“I warn you not to be ordinary. I warn you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill. I warn you not to get old.”
On the day that we learnt that youth unemployment is pushing 1,000,000; on the day that the National Health Service was dealt another blow by the House of Lords; and as the UCU begins industrial action to protest at the attacks upon the pensions of university staff, I’ve had the words of two Labour politicians on my mind.
The first is Neil Kinnock’s warning in 1983 when a Tory general election victory was imminent. He said: “I warn you not to be ordinary. I warn you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill. I warn you not to get old.”
The second is Nye Bevan’s speech on the eve of the National Health Service:
‘…no amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party that inflicted those bitter experiences on me. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin. They condemned millions of first-class people to semi-starvation. Now the Tories are pouring out money in propaganda of all sorts and are hoping by this organised sustained mass suggestion to eradicate from our minds all memory of what we went through. But, I warn you young men and women, do not listen to what they are saying now. Do not listen to the seductions of Lord Woolton He is a very good salesman. If you are selling shoddy stuff you have to be a good salesman. But I warn you they have not changed, or if they have they are slightly worse than they were.’
I despise the Conservative Party. And have nothing but utter contempt for their Lib Dem lickspittles.
I don’t want to live in a country that thinks there is any virtue in making a profit out of the sick and dying.
I don’t want to live in a country that can throw 1.000,000 kids onto the dole and then talk about them like it’s somehow their fault for not being sufficiently employable.
And I don’t want to live in a country were the elderly and retired, after working all their adult lives, are treated like a burden.
So I’ll be taking every opportunity to do something about it. It’s a priority.