Monday, 9 May 2011

Coalition Displays Convenient Knowledge of Geography

I have not made a secret of the fact that I do not like Nick Clegg or the Liberal Democrats. During my recent visit to my in-laws who live in Hinckley, Leicestershire I learned that Mr Clegg had recently visited there to drum up support for his failing party. I made some rather childish jokes referring to the irony of his visit on April 1st i.e. a fool making a visit on April Fool's day. However this may have been a little disingenuous since at least Mr Clegg (or his staff) knew the whereabouts of Hinckley, unlike dear old Mr Cameron and his people.

There has been some concern and controversy in Hinckley over the pay cuts and fare increases by the towns public transport provider Centrebus. These measures, according to reports, were to make for the 10% cut in funding from Leicestershire City Council to subsidise them for carrying senior and disable citizens for free.

Ten year old Edward Mason was concerned about the plight of Centrebus employees, since he has family members who work at the company's Dodwells Bridge depot. So concerned was Edward about the future of his family members' jobs that he decided to write directly to the Prime Minister, David Cameron and ask the government to intervene. This was reported in The Hinckley Times on 7th April 2011 (no online version available).

Whilst the story is both relevant, as it shows how widespread the cuts are affecting people, and sweet with a ten year old asking the Prime Minister to help save his families livelihood, it is also indicative of this government's indifference to the people. Little Edward did in fact receive a reply from Cameron's office which suggested that since Hinckley is part of the capital he should in fact contact the Mayor of London's office. A quick look at this map however it is obvious that unless the boundary of London's Mayoral office has expanded by nearly 100 miles, Cameron's Bullingdon pal Boris is powerless to respond to Edward's call.

It is interesting to learn from this that the government, especially this woefully pitiful coalition, are very good at dismissing the concerns of their citizens. Even a two minute glance at little Edward's letter would have been enough to discern, if nothing else, that Hinckley is not in London. It is worth noting however that when a photo opportunity presents itself, as it did with dear old Mr Clegg, they were quick to find it and ensure that the Deputy PM arrived there safe and sound. What a pity that the government were unable to show this level of commitment to the concerns of a 10 year old boy whose only agenda was to ask his government to help save his family from the effects of the cuts.

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