“The cuts are necessary, there is no alternative.”We are told that it is vital to reduce the deficit, and that the only way of doing this is to cut public spending. This is certainly not the case. There are alternatives, but the government chooses to ignore them, highlighting the fact that the cuts are based on ideology, not necessity.
- One alternative is to clamp down on tax dodging by corporations and the rich, estimated to cost the state £95bn a year
- Another is to make the banks pay for a crisis they created: last year they paid out over £7bn in bonuses and just four banks made £24bn in profit
“The cuts are fair, we are all in this together.”Since the banking crisis:
- average pay of FTSE 100 directors has risen 55%,
- corporation tax has been cut,
- the government have not delivered on a manifesto pledge to clamp down on tax avoidance, instead cutting staff at HMRC,
- bank profits and bonuses are back in the many billions,
- there has been no reform of the banks.
The government are forced to claim that the cuts are necessary as they know that people would never accept them otherwise. By repeating the same lies over and over again, they hope to brainwash people into inaction.
There are alternatives to the cuts, and we are not all in this together. But unless we take action, and take the facts to our friends, our families and those around us, they will get away with it.
On October 27th 2010, just one week after George Osborne announced the deepest cuts to public services since the 1920s, around 70 people ran along Oxford Street, entered Vodafone’s flagship store and sat down. We had shut down tax-dodging Vodafone’s flagship store.
At that point, UK Uncut only existed as #ukuncut, a hashtag someone had dreamed up the night before the protest. As we sat in the doorway, chanting and handing leaflets to passersby, the hashtag began to trend around the UK and people began to talk about replicating our action. The idea was going viral. The seething anger about the cuts had found an outlet. Just three days later and close to thirty Vodafone stores had been closed around the country.
We start with some simple points of agreement. The brutal cuts to services about to be inflicted by the current Government are unnecessary, unfair and ideologically motivated. The coalition are particularly fond of two obscene catchphrases: ‘There is no alternative’ and ‘We’re all in this together.’ Both slogans are empty and untrue. The cuts will dismantle the welfare state, send inequality sky-rocketing and hit the poorest and most vulnerable hardest. A cabinet of millionaires have decided that libraries, healthcare, education funding, voluntary services, sports, the environment, the disabled, the poor and the elderly must pay the price for the recklessness of the rich.
Austerity-economics is the policy of the powerful. It cannot be stopped by asking nicely. We cannot wait until the next election. If we want to win the fight against these cuts (and we can win) then we must make it impossible to ignore our arguments and impossible to resist our demands. This means building a powerful grassroots mass movement, able to resist the Government cuts at every turn.
UK Uncut hopes to play a small part in this movement. In only a few months, from a single action in London, UK Uncut has spread to up to fifty-five towns and cities. Everyone from pensioners to teenagers, veterans to newbies have already joined our actions in towns from Aberdeen to Aberystwyth. We have proved that there is anger at these cuts, that the idea of mass apathy is a myth and that people are willing to do more than just join a Facebook group to stand up and defend what they believe in.
Even if you have never been on a protest before, please join us. UK Uncut makes it easy to either join or organise an inspiring, effective protest wherever you are. Vodafone’s own slogan is ‘Power to You.’ It couldn’t be more appropriate.
Now is the time to get angry, to get organised and to build a resistance to austerity.
See you on the high streets.