A letter a day to number 10. No 1,091
Wednesday 20 May 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
As a child of the post war era I recall it as a time of hope, of visits to the local newsagents to buy sweets, I don’t remember at what age, but certainly under 10 and free to roam over quite a large area on my own as long as I told my Mum where I was going. I remember paper rounds and Saturday jobs which were considered routine then, of spending tips on cigarettes after I started smoking at 10. As a young teen, having learnt to build bikes from scratch, skilfully cobbled together from whatever we could scavenge around the area, principally the local brook, I’d ride miles with my older brother to a nearby abandoned pit to enjoy the exhilaration and scares of the various tracks. Back then it was unthinkable to be escorted to school by a parent and such an affront to our child dignity would have been a source of unendurable shame.
I can recall when it all changed for me and one day in particular outside the pit in Cleadon, County Durham on a community and youth work placement. The lines were drawn, the militant forces of miners and police facing each other, the picket line and the forces sent to crush the strikers and the strike. A coach was approaching the picket line right in front of me, it’s windows covered with galvanised fencing (what I thought of, ironically, as pig wire) and striking miners hanging on striving to tear the fencing off to stop the strike breaking scabs and the Police striving to tear the strikers off.
I remember also the apocalyptic world as mines closed and entire towns and villages lost their way of life, stolen by Thatcher. I didn’t know it then, but we lost a whole lot more than the mines, the life of the nation was set on a path of change that has ultimately led to the present and the invasion that you Tories represent into every facet of our lives.
I could never have imagined that government would come to dominate the lives of the working class to absolutely and so disastrously, nor the lies and spin that would become a national narrative of hate and oppression for anyone on benefits and of care and support turned to malice against the poor and especially sick and disabled people.
It’s been a process of what is called mission creep, in which the invasion of Iraq played a huge part. Who could have imagined that the very actions that spawned the Nuremberg trials, leading to the international prohibition of wars of aggression and the subsequent hanging of the perpetrators, would ever be undertaken by one of Hitler’s foremost enemies, Britain, or that Blair and the rest of you would get away with it?
As you prepare to flush our human rights act down the toilet of history, where is the outcry? Is Britain finally broken apart from those who you regard as extremists?