This is my week so far. It’s not over yet.
I listen to politicians. I hear statistics, the forecasts, the rhetoric, the macro-economics, the budgetary machinations from the self-congratulatory politicians. I see them miss their targets, move the money and claim how people will benefit.
I’m an unpaid union rep, (#BigSociety), giving my time to support people in difficulty. I was asked to represent a member this week and here are the bare facts.
Five years ago the member slipped on ice. The resultant spinal injury deteriorated, eventually requiring surgery. The surgery was not a success, but the member continued to work. Even when the member needed crutches, and then a wheelchair, the member continued to work.
There were frequent absences. Modifications and adaptations were made. But from a wheelchair life is not straight forward. A fall from the wheel chair complicated matters, but the member continued to work. The employer was supportive.
After all the work of the member, the employer, the medical practitioners and other professionals the inevitable is going to happen. After a five-year battle the member will lose their job and have to give up work, lose their income.
This member will now have to rely on benefits. Their only income. That is the human side of the sneering, vacuous, point scoring debate of the #Tory policies. When George Osborne and David Cameron stand at the dispatch box and speak, the policies and words reach all the way down to impact on the life of individual people.
On two occasions this week I have attended workplace meetings where workers arrived at work, in employment and earning an income, only to leave at the end of the day facing redundancy and loss of income.
This is the reality of the policy speeches which come out of Westminster and land on the doorstep of people all over the UK.
You are just a moment away from disability. You are a workplace meeting away from unemployment. You are one shocked, deep breath from poverty.
So when you hear a #Tory politician waxing lyrical about the success of building a #LongTermEconomicPlan, think of those on the receiving end of those policies. And thank your lucky stars it’s not you.
Statistics, forecasts and budgets will not help you at all when the politician does not understand how the twists and turns of life can change in a moment. And they care not one jot.
You are not a statistic. You are a family. You are a human life.
And I am a trade union rep, a militant, an enemy of the state, one of the vilified. There are millions like me, and there always will be.