Apologises for the lack of blogging lately. Been rather busy with essays, football match against BUCF (kinda) and general stuff back up north. Anyway, in that time there have been HUGE events in which I’d like to focus on. The NHS reforms (naturally), Portugal bail-out (naturally again) and University Minister, David Willetts, on Feminism.
First off, all I have to say on the NHS reforms is, thank god! No one wants these reforms. The BMA opposes it, the Lib Dems oppose it, 60% of GPs oppose the reforms and none other than Lord Tebbit opposes the reforms. If your too right-wing for Lord Tebbit, you know your policies have huge issues. Ian Duncan-Smith (IDS) even admitted that waiting times were already rising due to real term cuts to the NHS. Lansley has been hung out to dry by Cameron, lets only hope his reforms can also, permanently.
Now, naturally with the announcement of the bail-out for Portugal, Gideon jumped on the austerity bandwagon to claim that the cuts were right to prevent a similar situation occurring here in the UK. But if you stop, think and compare us, Portugal and other nation-states that have been bailed out you’ll see that this isn’t the case. For one thing, it’s important to note that prior to the bail-out, Portugal had had two austerity measures and three rises in VAT. Similarly, Ireland had been praised by the IMF in 2008 for “courageous” action for its austerity measures in an attempt to deal with its deficit. This naturally says something more about the problems of austerity than the problems of deficit/debt. For another thing, to say that Britain’s economy is anyway similar to Portugal’s/Ireland’s/Greece’s is absolutely ludicrous. We for one have a far, far larger economy than that of those countries, we have far more time to pay back our debts and most plainly of all, we’re not in the Euro so we can devalue our currency raise and lower interest rates. So please Gideon, don’t jump on the scaremongering bandwagon.
Finally, probably the least well known of the issues I’m focusing on is David Willetts’ comments on Feminism. Now, if you’ve been living in a cave the last couple of weeks what he said was that feminism was the “single biggest factor” for the lack of social mobility in Britain, as women who would otherwise have been housewives had taken university places and well-paid jobs that could have gone to ambitious working-class men. Now this is wrong and completely degrading on so many levels. Don’t get me wrong, Labour really didn’t do enough to tackle social mobility while in government. But feminism is in no way the cause of the problem. The true problem is the lack of aspiration from schools and deprived regions of the country to want young people to aim higher and also the problems of money that entail that. These comments also leave a more distasteful message. It is the assumption that women are out there, taking men’s jobs. Willets’ idea that women’s primary place is in the domestic household represents nothing less than a subliminal form of sexism. This is only exacerbated when he went onto excuse his comments with “It is not that I am against feminism,”.
This hasn’t been a good couple of weeks for the coalition.