“WE are all in this together”. This statement must sit very comfortably in the leading places of the league table for the most nauseating untruths which politicians have made.
Is it made to, somehow, placate the masses; to make them believe that everyone is affected; to make the current hardships appear to encompass all sections of society, shared by everyone in order to restore our future prosperity and well being?
But, it isn’t true, is it? How the Prime Minister, David Cameron, can say this and keep a straight face indicates his talents may be more gainfully directed to an acting career.
In the last few weeks the nonsense of this claim has been very evident.
Councillors in York have proposed a rise in their annual basic allowances from £7,195 to £9,777 and the council leader’s special responsibility allowance could increase from £23,520 to £29,331.
These increases have been suggested by an Independent Review Panel which, somehow, is always quoted to imply impartiality – but, who sets the remuneration for the members of this panel? York Council is, we are informed, having to impose cuts totalling £19.7m over the next two years, so it seems these people are not in the “we” category of this statement.
Then along comes the Speaker of the House of Commons. From the day he leaves office he is, by tradition is the excuse, entitled to an annual pension of £39,000. This would normally mean this would start when he is 55-years-old but he has magnanimously offered to delay it until his 65th. birthday. He has not had to make a single penny in contributions to this colossal award. He, too, cannot be classed as one of “we”.
And, what about David Laws MP? Well, he resigned from the coalition Government after 17 days as a Cabinet Minister following his claim for £40,000 expenses he paid to his partner, which was against parliamentary rules. Note the sum we are talking about – £40,000, not a mere tenner. But, now, less than two years later this whole abuse of expenses is apparently forgotten and he is welcomed back with open arms. Did he resign in disgrace or merely take a sabbatical? Would an employee in any other organisation, having “fiddled” such a huge sum, be similarly treated? Is David Laws immune from “we”?
And, such anomalies appear to continue unchecked.
It must only be expected that the financial wizz kids would not be left out when dollops of money was being given out. City workers in finance and insurance industries will receive average bonuses of £12,000. They will get more in bonuses than many workers get paid. Their belief in belonging to a superior section of society places them outside the “we” category.
Hundreds of thousands of workers in both public and private sectors have lost their jobs in order to streamline their workplaces; to save costs and to fight the recession. The number of MPs?
Well, although grossly overstaffed and under worked even before the recession, there has been no reduction in their numbers; they’re talking about it, but that’s as far as it has got. Not one of “we” also.
We are all in this together – just who are the “we” in this statement?