Speakers from Andover Labour Party, Andover TUC and the Labour Representation Committee came together for a public meeting about the government’s brutal welfare reforms.
Taken from a report published by Hampshire LRC.
GOVERNMENT myths about the need to slash welfare spending are a smokescreen for an unprecedented attack on the most vulnerable in society, a lively meeting hosted in Andover by Hampshire Labour Representation Committee heard.
The big lie that welfare was unaffordable and had to be cut was stripped bare byLRC joint chair and Left Economics Advisory Panel co-ordinator Andrew Fisher – You can read his inspiring speech here: 11-09-14 HLRC – Welfare speech – Andrew Fisher
Sarah Evans former NW Hants Labour Candidate and meeting chair Sarah Evans pointed out that the government’s big lie about benefit fraud is just that, and that it is the tax evaders and avoiders who are the real criminals, and that it is their best mates who are now in government.
Andover Labour Party and community activist Russell Frost related how his great uncle – who was born in the shadow of the First World War and experienced the General Strike and the great depression of the 1930s before seeing the creation of the welfare state – had said he did not envy today’s young generation.
Russell described how the hopes and aspirations of his generation now looked like distant dreams as the government destroyed jobs and made access to basics like homes and education more difficult for everyone but the most wealthy.
The government’s efforts to dismantle comprehensive education were laid bare by local teacher, Andover Labour Party member and former parliamentary candidate for NW Hampshire, Mick Mumford who also dismantled the government’s case for cutting teachers’ and other public servants’ pensions, and the importance of communities standing together to defend education, services and pensions, including on picket lines.
The local effects of government austerity, implemented by an eager Tory Hampshire County Council, were described by Andover TUC secretary Derek Kotz, who lambasted the authority for leaving a trail of destruction of services for the most vulnerable through £55 million of cuts – including Andover’s own Cherry Orchard elderly care home.