The scale of public spending cuts proposed by UK Chancellor George Osborne is shocking, but we shouldn’t be surprised. Not because such savage cuts are necessary, but because to many in government they are desirable.
#CameronMustGo - the hashtag trended on Twitter across the weekend, beginning in the aftermath of Mark Reckless' victory in the Rochester and Strood by-election and continues to date (26 November 2014), having collected over 400,000 contributions from politicians, celebrities, journalists and citizens.
In my local area, over a quarter of the children are living in poverty. The way the economy completely fails them and compounds their problems was illustrated by a glossy catalogue delivered through letterboxes in the area.
For people at the sharp end, the poorest and those most dependent on public services, it sometimes feels as if the Coalition has spent the last four years steadily unpicking the very fabric of our society. For a long time this process has been under-reported by the media, but gradually the results are becoming impossible to ignore.
Successive UK governments have made it harder for people in need to get social security, at a devastating human cost. Public services have also been cut, supposedly to save money. Might this have ended up costing taxpayers more?