Fevzi Hussein: Why we must stand up to austerity measures and march


Fevzi Hussein, life-long trade unionist and more recently a human rights activist with Embargoed explains why this Saturday’s demonstrations need your support.

In May 2010 George Osbourne’s announcement of £18 billion worth of cuts to welfare set a challenge for us all. Earlier this month at the Conservative Party Conference, he gave the news that those most vulnerable in society were dreading: a further £10 billion in cuts to welfare was going to be made, totalling a cut of £28 billion to the welfare budget in just over 2 years.

If anyone was in any doubt, their concerns had now been realised. So, how do these cuts affect our everyday lives.

Well, let’s look at a few facts.

Who had heard of the phrase ‘food bank’ up until about a year ago? The BBC reported last month that more and more food banks are opening every month. The Trussell Trust which runs one of the busiest food banks in the UK (Coventry), states that there are a staggering 13 million people living below the poverty line. A recent video produced by UNITE the Union, which is drumming up support for the huge march planned on 20th October 2012, states that 1 in 7 children are now going without a hot meal. The same video states that 74% of women state that their income has fallen since last year.

However, crisis loan shops like Wonga.com and others are popping up everywhere, preying on those most vulnerable. Indeed the state of the economy has contributed massively to Wonga.com's success and evidence of this was in the recent announcement of a huge £24 million sponsorship deal with Newcastle United – a deal which has raised eyebrows for a number of reasons.

When we look at how BME communities are affected, the picture is rather bleak.

We have seen the EHRC (Equality & Human Rights Commission) attacked with cuts totalling in excess of 60% which makes the prospects of those specialist investigations that exposed discrimination in large institutions and society more and more unlikely. The government has attacked discrimination law by reneging on various aspects of the Equality Law, which when in opposition they supported.

We also know that BME communities are being badly affected by the cuts.  We know that BME workers, service users and their communities are disproportionately disadvantaged, due to the fact that they live in those areas which tend to be the poorest and on the lowest pay. Studies have been done which show that black women are the hardest hit of all by the cuts to public sector jobs. There are 1 million youngsters out of work and 1 out of 2 young black people is out of work. The rise of university fees to £9,000 sees  university and higher education become nothing more than a pipe dream for those poorest in society.

In addition, racism is already a massive problem in society and the austerity programme will only serve to make racism an even bigger problem as scapegoats are hunted to blame. Muslims will become even more targeted by the likes of the EDL as they seek to spread their messages of intolerance and hatred. Young black men are still 32 more times likely to be stopped by the police than their white counterparts and depending on where you are in the UK, the racial profiling that goes on sees similar patterns exist for young Muslim men. Black men (particularly young men) are disproportionately represented in the Criminal Justice and Mental Health systems. According to ITS services, black men are less able to identify that they have mental health problems and are unaware of the sources of help available to them. The cuts will see these services become even more depleted and thus the problem will grow to become even more acute.

I have not even begun to cover the wider way in which people with disabilities are also affected by the cuts. But I think you get the gist of why I will be making it my duty to be out on the Embankment, London at 11am marching to let the government know that that I am opposed to austerity. If you are in a union or not, all are welcome.

Support the march. Support your trade union. Support our country.

For more information about the national demnstration please click visit

'A Future that Works'

Fevzi Hussein, Policy Advisor, Communication Workers Union

Archived Comments

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It Doesn't Need to be Like This!!!

Interesting article and quite shocking when the impact of the cuts is layed out like this. As someone who is a British Turk, I have never really stopped to seriously analyse how my family, friends and wider community will be affected.

I am seriously thinking of supporting the march this Saturday.


We should all march

We should all march on Saturday.
If we don't care enough to fight for our rights, they won't care enough to safeguard them. See you at the demonstration.

The Seeds Of The Devil.

Tony Blair of the deceptive and racist New Labour was once quoted by William Hague of the dreaded and extremely wicked Conservative government as: "The best Conservative leader that Labour has ever had." That quote alone gave me the impression that they were lying in wait for the baton to be passed as they did not see Gordon Brown as a threat. This has since happened and the baton has been passed to a coalition government with a sizeable amount of Conservatives. Feels very much like a one party state with a leader who is carrying on with very bad principles laid down by a man whose character does not run in line with moral values, uprightness and integrity.

The seeds of today’s problem were sown by Tony Blair's New Labour. Tony Blair is the richest ex Prime Minister ever; rich enough to pay for his own security, and free the state of the burden of that cost. This very greedy man has chosen not to do that; instead, this very heartless, cowardly, clueless and viciously wicked Conservative government is prepared to punish us all with daft cuts knowing that minority ethnic groups will bare most of the brunt.

The present Prime Minister is the daftest of all the Prime Ministers this country has ever had. This man with no vision at all has surrounded himself with very heartless right winged advisors who will all desert him when all his plans start to go wrong.

August 2011 was a taster for this visionless man to know that he has to up his game by surrounding himself with the right people. Instead, he has covered up all Tony Blair's wrong doings in office, because he is hoping to ply the same path. Tony Blair today, is being rewarded by these companies for abusing his position as Prime Minister in office. This is what David Cameron is doing now; a plan that became so evident with Liam Fox’s openly political lobbying. The unscrupulous companies rewarding Tony Blair for his treachery to all genuine Labour supporters, the electorates, members of the public that the state is liable to look after, and the sovereignty of the United Kingdom, are destroying this country.

Tony Blair and New Labour have grotesquely soiled politics in the United Kingdom. This country now needs a proper modern thinking socialist leader to restructure the system a bit; because, the avenue that David Cameron is going down, will eventually bring out the worse in some people through desperation. David Cameron does not know what hardship is. If he did, he would never have listened to the very heartless Aidan Beecroft, and would not be intent on bringing hardship into peoples lives.

David Cameron, some members of his Cabinet, and his advisors, Boris Johnson and some of the members of this coalition government are not right for politics in this country. These people are better off having rotten attitudes with chips on their shoulders in their front rooms rather than steering the country into much deeper problems that would be beneficial to no one.

These dreaded people don't know what they are doing. Sadly, the seeds of the devil is only going to ferment chaos.