By Luke James
“I grew up in the '30s with an unemployed father.
He didn't riot. He got on his bike and looked for work, and he kept looking 'til he found it.”
Those are the infamous words of former Conservative Secretary for Employment (presumably someone was being ironic when they gave him that title) Norman Tebbit.
They are the words that inspire the latest generation of Conservatives who say they want to help people trapped in “ghettos of poverty” to move to find work.
The ghettos of poverty Iain Duncan Smith talks about are our communities, which now lack opportunities. The Tories solution to the poverty they are massively responsible for creating is now to try and destroy families and community, the glue that helps us through these tough times.
By ‘moving to work’ the Tories mean they want to see the same depopulation that helped destroy the Welsh language when people were lured, or forced, to move to work in Liverpool or London or even in Wales’ industrial cities.
What the Conservatives are engineering is a state where community is a commodity which can only be afforded by the well off and for the rest of us to be a transient population moving around the UK, with total disrespect for culture and language, in search of work.
The message the Conservatives want young people to hear loud and clear is that we have no right to expect to live near our family and friends, no right to continue living in the place we have been brought up and no right to expect to be able to find an affordable home there.
For many people that’s not a problem, it’s great to be able to ‘fly the nest’, perhaps for those of us who are lucky enough to go to university and then to some metropolis. But that dream becomes far less appealing when it is because of the hopelessness of your home not because of your ambitions.
It amazes me that the Conservatives can still claim to be the party of the family, purely based on their out dated views that the family is still mother, father and two point four children all under the same roof.
The Conservatives objection to the Welsh governments housing LCO earlier this year is also part of their agenda to smash community and create a roving population to serve to support the needs of the free market.
None of this is the ‘new politics’ David Cameron boasts of – to be fair at least Cameron hasn’t betrayed his party’s philosophy and purpose unlike Blair and New Labour.
In many ways I’m a conservative, I want to conserve my community, our nation, our culture and language and I won’t sit back and let it be destroyed so the shareholders of Capitalism PLC can reap the rewards.
So my suggestion, for now, how about we start making bikes for the Tories to get on or say cars, in Wales, and provide people with opportunities where they live. This isn’t a new idea, it is called sustainability, but the British parties are happy enough to just pay lip service to it.
As Dylan Thomas said ambition is critical, and it is but lets have ambition for ourselves, our communities and nation rather than allow a greedy few to tell us what’s good for the market is good for the people.
“Llifed dagrau'r gwangalon a llyfed y taeog y llawr
Er dued y fagddu o'n cwmpas, ry'n ni'n barod am doriad y wawr!”
“Let the faint-hearted keep wailing, let the serfs grovel and fawn
In spite of the darkness around us, we're ready to greet a new dawn.”
I for one am nobody's serf - bring on the referendum!
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