Monthly Archives: December 2011
If you’re thinking of getting solar panels fitted to your house, you’ll kick yourself when you realise how much more cost-effective it could have been. Up until yesterday, a generous incentive scheme was in place to encourage the spread of solar energy production. However the “Coalition” has declared it unaffordable and is proposing to slash the amount that people can save. The solar industry is facing big job losses.
Now this could be one of the examples of a late-period Labour project that was genuinely unaffordable. (As the RMS Gordon Brown was sinking there were undoubtedly some officials not so much rearranging the deckchairs as commissioning Damien Hirst to encrust them in diamonds.) However, it is utterly symptomatic of this Government’s slash & burn approach to public spending. Surely encouraging energy independence and sustainability makes sense if you’ve got the slightest bit of a longterm view. Obviously not enough to make it a Tory priority. Unlike buying more attack drones…
Also up for discussion in the People’s Revolutionary Caucus that is Radio 4’s “You & Yours” was the plight of district nurses. Many are now having to cover areas that used to be staffed by four experienced nurses, their effectiveness further diluted by a hefty administrative and supervisory workload. Unsurprisingly, there’s a dearth of fresh blood into a profession where most are now in their fifties. At a time when patients are being propelled out of hospital almost using the momentum of the ambulance that brought them in, a lack of experienced, skilled care at home is going to create numerous knock-on problems. Short-termism again.
But what can we do? The NHS needs to save £15-20bn a year. So we are told. And we need to save this much here and that much over there and all of that thing has got to go. Apparently. I heard it on the news. It’s all for deficit reduction you see. We need to have no national debt, even though we’ve had one for most of recent history, and sometimes far larger than at present. As happens from time to time with any debt, the creditors want their money back. The rather unfair thing on this occasion is that the primary reason for the debt being quite so large is the incompetence of the global financial industry (at least that’s what the IMF says) and it just so happens that these economy wreckers are also the creditors. So the economy crashed because the bankers ballsed up betting on worthless derivatives; we then spent the rest of what we didn’t have bailing out the banks because apparently the world will end without them; they then turned round and said, “right, can we have our money back please?” Great.
So I would say, “who voted for these idiots?” about the Tories because it was so obvious before the election that a blue vote was a vote for the destruction of social spending and the concentration of power and profit in the hands of an increasingly small number of obscenely wealthy hands. But I would also say, “who voted for these idiots?” about the financial houses who, it is becoming increasingly apparent, are the true owners and leaders of our lives.