laura I believe in a humane and fair society where all are treated equally. As we marched through the streets of the capital I heard those sentiments repeated again and again by celebrities, union activists and ordinary citizens alike. I am sure David Cameron will view today as the peasants revolting against their superiors and betters. Maybe in that case he should re-read the history of this country and remember just how powerful revolting peasants can be in taking down those who think they have authority over the majority. A government elected by a mere 24% of those eligible to vote does not have the mandate of the people far from it.