Image from AMP
Doncaster is an area that is going to be particularly hard hit by the forthcoming cuts. The Tories ravaged our communities a quarter of a century ago and now the ConDem coalition seems determined to finish what they started. Thousands of jobs are at risk and those who find themselves on the dole will be threatened with the new draconian welfare laws. Our kids education and further education is under threat as essential funding is withdrawn from the area and tuition fees are raised. Our one-star council is already one of the worst in the country (among the bottom 4!) and now things look like they’re about to get a whole lot worse.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can work together to create a brighter future for our region. The collection of towns and villages that make up Doncaster are filled with immensely talented people, relatively strong communities and the skills and resources needed to organise a strong local infrastructure which would protect us from the ravishes of the cuts and help us build a better future for our kids.
It may be unfashionable nowadays but we have hope. Politicians of every creed recognise that there is a widespread desire – and need – for political change, but all we ever get from political parties is more of the same. Parliament, MPs and local government cannot deliver, they are tools of the rich and powerful; change will only come, as it always has, from the people themselves. As Peter Kropotkin said: “It is the action of minorities, action continued, renewed without ceasing, which brings about this transformation. Courage, devotion, the spirit of self-sacrifice are as contagious as cowardice, submission and panic.” The welfare state and all the liberties and rights that we currently enjoy were not freely granted by benevolent leaders (there’s no such thing!), they are concessions hard won with the blood, sweat and lives of generations of working class people – your ancestors – who showed the courage, devotion and self-sacrifice needed to bring about real change (get yourself a copy of E. P. Thompson’s ‘The Making of the English Working Class‘ to find out just how wonderful they were). If we lose ground now we will have let them down; do you want to be remembered as a generation frozen by cowardice, submission and panic? If not then you’d better get organised. Join the anti-cuts protests; support the students; show solidarity with the unemployed. Then, when we’ve stopped the ConDem juggernaut, we must work together to build something better for the next generation. As Ghandi said: ‘you must be the change you want to see in the world.’