Crawley Observer Column, Wednesday 11th August 2021

We’ve probably all heard the story about boiling frog. Not the greatest image I’ll admit, but stay with me. The story goes like this, if you have a boiling pan of water and you throw a frog into it, the frog will hop right out. If, on the other hand, you put the frog into lukewarm water and gradually increase the heat, the frog won’t notice until it’s too late. The lesson is supposed to be this: if you want to do something and don’t want people to react, don’t do it all right away, do it gradually.

The chief problem with this story is that it isn’t actually true, at least when it comes to frogs. A frog will hop out well before the water reaches a temperature at which would kill it. Humans on the other hand, well we’d probably also get out of water if it got to hot, but when people change things in the environment around us and we don’t notice enough to do anything about it until well down the line.

Global warming is the most obvious example of this, but the same is also true when it comes to what is happening to public services. Back in 2010, there were lots of stories about cuts, but the reality is that it takes a long time for any decision in Number 10 to filter down to the ground, so for all the noise about austerity at the time, the truth is that many of the impacts are still making themselves known in harder to access GP appointments, councils closing down services, and no police being available when you call.

Children are suffering in our schools too. Right now, when we need more help for pupils to catch-up, we’re instead facing far larger class sizes. 14,044 kids in our area are now stuck in classes larger than 30, an increase of 22% under this Government. The Government’s own advisor on enabling children to recover quit over the dire situation in Education, with only Labour taking his advice on how to rescue the next generation’s future.

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