Saturday, 10 January 2015


Do you ever despair at the way corporate organisations dress up bad news for working class people as if it was good? Take yesterday’s announcement by the City of Edinburgh Council that it intends to sack 1,200 people and cut £67m from front line services. In true Orwellian tradition the Labour /SNP Council declared their decision would make the Council ‘more efficient’ and ‘improve customer services’. That will be right! Lets speak plainly. Edinburgh City Council services are already woefully inadequate. They cannot provide the basic levels of service presently demanded of them. Taking a further £67m out of the budget will not make that service better. It will make it worse, plainly. There was a time when politicians were honest and such cuts passed down from the Government were fought. It was a time many will believe never existed. But it did, really, Councillors were honest and courageous. They stood up for their constituents and reminded Governments of the promises they made at elections to improve services and improve the quality of life for citizens. Now they would rather lie and spin than take a stand. Everyone of Edinburgh’s 56 Councillors know full well the services they provide are inadequate and have been for many years. These cuts will not result in a ‘more efficient service and better customer satisfaction’. That is a fiction even they do not believe. There was also a time when the unions would mobilise their members and the wider community to oppose such cuts to jobs and services. But now they meekly settle for assurances there will be ‘no compulsory redundancies’. That is not good enough. The unions need to acquaint those members tempted to ‘take the money and run' what awaits them when they leave. When their redundancy money is long gone chances are they will end up in insecure jobs on zero hour contracts, earning poverty wages less than the living wage with no job satisfaction and no union protection. The Labour/ SNP coalition that runs Edinburgh Council should fight these cuts, but they won't. Edinburgh is the second richest city in Britain and yet the inequalities here are as bad as anywhere. The impact of another £67m of cuts and 1,200 more redundancies will be to widen that gap between the rich minority who barely ever use Council service and the working class majority who depend on them. This issue will, I’m sure, be an important feature of the forthcoming General election campaign in the city in May.

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