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  • Published in Analysis
Theresa May's leader's speech at Conservative Party Conference 2018. Photo: YouTube

Theresa May's leader's speech at Conservative Party Conference 2018. Photo: YouTube

We can't afford the Tories, we need to get them out of office before any more damage is done, argues John Rees

Just the other day Philip Hammond let the truth out, he said austerity would continue. Today Theresa May declared that Tory austerity has paid off and the end is in sight. Let's have a look at the facts:

The UK economy has undergone its worst decade for economic growth since the late 19th century. Working people’s incomes have just undergone their sharpest decline since Charles Dickens was writing Hard Times.

And it’s not just that life is getting harder, either. It’s actually getting shorter. Austerity has now had such an impact that life expectancy is in decline. Perhaps that shouldn’t surprise us, since Britain’s pensioners are the worst off in Europe.

Nor is it just the old who are suffering. So are NHS patients. Since the Tories came to power in 2010 there has been a 665 percent (yes, Six Hundred and Sixty-five percent) increase in those waiting over 4 hours to see a doctor in Accident and Emergency wards.

Even the police, usually immune to Tory cuts, have lost 23,000 officers. And while there are fewer police on the streets there are a record number of homeless on the streets as the figures for rough sleeping peak again. 

Schools are without basic equipment, and are being ripped off by private corporations. The rail system is a privatised and hyper-expensive shambles.

Record numbers of young people cannot afford to buy a roof to go over their head, leaving them prey to rack-renting private landlords.

There is a very great danger in all of this, even beyond the damage that is being done to the ability of working people to have a decent and secure life.

It is this: the cuts have been going on so long that we don’t realise that the country has reached a tipping point.

Services were already threadbare. But now huge holes are opening up right across the fabric of society.

And through those gaps pour the populist right and the racist thugs.

We cannot let this go on. The Tories are too divided, too shambolic, too removed from the lives of ordinary citizens to know or care what needs to be done. This government-in-name-only must go.

We have already paid too much and too long. We are broke. And the Tories need to be out of office before any more damage is done.

The People's Assembly are launching a new campaign on November 8: Britain is Broken, We can't afford the Tories. For more details about the launch and tour dates please sign up for our newsletter.

John Rees

John Rees

John Rees is a writer, broadcaster and activist, and is one of the organisers of the People’s Assembly. His books include ‘The Algebra of Revolution’, ‘Imperialism and Resistance’, ‘Timelines, A Political History of the Modern World’, ‘The People Demand, A Short History of the Arab Revolutions’ (with Joseph Daher) and ‘A People’s History of London’ (with Lindsey German). He is co-founder of the Stop the War Coalition.

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