Yes, Dawn, Somehow It’s All The Fault Of The Tories…

Dawn Foster is enraged.

Knocking down a monument to democracy and universal suffrage to build an identikit shopping centre is a plotline you’d invent if you wanted to satirise Britain under the coalition. Yet this is exactly what has happened in Newport, South Wales, once a hub of radical working-class politics.

Oh, those eeeeeeevil Tories!

Last week Newport council

Wait, this Newport Council? The Labour-controlled one?

… demolished a mural commemorating the Chartist uprising, to make way for a shopping centre, despite a long local campaign to integrate the mural into the structure. The council responded that the economic gain that may result from the new centre outweighed the cultural benefit, so they couldn’t afford not to demolish it.

And shouldn’t you be turning your ire on them?

To residents of south Wales, it seems like councils are rushing to close and downsize art galleries, libraries and museums in spite of public opposition, just to make a short-term economic gain.

Yes, indeed it does. That’s by design. It’s the same reason Obama is directing his minions to make things hurt for the ordinary people. What, you didn’t think they’d cut down on pointless job roles instead, did you?

…Wales has historically invested in arts and culture, understanding that these are the things that make poverty tolerable and remind us of the human values even of people on the economic scrap-heap. The cuts to Welsh cultural institutions shows how hollow Tory mantras are.

But it’s not the Tories doing it, is it?

Countless studies show poverty is psychologically draining and has a detrimental effect on mental health. Denying people the opportunity to lose themselves in a novel, or while away a few hours in a museum because austerity and deficit reduction are seen as more important than quality of life is simply cruel. And seeing the visual evidence of the cuts, an artwork dedicated to a radical, emancipatory movement piled up without care in a skip makes it feel as though it’s not just budgets, but a collective cultural history that’s under attack.

But not by the Tories.

4 comments for “Yes, Dawn, Somehow It’s All The Fault Of The Tories…

  1. Derek
    October 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Someone should really explain to the electorate in Newport that they do not have to vote Labour. If they do not like what the council is doing, vote them out at the next election. That is what democracy is all about.

    • Errol
      October 15, 2013 at 6:36 pm

      Personally I think they should have been able to prevent the demolition in the first place. The council says yes, the people say no. The people win. It really should be that simple. Council then challenges and goes to court, people sack the councillors. Again, it’s that sodding simple.

      These people are our servants. They should be doing what we command, not what they want.

      I’d also bet someone on the council made a tidy profit either selling the land or taking a back hander. Virtually guaranteed at a local level.

      • October 20, 2013 at 6:38 am

        “The council says yes, the people say no. The people win. It really should be that simple.”

        But Errol, how the people say ‘no’ is the key to how we want a society to run.

  2. October 17, 2013 at 1:52 am

    The council says yes, the people say no. The people win.

    Ah yes but that’s not how councils are set up and digging a bit further finds certain people in the top office from an organization called CP, leading beyond authority, i.e. knowing what is best for us.

Comments are closed.