By Owen Jones
When Margaret Thatcher’s government took on the miners 30 years ago, she confronted an enemy that was organised: they had collective strength and a voice. The sides were not equal, but the miners’ strike could nonetheless be described as a “war” of sorts. Many of the targets of this government, on the other hand, are deeply fragmented, rarely seen or heard and often airbrushed out of existence by our media and political elite. Women who face domestic violence and abuse are just one chilling example.
To understand the attack on some of Britain’s most vulnerable women, let’s take East Sussex as an example. A year ago, the discretionary social fund – which provided crisis loans to cover living expenses for people in desperate circumstances as well as community care grants – was scrapped across Britain. It was replaced by a local welfare assistance fund that was devolved to local authorities, but with around £150m less cash. It was up to councils to set up their own initiatives, and Conservative-run East Sussex county council set up a support scheme that could help, among many others, women fleeing abusive partners.