Local campaigning group Brighton and Hove Women against the Cuts entertained passers-by to Christmas carols with a difference outside Hove Town Hall on Saturday, December 15.
Gathered round a giant Christmas wish-list, including the repeal of recent NHS legislation (opposed by the British Medical Association and vast majority of health service professional bodies), and the reinstatement of millions of pounds slashed from Brighton & Hove City Council’s budget at a far higher amount per head than in neighbouring areas, the group sang alternative words to familiar tunes to get their powerful festive message across.
Supporters and passers-by joined in to sing topical versions of traditional favourites such as Away in a Manger:
Away in a Manger
No houses to rent
Our benefits capped
Should we live in a tent
We want a fair system
And know this makes sense
No tax breaks for the richest
There is no defence
The women are sending Brighton and Hove’s Conservative MPs Mike Weatherley and Simon Kirby a Christmas photo-card of the event, along with a special Christmas parcel containing dozens of postcards previously signed at the group’s stalls by local people opposed to the savage cuts.
Spokeswoman Marie Atkinson said:
“Brighton & Hove Women Against the Cuts formed in February 2011 in response to the Coalition government’s austerity programme. Our campaign is gaining rapid momentum across the city as more and more residents realise that these very severe cuts are significantly damaging their lives, jobs, aspirations and the well-being of their families and friends.
“Especially at this time of year, when our local communities are feeling the dire effects of these Government cuts even more keenly, it’s essential that we let Brighton & Hove’s Tory MPs know that enough is enough.
“Our festive event was popular with many locals who joined us in singing the specially adapted carols. We’re looking forward to our next public event, focusing on the impact of austerity on women, to be held at the Brighthelm Centre on 2nd February, 1.00-4.00pm.”