Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Tories are coming to Manchester!

So it's conference season again and we've already had Greens & Lib-Dems conferences with Labour's conference ending tomorrow. This Sunday the Conservative Party are coming to Manchester until next Wednesday. This will mean for perhaps a whole week several roads will be closed to give way for delegates to the conference. It also means there will be a lot of people protesting in Manchester. This Sunday the TUC have organised a march against the NHS reforms the coalition government has brought forward where I'm expecting at least 5,000 people to show up.

The Conservatives came to Manchester just 2 years ago to the same venue, Manchester Central (formerly the GMEX Centre) and I was at the march then. Difficult to estimate figures of how many people turned up, but it was several thousand. Now that we've seen a lot of the reforms which were promised 2 years ago, I expect a lot more people to show up this time round. I was at the back of the march with the animal rights activists who oppose the government's plan for the badger cull, which has now gone ahead in 2 pilot zones (see my previous post on the badger cull here: http://jakewelsh.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/why-badger-cull-should-not-go-ahead.html). There were roughly 500 animal rights activists. Stuck at the end I wasn't sure if we were getting the most coverage that we could. But at least we were together and not all over the place, mixed up with everyone else.

Lots of people up and down the country are angry with what this government is doing. Sweeping welfare reforms that have torn families apart. The bedroom tax that means some people have to move out of a cheap 2 or 3 bedroom house and move to a much more expensive 1 bed flat all in the name of saving money while multi-millionaires who have 10 spare bedrooms don't get any penalties. The introduction of Universal Credit will make it harder for people to budget, and will reduce the amount of benefits people could claim. New private contracts in the NHS which signal the deepening of privatisation of the NHS. The badger cull will murder over 70% of all wild badgers in England. Major cuts to the budgets of almost all councils in the country. All this while the richest people in the country have been getting a 5% tax break. There's more than enough reason to come out and protest.

The march is starting at Liverpool Street and sets off around 11am. The march will finish at Whitworth Park at the beginning of Rusholme/Curry Mile so hey we can all go for a curry of falafel afterwards! I'll possibly be there with the anti-badger cull group again, but there's plenty of other groups you can join in along the march. I'll see you there, right?

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