I notice that Neo-Labour are trying to get in on the 'Bash Kiely' action over the privatisation of home care. The Neo-Labour Ashley candidate, Ricky Nelson, goes in for a bit of a dig writing in the spring '07 newsletter;
"The LibDems wouldn't listen to massive protests and have decided to to privatise home care. The women 'home helps' get £7 an hour but the Lib Dems don't mind if they get even less in the private sector. Labour wanted this fully debated at Council but they lost the vote..."
First off, the Lib Dems are totally wrong to privatise home care. It is a snide money saving trick that will backfire in the long run. But the CHEEK and audacity of Neo-Labour's propaganda is staggering. Totally staggering.
The first point that needs to be made is that the council tax only makes up about 25% of local government income. The rest comes from business rates and central government. So if the councils need more money the government could give it to them to help out. For example if they had not gone and spent £5 BILLION on the Iraq war – we might have more to spend on local services. Some people try to say that this issue is about local issues and national issues don't count. The reality is that they do. Taxation is a limited pot and when you are spending it on bombs, there is less for home care.
Second, a Neo-Labour complaint that somebody ignores massive protests? This total HIPOCRACY from the party who ignored the largest ever protest in UK history to take us into a genocidal war that has cost well over 600,000 lives and may cost over $2 TRILLION by the time it is done (if it is ever done?). Total hypocrisy.
Third – While the Lib Dems have quietly adopted privatisation, for Neo-Labour it is a front-rank policy. Notice they don't say that are opposed to the plan, only they wanted to 'debate' it some more. Seems to me it leaves the backdoor open for them to do the same if elected. Neo-labour's reign has been marked by mass privatisation of the huge areas of the public sector. Total hypocrisy.
On the subject of the local elections, I chatted to a canvaser from the Green Party in Ashley and he seems confident that they could actually win the seat following their doorstep chats. The Greens at least do openly say that they oppose privatization, although their one councillor abstained on the vote and seems to regret that choice. So he should.
There is an anti-privatisation protest on Friday, 20 April, 2pm, on St Marks Rd, Easton, BS5.