Chair's Blog


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!


Tim Parkinson on 21/07/2015 09:02:00

Last night;20/07/2015 The Commons backed the Welfare Reform and Work Bill by 308 to 124 votes.
If you take the 56 SNP votes out of the equation, that means there were only 68 out of 600 MPs in the UK who were opposed to driving the disadvantaged into further poverty in order to give the rich more gambling and investment pocket money.

This is the context in which we are trying to lift the profile of a profession which holds contrary values to this emerging society of ours.

I never thought I would live in a society which by contrast made Thatcher look like a philanthropist!

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