As we end a decade of Tory rule with a prime minister who is more right wing than any in recent memory, the fightback is far from over. The SUWN was set up in response to the first year of Tory ‘Austerity’ and attacks on the unemployed, and although the situation today looks frightening on so many levels, we mustn’t forget the gains that welfare activists have won. It’s not just the immediate changes, such as embarrassing companies to withdraw from workfare programmes, or the very notable change of attitude shown by many of the staff at the Dundee Jobcentre. We have won the public argument. Despite an election result in the rest of the UK that was skewed by Brexit and a right-wing media, people are aware of the attacks on benefits, even when they are not themselves affected, and they don’t like what they see.
And, while we shudder at the actions of the right-wing and fascist regimes now dominating so much of the world, we have to take heart from the scale of the protests against them. Whether we are marching with thousands, or standing in the rain outside Dundee Buroo, we are all fighting that same neoliberal system, which is quite literally destroying people’s lives and destroying humanity’s future. So, see you at the stalls, or at the protests against the next inevitable attacks, and at the climate protests and the Indy marches.
We are fighting for a better world – but just in case you need a reminder of what we are fighting against, here is a short message from Sir IDS:
Iain Duncan Smith’s my name
A bold knight of the realm
Slaying welfare is my game
The weak to overwhelm
My Easterhouse epiphany
Taught me about the poor
Now bow the knee in front of me
You vagabond outlaw!
Oh, welcome me Sir IDS
All righteous lures I’ve spurned
To make you live on less and less
My title is well-earned
To tax the rich would count as theft
So just restrain your tears
The legacy that I have left
Will last a hundred years
And if you died in my crusade
A piece of glory’s yours
Your death has seen my future made
You’ve helped a noble cause
BEST WISHES FOR 2020 AND THE NEW DECADE OF STRUGGLE!