Monday, 3 February 2014

Cameron is the great divider

Britain is increasingly divided under this Government. Quite apart from the potential departure of Scotland, which is not of his making, Cameron is presiding over a worsening North:South (or more precisely South-East vs the Rest) divide and record inequality, as his plutocratic allies line their pockets at the expense of the vast majority. Consider, though, another divide: that between urban and rural economies. As public services, which have been the major source of jobs, are withdrawn to a starved rump; and "infrastructure investment" means glamour projects handed to yet more party-funding mates, those who live in out-of-sight areas are ignored.
For rural families the journey to work or school can be lengthy, complex and costly. Shops, banks and the library (if there is one still) are not round the well-lit street corner. Affordable housing has not been built for years and house-prices and rents are soaring, straining further squeezed household budgets. We now learn that poverty demonstrably inhibits learning and even access to a computer, which is today a sine qua non for students. Superfast broadband comes last to rural areas which need them all the more because of the dearth of other means to access affordable sources of goods and services.
Many rural constituencies are safe Tory seats needing no special attention to sustain allegiance. New houses must not be allowed to spoil the view from the Manor house, so rural poor are faced with having to leave their roots in favour of grotty urban estates.
Labour may have few chances to win seats in rural England but its values are just as needed as in populous towns and cities. We must find ways of joining isolated Labour voices into one loud one so that our issues are understood and we too are part of our One Nation, even without electoral propsects.

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