Fighting Tory Cuts… And the Cautionary Tale of the Dangerous Bus

Yes, it is certainly true that Tory cuts are bringing poverty and ruin to our country. But in these dark times it is important to remember that Labour-run Councils have not been forced into passing on these cuts without exploring socialist alternatives; it is simply that most Labour-run Councils aren’t up for fighting back, as they are not cut from the same anti-austerity cloth as either Jeremy Corbyn or the vast majority of their party’s ordinary members.

Tragically, but not entirely unexpectedly, earlier this week Leicester’s Labour-dominated Council voted unanimously to pass on Tory funding cuts to the people of our increasingly impoverished city. Once again our city’s 52 Labour councillors have bought into the Blairite nonsense that Labour councillors should be efficient administrators of dwindling city budgets, instead of passionate political representatives of the working-class.

Illustrating the deep nature of this confusion among elected representatives, Labour city councillor Dr. Lynn Moore, an educational children’s psychologist by training, spoke in defence of Leicester’s latest cuts budget at this week’s full Council meeting by regaling her rapt audience with a cautionary fairy-tale — albeit a very misleading one at that.

“Let’s imagine that the city council is a bus which has to go on a journey over the next year; it could draw-up an exciting itinerary covering many miles and having plenty of room for passengers, but to do this it would need a full tank of petrol, and the only garage in the town, let’s call it Tory Co.,is rationing fuel. Now the bus could take a risk, fill up the tank without going in to pay and make a run for it, but that is illegal; the driver could be arrested or sacked, and the bus impounded. Or it could set off on the planned journey but run out of petrol quickly and grind to a halt, like a bus in a neighbouring county. So, it has to drive carefully and slowly, conserving fuel, choosing a route carefully, with room only for the very needy, and all the while a cliff – a fiscal cliff – gets closer and closer with the ground crumbling under the wheels of the bus as it goes along.”

Lynn Moore bus story

Forget for a moment that Dr. Moore is advocating that her Council must make a commitment to an extreme form of reckless driving which is placing thousands of people’s lives in danger. You see the major problem with this troubling story is that it deliberately obscures alternative, potentially happy endings.

For example, if I was the bus driver, I would first of all check if I had fuel in my tank to start with. You see the bus — according to Leicester City Council’s own documents — already has enough fuel in its tank (reserve accounts) to keep going for at least three years without leaving people behind.

The fuel will of course eventually be depleted, but in the meantime, I would take the bus on a journey to every other Labour-run Council in the country to concretely show them how they too can refuse to accept Tory fuel rationing. In doing so I would hope that my socialist actions might inspire my passengers to join me in building the type of mass campaign that could demand an end to this Tory government and its needless cuts.

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