Orwell warned us to be afraid of the ‘Big Society’ idea

SO WHAT are we really to make of David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’?

Only time will tell, as they say, and this lot’s self-imposed title of the ‘listening government’ will be just another case of ‘listen, ignore and then cut’, which we all know will also be heavily disguised.

They have also said that we should all help more in the community but, with these cuts causing more joblessness and people having more time on their hands, this is the complete reality of what Cameron really means by helping in the community.

We are now being told that it was the previous Government that broke Britain, but let’s face up to it and see that it was really the banks that broke Britain. They then went and gave their shareholders massive pay-outs at the expense of ordinary investors and savers, many of whom have lost life savings by putting their hard-earned money into these banks in the first place.

Conservatism and banking has always gone pretty much hand-in-hand – something that many of us won’t even be able to afford soon! So on this alone, I say let the bankers start all this voluntary helping in the community. Have we all forgotten so soon about Mrs Thatcher when she advocated that those with mental problems should be taken out of hospitals and be into their relatives’ care in the community, who could do a better job.

We all know now how that has turned out.

The so-called ‘Big Society’ will make society just the opposite. It will become small and insular and make those who are really in need become more and more desperate by leaving them on their own to try to survive the daily grind.

Public services will be done on the cheap and things like your weekly bin collections will get less and less, but no doubt we will all get more and more bins to add to the multi-coloured collection we have at the moment.

Now, there is also talk of parents creating their own schools. This again will just turn us into an elitist educational society as those with the money will rule the roost and those from the lesser well-off areas will be pushed aside. This will see those from areas that just need a little push and help, like they do in today’s system, ostracised permanently.

The little spark that would be lit and encouraged to burn brightly in the future will be extinguished for good. Some years ago the literary genius of his time wrote about the big society of the future. His name was George Orwell. We were warned then. This isn’t the ‘Big Brother’ of the reality TV series, this is past predictions on our doorsteps now. I half expect to hear Big Ben strike thirteen times any day now. Remember, we were warned.

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Tory donor’s firm will make millions from NHS shake-up

A private health firm is set to rake in millions from a shake-up of the NHS – eight months after the boss’s wife donated £21,000 to Tory health secretary Andrew Lansley.

Care UK expects to earn a fortune in the biggest reform of the NHS for 60 years as private companies win a lucrative role in providing services to local GPs.

As one of the UK’s biggest healthcare providers, it already runs GP surgeries, NHS walk-in centres and cares for half a million people a year.

And Mr Lansley faces accusations of a conflict of interest for accepting a donation from the wife of John Nash, chairman of Care UK at the time of the donation.

The row comes amid warnings that Mr Lansley’s shake-up will cost thousands of jobs and represents a giant gamble with the nation’s health.

There is also mounting anger that not a word of his plans was put before voters at the election.

Nor was it mentioned in the Tories’ coalition agreement with the Lib Dems.

The Health Secretary accepted Caroline Nash’s money in November to help pay for the running of his private office. The hand-out came just weeks after her husband predicted future Government policy would help make his company – which earns 96 per cent of its money from the NHS – even richer.

Mr Nash stood down as chairman in March, when Care UK sold out to a private equity firm, but he is still a consultant. Unite’s nursing spokesman Barrie Brown said: “These dangerous and untested ConDem plans will see private companies given an even greater stake in the NHS.

“And it is particularly alarming how one of the biggest private healthcare firms out there could be so closely aligned to Mr Lansley.”

Dr John Lister, of campaign group Health Emergency, added: “The fact that the man in charge of dismantling the NHS has taken cash from one of the companies looking to profit from his plans stinks.” Under Mr Lansley’s plans announced last week, primary care trusts will be scrapped and family doctors given £80billion to spend.

Now private companies are gearing up to help GPs manage their new roles in a market worth up to £500million.

A spokesman for Care UK said yesterday: “The donation was from our former chairman’s wife, who we understand regularly makes donations to the Conservative Party.”

This post was first published on The Mirror

Up to 40% of police jobs ‘to be cut’

Up to 60,000 police jobs could be lost as a result of government spending cuts, a study suggests.

The study, based on public spending projections from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), found the “worst-case” scenario could see 40% of the total workforce being axed across England and Wales by 2015.

It warns that over the next five years at least 11,500 police officer and staff posts could be axed and that this figure could reach 60,000 when the government completes its spending review in the autumn.

Tim Brain, the recently retired chief constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary and now Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Cardiff University, estimates that funding levels to the police force could reduce by 6.7% over the next five years, and the cuts will vary across forces. Looking at the impact on police pay, he predicts that there will be no pay increases between 2014 and 2015.

The study comes only a month after home secretary Theresa May said front-line police activity should be increased.

According to figures released by the British Crime Survey (BCS) today, there were 900,000 fewer crimes in England and Wales last year – lower than when Labour came to office in 1997. Shadow Policing Minister David Hanson MP told BBC news last night that such progress is likely to be reversed by the government’s actions.

“We need to ask serious questions about the Government’s commitment to reducing crime and protecting the British people.”

There has always been a progressive case for strong safeguards against criminals who rip off and terrorise mainly people in working class communities. But these priorities are not Tory priorities.

Tories say ‘we’re all in this together’ as they vote themselves huge hikes in pay and perks

As the government attempts to suggest that “we’re all in this together” at a time of deep cuts to public services, it has today emerged that Tory councillors have awarded themselves pay rises of up to 100 per cent.

The Conservatives were accused of hypocrisy after Barnet Council voted for large hikes in its allowances and the Tory-run Local Government Association recommended a wider pay rise of 2.3 per cent for all councillors.

Barnet council last night authorised huge increases in the taxpayer-funded allowances for its politicians.

Council leader Lynne Hillan will now be entitled to £64,824 a year — an instant pay rise of £19,941.

The allowance payable to cabinet members will rocket by 99 per cent from £17,454.50 to £34,780.