All for one? / 12 February 2014
Daily I see examples of hero communities rescuing vulnerable neighbours from floods. Real proof that community still exists in this country.
I also see these vulnerable people trusting their neighbours with their personal safety and in some cases with the safety of their homes. The fitter, healthier folk are donning their wellies and waders and mucking in. The institutions we might have assumed were responsible for our safety and welfare have been exposed as unready, unable and unwilling.
People are giving generously of themselves, but we all know, we all think, that this task of looking after our country is one we have elected and are paying eager people to do. People who promise us a standard of living, safeguards, improvements and some kind of hope.
These same people are in the process of promising us less. They want the same money, but are proposing that we, in return for less tax will get less service. They are in effect saying that it's not enough to don wellies and ferry your vulnerable neighbours to safety, not enough to donate food to your local food bank to feed hungry people in your community, not enough to be a volunteer driver to take sick people to hospitals and surgeries for treatment. Not enough to volunteer assistance to keep law and order in your community.
I'm not knocking volunteers, but I'm not going to vote for anyone who says pay less tax and get less service; get less when you are sick, frail, old, unable or disabled.
Pay less tax and watch vulnerable people get frightened, pushed to the brink, victimised. Pay less tax and dread old age, sickness and disability.
Pay less tax and stand alone. In a sea of isolated people each looking out for themselves you will be competing with your neighbour and when it is your turn to be that vulnerable person, will you be able to trust the competition?
Where are the people who will resist spending gigantic sums of money to save smaller amounts?
Where are the people who will resist the slash and spend?
Where are the people who will invest wisely in people, in communities?
And where are the people who will ask for the kind of taxes that will make this country a fairer place to live?