[Guest post by Stuart Sorensen]
The twitter hashtag #nastyparty refers to the Conservative government (and by extension their silent LibDem collaborators). I’ve been thinking today about the damage the previous Tory government did during my youth and about the ‘never again’ resolve so many of us made when they finally were overturned in 1997. I’d been remembering some of the people I met during my homeless days and the despair and hopelessness we felt during the dark days of the mid to late 1980s. I’d been remembering the suicides of people I knew from street or hostel and the hopelessness that prevailed among the underclass that I’d become a part of in those desperate times.
So how come we got another ‘nastyparty’ government in 2010?
Yesterday, I was on strike. I haven’t been on strike before. It wasn’t a decision I took easily but was a considered thought as a result of weighing up the action that I judged to be necessary. I’m glad I was striking and wanted to share some of my perceptions of the day.
I started out early as I had offered to join a picket line outside my place of work. It was a picket line staffed mostly by social workers with a CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse) joining us. We had supplies of banners, leaflets and whistles to hand out to passers-by and those who were going to work.
We had resolved that, knowing the decisions we had each struggled to make, we would not be giving a ‘hard time’ to those who needed to go to work – whether union members or not – and indeed, we had people nipping out to offer us tea, coffee and biscuits during the morning. As for passers-by, they were very supportive save for one person who seemed to drive his car towards us at alarming speed and thought this constituted a ‘joke’. I suspect he regards Jeremy Clarkson as a role model. Continue reading