STE­WART PATER­SON

Evening Times - - IN THE PICTURE -

SO, Theresa May is too busy to come to Glas­gow and meet peo­ple liv­ing in poverty, the very peo­ple she promised to help when she took over as Prime Min­is­ter.

Of course she is too busy, she has a packed sched­ule.

She is busy con­tin­u­ing with the aus­ter­ity agenda of David Cameron and Ge­orge Os­borne that places the bur­den of re­duc­ing the deficit on the backs of those who can af­ford it least.

She is busy en­cour­ag­ing an eco­nomic model that trum­pets a rise in em­ploy­ment even though it is mainly in the form of part-time, low paid, of­ten zero hours con­tracts and by the growth of the so called gig econ­omy.

An em­ploy­ment model that pro­motes it­self as flex­i­ble for the worker but of­fers low pay, no hol­i­days or sick­ness cover and no long term prospects and which gives the com­pany all the ben­e­fits of an em­ployer with­out the fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

She is busy pur­su­ing a rigid job­seeker sys­tem of push­ing peo­ple into un­suit­able and ex­ploita­tive work with the threat of sanc­tions to get more peo­ple off the job­less to­tal and re­duce the ben­e­fits bill.

She is also busy clos­ing Job­cen­tres and forc­ing peo­ple to travel longer dis­tances that will in­crease the risk of be­ing sanc­tioned, leav­ing them with no money.

Then she is busy deny­ing that the above poli­cies have any­thing to do with the shock­ing and shame­ful in­crease in the num­ber of peo­ple who have been helped to feed them­selves and their chil­dren by a food­bank.

So yes, I can un­der­stand when Theresa May says “pres­sures on her di­ary” make a visit to Glas­gow’s east end, where she will find peo­ple suf­fer­ing from every one of those poli­cies listed and she will find them in abun­dance, not pos­si­ble. But the Prime Min­is­ter doesn’t like meet­ing peo­ple. Un­less they are peo­ple who agree with her.

In the very same week as she knocked back the gen­uine and se­ri­ous re­quest from Glas­gow East MP David Lin­den to come to Glas­gow, she was able to ac­cept an­other in­vite.

She was asked if she would visit the West Mid­lands by a Con­ser­va­tive MP and she ac­cepted.

Ms May who said she couldn’t come to Glas­gow be­cause her di­ary was too busy said she would visit the West Mid­lands to meet the new Tory Mayor when her di­ary al­lows.

So a busy di­ary doesn’t pre­vent her meet­ing a fel­low Tory but it stops her meet­ing peo­ple liv­ing with the con­se­quences of aus­ter­ity and a harsh and un­nec­es­sary ob­ses­sion with wel­fare cuts.

Dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign, which she now no doubt re­grets call­ing, she came to Scot­land and her visit was so closed and re­mote that it seemed she was a fugi­tive be­ing smug­gled into the coun­try.

One way or an­other Theresa May knows her days as Prime Min­is­ter are num­bered and she knows that a visit to some­where like Easter­house would only high­light the dam­age caused by her party and gov­ern­ment to the or­di­nary peo­ple who she pledged to help and would has­ten her de­par­ture.

She’s busy all right, busy look­ing af­ter num­ber one.

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