Lincolnians prepare to fight the cuts

“We will stand together, we will fight back, and we will say ‘we’re not having it’, ” John Sharman, UNISON branch secretary for Lincolnshire, declares to a public meeting about the government’s cuts.

The Lincoln Trades Council held the meeting on October 20th — the day George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer, announced the biggest set of public-sector cuts Britain’s ever faced. 

Over 40 people with a variety of ages, backgrounds, and political views attended to share their input, ideas and thoughts.

On Saturday, October 23rd, residents across Lincoln will turn out en masse and march from the top of the hill, at Castle Square, to Speaker’s Corner in the High Street in the first step towards fighting government cuts.

An assortment of Lincolnians, from students, to workers, parents, and pensioners, are uniting against the severe budget cuts that were declared by the government under its Comprehensive Spending Review on Wednesday, October 20th.

Saturday's march is expected to be even bigger than the May Day march earlier this year. Photo: Jack Dobson

Robert Parker, leader of the Labour Party in Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The Conservatives are not bothered about ordinary people… this is an idealogical attack.” Elaine Smith, a retired UNISON member who cares for her elderly mother, said: “[The government’s] aim is nothing shorter than the slaughter of the welfare state.”

The government made cuts of £81billion from public spending, revealed plans to make 490,000 public-sector workers redundant nationwide, and declared a rise of 3% above inflation for rail fares, amongst other major moves.

Dave Tompkins, a private-sector worker, spoke about how public-sector cuts would also bring chaos to the private-sector: “As soon as you get job cuts in the public-sector, you start to get them in the private-sector.”

Gavin Graham, UNSION assistant branch secretary for Lincolnshire, placed blame with all three major parties, saying they “are pissing in the same pot”. John Andrews, a representative for the PCS, said: “Our argument needs to be logical, not just ideological.”

“The government is scared of one thing only — losing their jobs. That’s the only job security they care about,” he said.

“It’s time we stood up and challenge them,” John Sharman said.  Others echoed this statement. Jo Sams, president of the Socialist Students Lincoln, said: “I think it’s really important students and workers fight this together.” Rich Banks, the vice-president of the Lincoln Trades Council said: “Let’s show this government and this council that we’re not happy.”

If you wish to take part, gathering for the march begins at 12noon on Castle Square, and the rally will be held at 1pm at Speaker’s Corner.

2 Responses to Lincolnians prepare to fight the cuts

  1. Hakan Şen says:

    But cuts ARE needed to get out of the mess we are in .. and it was obvious that these cuts were going to be made, they were going to be drastic and they were not going to please everyone.

  2. Huseyin Kishi says:

    Why were the cuts necessary towards the public service?

    The so called drastic measures, were nothing short of an ideological attack on the poorest, the infirm and women and ethnic minorities.

    As Johann Hari rightly points out:

    “For the private sector to get all these people into work, as Osborne claims, there would have to be the most rapid business growth in my lifetime. Does anyone think that will happen? Osborne has chosen the weakest people to take the worst cuts. The poorest 16-year-olds were given £30 a week to stay on in education, so they could afford to study – until Osborne’s team dismissed it as a “bribe” and shut it down. The frailest old people depend on council services to wash them and feed them – yet Osborne just slashed their budget by 30 per cent, which service providers say will mean more pensioners being left to die in their own filth. Every family living on benefits is set to lose an average of £1,000 a year – which, as I’ve seen from living in the East End of London, will mean many poor kids across Britain never getting a birthday party, or a trip to the seaside, or a bed of their own, or a winter coat. This isn’t just On Yer Bike, it’s On Yer Own.”

    George Osbourne wiped Vodafone’s £6billion tax debt. Tax evasion costs the public over £15 billion per year and benefit fraud just over £1 billion.

    As the IFS pointed out: ‘Value of service is not equal to cost’

    As Joseph Stiglitz has stated:

    “There is a shortage of aggregate demand – the demand for goods and services that generates jobs. Cutbacks in government spending will mean lower output and higher unemployment, unless something else fills the gap, The mystical belief is that a smaller deficit will lead to an investment boom. What Britain really needs now is another stimulus.”

    We’re risking the very fabric of social cohesion on this gamble to pay the deficit, as we’ve seen in France to make the majority pay for the financial sector’s mistakes, is just obscene.

    It would seem Thatcher’s legacy, lives on.