I really love this winding down before the end of the year. On the one hand, no different to any other day except for the significance we’ve accorded it in our calendar. On the other, an enforced period of reflection that does a world of good.
So, what of next year? Many good things to come, no doubt but also: it’s going to hurt as cuts start to really bite.
A few things to bear in mind as we traverse 2016 and people (including Tory voters, the odd minister and a lot of the media) act at turns surprised and occasionally angry.
- Local government cuts are savage and will start (continue) to hit basic services. Apparently we all agree we shouldn’t really pay taxes, and government shouldn’t really do anything, but we also really like bin collections and councils ensuring that we have enough services when we need them. Well, grab your popcorn.
- Women’s support services are hard-presssed and BAME women’s support services have issued an emergency call – a report by Imkaan reveals that a number will be forced to close unless something is done. And while we’re all pleased (read: confused and conflicted) to use our periods to pay for women’s services with the tampon tax (because women’s problems are women’s problems), the fact remains that it’s not enough. If we take the welfare of women seriously then the government needs to put money behind these vital lifesaving services. Or…men need to get periods too.
- Inequality is a problem. And it’s only getting worse. Even John Major said so – and look at the nifty charts that back up his assertion)