What public services do you use? No, roads and streetlights don't count - they are public utilities, not services. You don't "use" the guys who mend the road, the council does.
I mean what public services do you directly use?
I reckon I'm like most people and all I really use to any regular sort of degree are the bin men, schools for my kids, our local GP and the Royal Mail. I've never had any need to use countless hundreds of other services that the government provide - drug counsellors, five-a-day co-ordinators, youth offending outreach workers and so on. I've also been quite fortunate to never have needed to use the Labour Exchange - or whatever it's called now - but I suspect over the coming months and years millions of Britons will find out what that is like for the first time.
Bins, schools, health, post. That's about it for me and most people as far as "front line" public services are concerned - plus one other.
Whenever people like me suggest that the public sector has grown out of control in recent years the lefties always counter with the "what schools and hospitals will you cut?" question. The answer for most conservatives is, of course, none - there is ample scope for the public sector to make cuts without touching the services that most of us use on a regular basis.
I now realise why they ask that question. They are not being disingenuous as I originally thought - they genuinely believe that the first place you need to make public sector cuts is in the services we most use.
Why is this? Well, socialism is all about victims as groups rather than victims as individuals. Hardly surprising I suppose, given that it's all about "collectivism". The whole leftist movement is based on identifying various victim groups and then supporting their cause.
Originally it was the cause of the working man, but leftists soon cottoned on to the fact that any "victim group" is worth supporting - it's not about the who, it's about the how. The more victim groups they can identify and support, the more support they get in return. The more support they have the more they can build the society they envisage.
The trouble with that is, once you've exhausted the basic victim groups - working man, women, blacks, homosexuals and so on - you start running out of victim groups to support. So they invent new ones. Drug abusers are no longer self-harming idiots - they are "victims" who require "front-line" services. Criminals are not morally reproachable, but victims of their circumstances and in need of "front-line" services.
All this means that when a recession strikes and there is a need to cut public spending, they just can't bring themselves to cut spending on their favourite victim groups - firstly because they really believe their own bullshit, but also because that is where their key support now lies.
So instead of cutting the myriad of services which most of us will never have any reason to use, they cut the services which we will.