5,000 people turned up to march on the Lib Dem spring conference in Sheffield on Saturday. £2 million was spent on security to protect them so we weren’t allowed to get anywhere near them and surprise, surprise, Nick Clegg didn’t come out to speak to us despite his claiming that he and his ministers wouldn’t hide away. I went to speak at the rally after Linda Burnip (from DPAC) asked for a volunteer (speaker for Disabled people ). This was what I tried to say although speakers were curtailed to a few minutes each.
“Apparently we are all in this together.
Apparently the country doesn’t have any money.
Apart from the
* £2 million that we are paying for the security to protect the Coalition govt Lib Dem millionaires, including Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne, inside our City Hall.
* Apart from the £20 million that we are paying for Will and Kate’s wedding.
* Apart from the £6.5 million bonus that the boss of Barclays bank is getting.
* Apart from the £20 billion of our money that the British govt have spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
Apart from, according to Nick Clegg last April, the £100 billion it will cost us to replace Trident.
Apart from the £210bn in avoided, evaded and uncollected taxes according to the Public and Commercial Services Union who organise Inland Revenue Staff, so they should know!
That is how they spend our money.
Yet the Lib Dem Coalition govt says that it is your fault – students, disabled people, pensioners, trade unionists – that the country has a budget deficit.
They say we must pay for the deficit with the destruction of the welfare state.
* The Liberals and their Tory friends say the NHS must pay with cuts of £20bn and the loss of 53,000 jobs including 6,346 jobs in mental health services by 2015.
* The ConDems say public services must pay with spending cuts of £31.9bn and job losses of 725,000 by 2015.
* The Liberals meeting today in City Hall say that poor people must pay with welfare spending cuts of £11bn.
They say that workers in the public sector must pay by having their pay frozen for 2 years.
* The Liberals and Tories (is there any difference any more?) all say that children must pay with a 3-year freeze in Child Benefit.
* The ConDems say that 3,000 council workers in Nottingham must pay by losing their jobs.
They say that public sector workers must pay through cuts in their pensions.
Our own council in Sheffield – run by the Lib Dems – says that the youth training charity Sheffield Futures must pay by losing 28% of their funding.
* Sheffield’s Lib Dem Council says that South Yorkshire Police have to pay with £40m of savings and 1,100 job cuts.
They say that 270 Sheffield council workers have to pay with their jobs.
They said that Sheffield Forgemasters had to pay by axing an £80m loan to them.
* The Liberals and Tories say that 120 carers in Barnsley have to pay by losing their jobs.
The Coalition govt says that disabled people have to pay by losing their Disability Living Allowance, by losing Employment Support Allowance after 12 months, support from the Independent Living Fund which has been abolished, support from the DWP Access to Work scheme that enables many of us to work and pay taxes, by having our housing benefit cut which will put up to 450,000 disabled people at risk of losing their homes according to independent BBC research and the National Federation of Housing Associations, and by disabled people living in residential homes losing their Mobility Allowance,
Disabled people are more likely to be unqualified, unemployed with only 47% being in paid employment in 2009, be paid less than non-disabled people, experience barriers to employment, incur more expense as a result of living with an impairment, have to rely on public services and live in low-income families.
* The ConDems say that the Big Society will provide the services lost through the cuts. We are told by the Tories and their LibDem allies that the Big Society is supposed to be about communities taking more control, more charitable giving, social enterprises taking on a bigger role, people establishing public services themselves.
The Big Society is a big con that is headed by the big con himself – David Cameron – supported by his lackeys – the Lib Dems
The Big Society is a cover up for the cuts being made by Nick Clegg and his mates the Tories whilst they award contracts like the £500m one given to the French owned company Atos, to bully people, like those with terminal cancer back into work, and harass people such as a former miner in Chesterfield whose family say they believe the stress of undergoing 2 Atos medical assessments led to his death from heart failure.
The main difference between the Big Society and the Big Issue is that some people buy the Big Issue.
The Lib Dems didn’t have to have their spring conference here in Sheffield where:
270 council workers face losing their jobs
1,100 staff from South Yorkshire Police face losing their jobs
A £80million loan for Sheffield Forgemaster was axed.
156 job cuts are expected in Barnsley NHS
145 job cuts are expected from Doncaster NHS
Having their conference here demonstrates their contempt for people here in Sheffield and South Yorkshire.
· Yesterday in the House of Commons, Labour had an opportunity to vote against the Coalition’s planned attacks on Disabled People, but they abstained! Trade unions, which have been described in the past as ‘Lions led by donkeys’, now need to take a lead too! Organising a mass demo of 2 milllion plus on 26th March is great, but that has to be just the start. Demonstrating is not enough.
· Disabled People call upon the TUC and the public sector trade union leaders to join with us, with students and others to take action now before it is too late to save our NHS, to save our public services, to save our universities, our schools, our jobs, our city, our country.
Disabled People say Rights Not Charity.
Disabled People say Can’t pay, Won’t pay.
Disabled People say “We have no time to waste, a new campaign coalition is needed; a coalition that brings together both disabled and non-disabled people. We need an active voice in the mainstream – a voice that challenges the lies about DLA, exposes the real agenda – cuts in welfare – and combats the ideology that says DLA should only be for the “most vulnerable”, If we don’t all stand up and be counted then many of us will see our benefits stolen from us by one hand and a one-way ticket to the euthanasia clinic Dignitas in Switzerland offered by the other!”
We say to Nick Clegg and the other traitors inside that building = shame, shame, shame on you. Shame on you for turning blue.