Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/714/14343
No to cuts: make the bosses pay!
Graham O'Reilly, Southampton
"I wish I was old enough to vote," a woman said to me, "you'd get my vote. With all these cuts I just don't know how I'm going to survive."
The woman went on to explain that she was just 16 years old and was due to have her baby next month. Horrendously she was about to have her benefits cut because she could not find work.
"I'm eight months pregnant - who is going to give me a job? I just want my baby to be safe."
This was just one of the stories I heard while on the campaign trail for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the Southampton ward of Harefield.
Last year I stood as a TUSC candidate in Southampton and during the campaign I got the feeling that people were unsure of what was happening and believed politicians who said that cuts were necessary.
This year is very different. People are fed up with their services being cut and money being taken from their back pocket to boost big business profit. They now understand that the cuts hurt - especially young families, pubic servants and even those selfless people who just want to help.
A foster carer told me she is being asked to take care of children whose parents are unable to look after them, not because of a lack of parenting skills or because there has been a death in the family, but because they do not have the money to feed their children. Some of the kids she has seen in the last few months have only been eating once a day.
Children of two and three years old are arriving with her who don't have toys, who have never had toys, because their parents can't afford them. She asked was this the Big Society that the Tories wanted.
A retired man said he had thought about voting TUSC last year but as a life-long Labour voter he believed and trusted that they would do the right thing.
He is now angry and upset; angry with Labour as they had done nothing and upset with himself for not voting TUSC. Apologising for not voting last year, he said he would vote TUSC this year.
In The Socialist 18 April 2012:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Reviews and Comment