I know that I am biased because I want to live in a country where there is social justice and greater equality, where everyone is treated with respect, and where the rich don’t become obscenely wealthy on the backs of the rest of us and particularly the poorest.
A country where families and the most vulnerable don’t have to rely on the charity of others to survive and where food banks are not the fastest growing industry.
A country where health care is still available to everyone free at the point of need, and is well enough staffed with compassionate, well paid and well treated professionals so that the quality of service matches or surpasses the service that those rich enough to afford private health care get.
A country which values the public services that we all use and that some of us provide, and recognises their significant importance for all of us who use them but also for the economy as a whole. After all, public servants pay their taxes, shop and buy in their local communities, and use their local trades people, keeping their businesses in work.
But biased or not, I am sick of hearing the lies that pop out of the mouths of certain politicians as easily as breathing. Ruth Davidson, Leader of the Scottish Tories, has particularly irritated me over recent days. So, there are fewer children growing up in workless households are there Ruth? And she says it as if it is a great thing that her government has achieved. Well, maybe it is from her perspective. But, how does it fit with the increasing numbers of children growing up in poverty WHO LIVE IN WORKING HOUSEHOLDS? With parents for whom work DOESN’T pay – low waged and dependent on government top ups and the charity of food banks.
But wait a minute though. According to Ruth, under the Tory led government there are fewer children growing up in poverty. Really Ruth? Despite the massive increases in the use of food banks and the Child Poverty Action Group’s prediction, based on IFS figures, that under current government policies, child poverty is projected to rise with an expected 600,000 more children living in poverty by 2015/16. An upward trend that is expected to continue with 4.7 million children projected to be living in poverty by 2020.
2020 – the year in which, under the Child Poverty Act 2010, child poverty should be eradicated.
Nelson Mandela’s wise words are well known now. But they were never truer. And they are not based on mere statistics but on compassion and humanity – a humanity that we should all share. He said, “Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings”
Child poverty could be ended tomorrow if the political will was there. But just saying that it’s reducing doesn’t make it so, Ruth!
And under a Tory government – your party’s government Ruth - child poverty in this country will always grow, because at the end of the day they just don’t care really. Poor people don’t vote for them and it is in the interests of their rich business chums to have a low wage economy at their disposal for them to exploit and make their big bucks.
So, all you caring and compassionate people out there please, don’t listen to the lies and the creative (or perhaps manipulative would be nearer the truth) use of statistics by the Tories. Propped up by the Lib Dems they have presided over the biggest mass transfer of wealth from the rest of us to an elite few that I have known in my lifetime.
Whatever you vote in this election please kick the Tories out and let’s try and meet that target of ending child poverty in what is supposedly the fourth richest country in the world.