I’m completely open to the idea that in times of financial difficulty we should tighten our belts. If the country is massively in debt of course we need to fix that. But before you threaten to privatise our trees, abolish the Equality & Human Rights Commission and dozens of other bodies set up to care for people, can you explain why you are changing the tax laws so that less revenue comes from big business, and why you won’t introduce that minute percentage of ‘Robin Hood’ tax on the banks? And why not just pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq and say ‘Sorry, we’ve run out of cash’? If you did all that you wouldn’t need to cut would you?
Oh, another thing while I’ve got you on the phone, many members of the House of Lords and a lot of other people are saying that the Public Bodies Bill you are trying to get approved is unconstitutional. You want to change the law so that you don’t have to ask Parliament about whether you can make sweeping changes. That’s not democracy, that’s dictatorship – and people out there are planning a march of a million of us on March 26th against it.
But I want to thank you for one thing. You’ve woken the kids up! We all thought the younger generation weren’t political. ‘Where has the idealism gone?’ We used to moan. Your policies have managed to turn this around. As actor Ellie Paskell, from the BBC drama Waterloo Road, said yesterday in the rally outside Parliament: “It’s horribly ironic that the Tories want to abolish the Film Council when its most successful film, The King’s Speech, has been nominated for 12 Oscars. How dare they! They want to put a stop to the student protests because they’re scared — as they should be. The wool has been firmly lifted from my eyes and I’m not the only one.”