I have been sitting on this for a few days now and still not sure about but feel like getting our immediate responses to this new government is important. My response was sheer terror of what is going to happen.
Dear Mr Cameron,
On the 8th of May I woke up with a hangover, a headache and an angry uterus compounded by the fact that you won’t take the tax off tampons. I waited at a bus stop for a delayed service on an expensive dirty crowded bus that rattles. It nauseates me.
I tried not cry at the bus stop with sheer fear because I am a woman with a misfiring brain.
I can’t swap one of my chromosomes, rearrange my faulty helix or rewire my grey matter.
I got some things right. I am white, paler than you the kind of white you would claim as Anglo Saxon not European.
I am middle class, my voice is enough to convince some that I am more like you than them but I know Mr Cameron you’d hear the Norfolk, the failing comprehensive and defunct art school education in my voice.
I know a smattering of latin but not enough to joke with you in a dead language.
You changed the rules on part time work during your last term I have less money of my own than I did on the dole you tell the lie we are all better off in work.
Then penalise those of us who work less because of course it is because we are feckless and not disabled because you have made it nigh on impossible to get disability benefits and those of us who cannot score enough points or get a job starve and die.
Dear Mr Cameron have you looked at Calum’s list? Do you know how many have died because of decisions made by ATOS and the DWP? Have you considered we work part time because we are artists or our pension wasn’t enough or we simply can’t find the hours you deem as acceptable in this recession?
You have never thought about walking into traffic just to get some rest from the relentless grind of your existence.
I will never pay enough tax to be worthwhile in your eyes and I have already cost the NHS thousands with my broken arm, asthma, eczema, tonsils, all that orthodontistry, and of course the biggest ongoing expense that faulty circuitry in my head.
You can’t imagine thinking you will lose the medication that gives you peace of mind, that keeps the pieces of your mind together to be scared of this because there is no one in your life to act as your unpaid carer and the hospitals are so stretched the mentally ill are locked up in cells like prisoners.
That would never happen to you not even if you were unlucky and I say unlucky because I would never wish an unquiet mind on anyone not even you.
If you were unlucky enough to have a breakdown no NHS psychiatric unit for you, no waiting times and talking therapies with the year long waiting lists all the most up to date medications no palming you off with Chlorpromazine or amitriptyline. No risk of tardive dyskensia for you.
The day after I made myself eat a banana and oiled the chain and got on my bike to commute for the first time in months after I was so bone tired too scared to cycle in traffic and could not face the lack of cycle lanes and the potholes which cause me constant punctures. The state of these roads is your fault Mr Cameron this city which overflows with ideas and art was cut so harshly during the last five years and still we keep making most of the television for all the country.
You don’t care about this Mr Cameron you don’t have time to watch television you wouldn’t know that nearly every programme pretending to film in London has at least one scene recognisable to any Manchester resident because we are cheaper and it is easier to create an empty street up here.
I know that you hate bikes Mr Cameron I know despite the photo op I seem to remember. My bike Is from Thatcher’s first term 1983 it has the flag on its frame when the factory was still open in Nottingham when this country was still a major manufacturer before she closed all the factories.
You remember that Mr Cameron better than me I hardly remember when made in britain made in the uk stopped appearing on everything we used and wore and relied on
Bikes don’t pay tax and many of us like me favour the older models despite their faults for their reliability their quirks. We fix their broken parts and carry on we become attached to the bikes in a way you never can to a car we are self-reliant you can fix a bike or find someone who can cheaper than a mechanic. We need no insurance there is no serious collateral damage you can do on a bike and I know because I have nearly knocked over several pedestrians and they have all walked away with bruises or less.
On that ride I let the familiar squeak of the seat and clanks of its frame and gears play a melody while my legs pumped out a rhythm to the tune of I will endure and I watched the clouds part and I thought you cannot take this away.