The World Turned Upside Down

4 Mar

Imagine a council, running one of the 32 London Boroughs. And imagine that this council had just voted overwhelmingly to unilaterally change the contracts of its employees, to make their conditions of service worse, in order to save a few million quid.

You’d be appalled.

Imagine that this same council has just voted unanimously to implement a budget that will cut £100 million of spending over the next 3 years and cost 1,600 jobs among their staff.

You’d think that was a Tory council, wouldn’t you? Or may be a Con-Lib coalition? Bloody typical!

Now imagine that this same council has agreed to take out a £40 million loan and given it to a successful local business to move to swanky new premises, that this business is owned by multi-millionaires and employs some of the highest paid people in the country.

You’d think it was madness. Tory madness.

Imagine the men that own this business made their millions from pornography and sex shops.

You’d be outraged. 

And imagine if you then found out that if their business failed, the people of the borough would be liable, through their council taxes, to repay that £40 million and all of the interest on it. And that the people of this particular borough are among the poorest and most deprived in the country.

You’d organise a march, demand action be taken to stop this nonsense. You’d write to the papers, organise a petition.

Unless you were a member of the Labour Party. Because this is exactly what’s happening in Newham and the silence is deafening.

Our Labour mayor and the 60 Labour councillors (we have no opposition at all here) have done exactly this. The local business is West Ham United football club, who happen to play in the world’s richest league and are owned by Davids Gold and Sullivan, millionaires many times over. And the swanky new premises is the Olympic Stadium.

So while council staff have had their conditions of service downgraded and 1,600 of them will lose their jobs, while services that people depend on are being cut, a Labour council is advancing £40 million to a couple of porn barons to help them fund a football club, leaving some of London’s poorest people to pick up the tab if it all goes horribly wrong.

Truly, the world has turned upside down. 



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