The Olympics, Public Funding/Cuts And David Cameron

THIS, is a big bug-bear of mine, I will do my utmost not to rant on the subject, but if I do, please excuse me and bear with me.

SO, Cameron and “long-leggy-Cleggy-weggy” are cutting public services and funds. Hardly surprising given the state the Euro’s impending self-destruction has left us in, amongst other things. But its the same old story, the rich get richer, and the poor don’t matter (what did we really expect from a Tory government though, seriously? does nobody remember “Maggie Thatcher the milk snatcher”?). This has been adequately demonstrated by Cameron’s dodgy “lets stop gifts to charities being tax-deductible” idea, an idea with the right intention, but going about it the wrong way. For those of you who don’t know what I refer to, I will endeavour to explain the best I can.

Cameron’s idea was to stop charitable donations being written off as tax-deductible, so that taxes wouldn’t be avoided by doing so. Fair comment, as the treasury currently needs all the public funds it can get, but in doing so, all he has managed to do, is make sure the charities now receive less donations, some of which could prove fatal for the smaller charities relying on big donations from richer individuals/corporations. Charities that are household name incidentally, not just the smaller more obscure charities. Charities that do so much good work, like MacMillan for example, could sadly, if the legislation goes ahead, become unworkable overnight.

It doesn’t take the brains of an Arch-Bishop to work out if they stop becoming tax-deductible, 70% of charitable donations will stop, now, do not for a minute think I am trying to suggest that ALL donations are for tax reasons, because I don’t believe this to be so,  I’m fairly certain that well-renowned philanthropists such as Sir Richard Branson couldn’t really give a hoot if its tax-deductible or not.

All this, from a man who cant even look after an 8 year child.

So, then we come to the Olympic games…. a farcical waste of public funding, and no attempts to convince me otherwise, will ever get me to believe that money would not have been better spent in the public services. God-knows how many Billions of pounds have been ploughed into this complete waste of time, money and energy (I forget the exact figures and am not about to make a tit out of myself by quoting the wrong figures) but lets just say this : how much of the cuts that have been made so far could have been avoided if the money from the Olympics had been ploughed into the public sector instead? My old school, previously one of the best in the area, has been assessed as “inadequate” in the latest OFFSTEAD report.

This is a school that had previously always been a centre of excellence, with a proud history and results to match, that has been reduced to one of the worst schools in the area due to lack of public funds. Co-incidence? I think not.

Hospitals, the James Paget hospital in Gorleston, the local hospital for the entire Great Yarmouth area, and a university hospital to boot, has also had one of the most damning reports on the latest inspections, this, to anyone who has ever had the misfortune of being admitted there will come as no shock, as it is currently the worst hospital I have ever been to, and has been as long as I can remember, the point is this, it COULD be so much more with adequate funding. Funding that should have by NO means ever have even been considered to be spent on hosting the Olympic games.

Local health authorities need SO much investment, just to keep them at an adequate standard that it is untrue, and here we are, throwing billions at an event that no-one is really bothered about any more. Mental health services are being cut further and further as the years go by, why? can anyone answer me that? given that current statistics show 3 in 4 of sufferers from mental health issues are NOT receiving treatment (SOURCE :–quarters-receive-NO-treatment.html?ito=feeds-newsxml) and now we come to the part where i may start ranting.

The mental health issue is very close to my heart, my wife, suffers  very acute mental health issues, and I am her carer. Over the last 3 years, I have seen cuts in mental health services, changes to this service, changes to that service, a new way of running things etc. ALL derisory to the patient, we are now at a point where my wife cannot even get funding to be in a respite centre for 2 days, yes that’s right, 2 days. A service desperately needed by her, and SO many others, patients and carers alike. The onus now is put on the carer, it seems to me to be if you have a carer, the mental health services stand back, not by choice I might add, by necessity, to help those who have greater need, and I understand that completely, I would not like to do their job (I have 10 years experience in working in mental health care prior to meeting my wife and know how hard it is) but again, the point is this, we are spending BILLIONS on one event, and ignoring the needs of those who needs it most, and somebody PLEASE, justify this to me….

My wife has had repeated suicide attempts, and mental health services are being cut whilst people struggle with coping with day-to-day life. FUCK THAT. I have to ask myself, of the hundreds of people who will take their own lives this year, how many could have been saved by investing the money from the Olympics into better health care, not just mental health care, but all round. A very powerful statement in itself when you think of it in that context. Do politicians not realise that we are talking REAL lives here, REAL people, REAL issues, and money is being thrown away on a SPORTING EVENT.

If one person that could have been saved, loses their life because the money spent on the Olympics should have been invested in the public sector, I think the whole Olympic committee who made the bid and the politicians who backed it, should be tried for their  involuntary manslaughter.

The issues are not restricted solely to schools and health, what about the 4000 service personnel who got their marching orders this week? 10 or so years of service to their country and all of a sudden, BOOM, thank you and goodbye. And we’re not talking privates and the like, we are talking seriously experienced soldiers, sailors and airmen, Including senior Non-Commissioned officers AND senior officers. I believe four Commodore’s were released by the Royal Navy, now, you don’t get to be a commodore by pushing paper around a desk your entire career. This blinding lack of judgement on the MOD’s behalf was, in truth more than likely forced, by the big-wigs at Whitehall and Downing street, than from any internal re-structuring, and yes, around 72% of them were voluntary redundancies, but I ask this : Would they have jumped if they weren’t pushed? I think the answer to that is more than likely a NO.

It is true, however that it will generate billions in revenue, it is oft overlooked however that this is to the businesses, and not to the Crown. Ok, the crown will take their share in taxes, more income = more taxes, right enough, but I for one will be shocked if income comes anywhere near expenditure on this little affair, even with taxes taken into consideration.

The London Olympic Games, 2012, Pride Of Britain? Or shame of a nation? you decide for yourself….


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