I am a woman of quiet values, I vote at every election and referendum. I read widely across the media, I watch interviews on Newsnight and on Andrew Marr. I take in everything, but rarely open my mouth; why bother when there are those much more politically articulate than me, more passionate about their cause, more able to instigate change. But I can stand no more.
I am a woman of quiet actions. Food banks are my own personal cause. I know what empty cupboards and having a hungry child can be like. I don’t like to think too hard about the empty bellies of the children my donations feed, I quietly collect what I can, non-perishable items which are sent to whichever local foodbank shouts the loudest that week. This is England. This is 2014. We should not have hungry, malnourished children living and dying in extremes of poverty.
I am a woman of quiet pain. My story is no secret. I have a debilitating spinal injury. I am in pain every day and will be in pain every day for the rest of my life. Right now it is a level of pain I can manage and cope with. Without the NHS I would be at best paralysed in a wheelchair, or worse, dead. I used to work for the NHS, I know what it achieves every single day, what miracles it performs, it’s not perfect, but it’s a billion times better than any alternative and it is worth fighting for. We must not lose it.
I am a woman who quietly notices. I see more homeless people on our streets. I hear of friends who have lost their homes and are “sofa surfing” until they can get back on their feet again, but that might not ever happen. I see children staying in hostels and B&Bs, wholly unsuitable places to raise a child, but better than the streets. I notice more soup kitchens, more shelters, more help needed. Government cuts biting hard at the most vulnerable in our society.
I am a woman with a quiet voice. But it doesn’t make my words less valuable. I am prepared to stand up and argue. I won’t be waving any placards anytime soon, but I will do what I can in my own way. The world is full of people like me, introverts with quiet voices and passionate hearts. As Stephen Hawking once said “quiet people have the loudest minds”.
Don’t underestimate the public and the strength of feeling about the current regime. No government pleases all of the people all of the time, but any government which gleefully pushes families into poverty, sanctions the sick, brushes the homeless under the carpet and at the same time gives themselves a whopping pay rise isn’t a benevolent, caring, supportive government serving its people.
I’m not seeing any significant positive economic changes as a result of these apparently cost saving measures, only poorer people getting poorer and hungrier, the vulnerable being victimised and treated unjustly and the systematic breaking up and selling off of the public service infrastructure of this country. The UK is a not for profit organisation. It should be run by the people, for the people, not by the privileged, for the privileged. This is why Cameron must go.