Watch the cuts. Miss the bigger picture.

I had intended to go to London yesterday to join the quarter of a million or so saying that “cuts are unacceptable”, but I wasn’t early enough for the coach and so went for the Chiltern service to Marylebone. I was warned that there was a coach service for a significant section where the line is being upgraded to provide a quicker service in advance of HS1.
I note that The Guardian is seeking a “cuts watch” section asking volunteers to monitor specific areas. Problem is cuts aren’t just cuts, they getting rid of public services to introduce something else. In Birmingham we are faced with two new “Free Schools” this September. They come unplanned but as a result to allow any Tom, Dick or Harriet to open a school and to do so with their own curriculum, staff, pay rates and conditions qualified or not. Is this just a cut? Of course not it is s complete change of ideology. A few years ago it mattered that we had a “National Curriculum” so that no one deviated from a narrowly devised nationalistic choice of “knowledge”. When money is the guiding factor you can teach anything -which could include any crackpot extremist agenda.
Yesterday the Labour Party and friends in the labour movement reclaimed the protest – even though they themselves uphold a programme of cutting, if not so far or fast. They do not contest the idea that a redistribution of wealth has meant that resources have passed into fewer hands, but then they were perpetrators of privatisation. Blair and co. followed a Thatcherite agenda to privatise more and more public services, including prisons. Did Thatcher dare do this?

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