While our traditional British reserve, or some might say apathy, means that we haven't followed our French neighbours in taking to the streets, setting a few cars alight and literally running riot, I don't think it will be long before the full impact of the Government's Spending Review will prompt some, albeit more mild-mannered, action.
Most people understand why the drastic action is necessary, we do owe someone somewhere an awful lot of money after all, (sorry economics was never a strong point of mine), but £81bn worth of cuts, that's EIGHTY ONE BILLION POUNDS folks, is bound to pinch a little.
From my days as a local newspaper hack, two of the issues the Great British general public got most irate about were - the bins not being collected, which apparently could create a potentially 'life threatening' health risk, and potholes in the road, which allegedly could cause 'fatal' road accidents. Yes news is pretty slow in most British towns. Anyway, once the walkouts start, and the people are forced to take part in the Big Society, ie take responsibility for your own local services, then the problems are sure to start.
Can you imagine the raft of angry letters that will flood through the letterboxes of local rags up and down the land? Can't you just hear the hubbub emanating from local council offices from a pitchfork waving throng of angry residents who are "up in arms" (another classic local paper saying) about the latest scheme scrapping, or the fact that the rubbish hasn't been collected by anyone. In the words of one Tory councillor, in the Big Society "we are all binmen" so we could be expected clear up the rubbish by ourselves, both literally and metaphorically it would appear.
And I haven't even touched on the retirement age being bumped upwards. To be honest, I can't really imagine my generation getting a state pension full stop, so the change has not really caused my blood to boil. But, if you are one of the millions in this country that it will impact, then having to work a year longer than expected may quite rightly cheese you off a little.
Who knows, the Big Society could end up being a better place in which to live, but after 50 or so years of the state taking charge of pretty much all local services, it's going to take quite a bit of getting used to. I for one will be getting my best stationery and fountain pen primed for a sustained campaign of letter writing. We might not share the striking passion of the French but when it comes to strongly worded letters and petition signing, there's no nation better.
Read the latest issue of Insurance Age here
- Insurance industry welcomes Ogden rate reform
- Lloyd’s slumps to £2bn loss for 2017
- Pen Underwriting makes 11 redundant at Chelmsford office
- Claimant lawyers hit out at government’s discount rate reform
- Discount rate reform unveiled by the government
- Ian Gosden retires from GRP-owned Higos
- Hayley Robinson takes on CUO role at Zurich UK