So what happened yesterday? Well, after an uneventful morning, Mark and I headed to the Clock Tower for what turned out to be a rather muted protest at the effect of budget cuts on the disabled. According to a recent Freedom of Information request, there have been thousands of deaths following claimants failing the incapacity benefit test; this sticks in the craw particularly since today’s announcement of an 11% pay rise for MPs. Now, I note that the three party leaders have opposed this, but who the hell thought it was a good idea? MPs already get a basic salary of 66,000 (that’s about six times our household income), not to mention expenses and allowances and the highly controversial second home scheme. The whole thing stinks, and there to point this out was a gathering of disabled people, Left Unity people, other socialists and priests including the soon-to-be-licensed Poineer Priest amongst the homeless, Rev. Helen Hayes. Oo! Apparently she’s going to be licensed at the Martyrs!
The protest got off to a slow start as the PA took a while to arrive; however it featured a good balance of speeches, singing and poetry (from me, doing the poem I did at the LU conference, see Monday’s post)
And so to Peter’s, where we began the afternoon by toasting Nelson Mandela with a glass of South African shiraz, then descended into the rough with the Sicilian red which I brought and which Peter so much enjoys, and after that we broke out the other Merlot and then the South American bhajis descended into the rough with the cheese scones and Chris Conway came over with his three-headed girl and…
You get the picture.