End Austerity Now
Resting in the beer garden of a lovely hotel in the Leicestershire countryside, after a busy BASW Council meeting today. Leafing idly through the Guardian, I just came across this cartoon by Ros Asquith in the education section. We are all affected by these damaging austerity policies, teachers, social workers, nurses, other public service workers; those who we teach, serve, care for; the families of these people; pretty much everyone in fact. In my chair’s report to Council today, I drew attention to the Social Workers and Service Users Against Austerity bloc at the End Austerity Now demo in London this coming Saturday. This is an excellent initiative, taken by Kirk Michael-Lewis, a social work student in Wales, who contacted the People’s Assembly and arranged for there to be an official social work bloc on the march.
I imagine Kirk was inspired, as I was, by the presentation at the SWAN conference in April by Ana Lima Fernandez, the president of Spain’s Consejo General del Trabajo Social (the General Council on Social Work). She talked about the Orange Tide, an anti-cuts movement combining social workers and the people that use their services (read about it in Rory Truell’s excellent article). It would be wonderful to think that we could develop something similar to this here in the UK.
A start would be to join us on the march in London, or to join BASW social workers who will be marching in Glasgow. There is a Facebook event publicising the social work bloc in London (just search for Social Workers and Service Users Against Austerity), and you can find out there or on our website the details of where we will be meeting up.
Hope to see you, under the BASW banner!