Deficit, deficit, deficit. No matter what the problem, the cause, the effect, the Prime Minister's response is unwavering: stick to the deficit reduction plan. When you are in a hole stop digging is generally good advice but such an analogy is unlikey to register. David Blanchflower has laid out the problem facing us in an article for the New Statesman in which he says: It is becoming increasingly apparent that Cameron is a) totally out of his depth when it comes to the economy; b) has no clue what to do to fix the problem; c) has little sympathy for those who are less fortunate than he is. He just doesn't care. But it is extremely unlikely that Deficit Dave will take any notice as illustrated in an earlier article for The Telegraph by Damian Thompson.
Dave's latest gem to be dropped on the working classes is to advise parents to take their children to work during strikes. I can only assume he shot that one from the hip without giving any thought to child protection, health and safety or even the logistics of trying to work with an eye on the kids after possibly doubling the occupancy in the workplace - "when it is safe for them to do so" of course. A useful get out! For people in a less privileged position struggling to make ends meet, life is not that simple especially for the elderly.
Today's shocking report on care of the elderly at home illustrates how detached from reality politicians have become. 'Care' has been downgraded in hospitals and at home to the extent that many 'carers' just don't care any longer. Hospital nurses and District nurses have been elevated to the status of semi-medical professionals no longer soiling their hands on menial tasks yet it is precisely the intimate care that made 'nursing' what it was before accountants re-defined 'care'. Without proper care the entire system is in a state of collapse in hospitals, care homes and in people's own homes where 'home care' has become a 15 min visit. Today's carers are among the poorest paid with an undervalued status. This must change. If carers were better rewarded financially and in their status, genuine caring people may be attracted to what much of nursing care was all about. This is one deficit that cannot be ignored.