Socialist Worker

Zita Holbourne: ‘I was so angry hearing the MPs’

Issue No. 2265

Zita Holbourne

Zita Holbourne

“There have been two reactions to the riots. There are those who understand why the riots have taken place. Then there’s the mainstream press and politicians that, quite frankly, have been disgraceful.

Politicians blamed single parents and absent fathers. They said bring out the water cannons and come down hard. They want to put children away for what was a cry for help.

The debate in parliament on the riots was horrendous. I was so angry hearing MP after MP—not just Tories and Lib Dems, but Labour as well.

They talked about cuts to the fire service and the police, but what about the cuts to the civil service, to the education system, the libraries?

The ones in government are the real thieves. Look at the expenses scandal, the hacking scandal, all the illegal things that they’re doing.

None of them have ever sat down at the end of the month and asked: How am I going to pay this bill? Have I got enough money for groceries?

But what struck me during the riots was the number of people going into Tesco and Lidl and stealing food. It demonstrates how hard things are.

My pay has been frozen for the past couple of years, which in real terms is a pay cut. The government wants me to pay in more each month for my pension. That’s a further pay cut.

And my 17-year old son wants to go to university in 2012 when the higher fees come in. How will we make ends meet?

My son feels bad that I’m going to have to pay for his fees. Our children shouldn’t feel guilty about having an education.”

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