Yesterday saw the opening shots of this Government’s attempts to roll back the Welfare State, and shift the burden for the billions paid out to the banks, onto ordinary working people. Regrettably Tory and Lib Dem MP’s pushed through plans for a cap on welfare benefits. The consequence of this decision will have major implications for Tower Hamlets residents. Government plans will hit not just the poorest families hardest, they will also penalise working families. As an investigation by the Observer newspaper highlighted, up to half a million key workers such school teachers, nurses and soldiers will lose cash, in many cases running to hundreds of pounds.
I am really glad to see that the Labour leader Ed Miliband has come out strongly in opposition. But that opposition cannot just be confined to parliament alone. That’s why I support the recent call for councillors up and down the country to develop a national strategy of resistance. We have a rich tradition of civil protest in this country. It was revolt over the Poll Tax that helped sink the last Tory government. I believe we will need more of the same to sink this one.