Defend sheltered housing
Continue to campaign against the axing of sheltered housing wardens – in Barnet, where it is being carried out by the nasty Tories, and nationally where it is being carried out by the nasty Tories and nasty Lib Dems – not forgetting that it’s the fault of nasty Labour in the first place for removing the ring fence from the Supporting People budget.
Barnet’s Tories, predominantly the woman who is now leader of the council, Lynne Hillan, thought this would go through without too much opposition – anger, yes, but not actual opposition. They were wrong, there has been a vigorous campaign led mainly by Barnet’s own David Young, plus Sheltered Housing UK (SHUK) and Barnet Community Campaign (BCC) and Barnet trades council.
And, with a little help from Judge Milwyn Jarman QC, the move to axe has now been ruled ILLEGAL. Barnet council’s only recourse, if they want to persist in making these cuts, is to appeal the legal decision. Are they politically hard-nosed enough – in other words, sufficiently NASTY - to do it, especially with the council elections looming?
Future Shape of Barnet council
Continue to insist that Barnet residents should shape their own future, not have a budget airlines model of council service delivery foisted upon them. The trades council and BCC will seek residents’ views, and debate the issues raised by the Tories’ proposals, for example, to fast-track planning applications where applicants are prepared to pay a bit extra. We will press the Tories to specify what they regard as core services and what as extras that residents will have to pay more on top of the council tax they already pay to receive.
Cut the social roots of the far-right
Combat the threat posed by the far-right BNP, EDL and others. Campaign for better public services, housing and jobs for all, in place of a vision of society where those at the bottom must fight among themselves for the basics. The UK is a rich country – we only need to distribute the wealth, the power and the decision-making more evenly. Racism is an ignorant ideology; we need to argue against it, but also to fight the social rot in which far-right movements can grow.
Exercise more; sort out finances, yadda, yadda, yadda... Happy new year to you all!