Friday, July 01, 2011

June 30 Public Sector strikes. Mark Serwotka skewers Francis Maude

Don't believe the hype over yesterday's strikes. The lollipop ladies and nurses didn't cause this financial crisis so why are the government raiding their pensions? This article on New Statesman outlines exactly why these changes to the pensions are unjustified.

Just look at the graph, the pensions outlay is decreasing as a percentage of GDP. Mark Serwotka (Or "Sir Wotka" as he should be knighted) called Francis Maude to put up or shut up on the government's scaremongering and he simply couldn't. By the afternoon Maude (and his "unaffordable" mantra) had been locked in a cupboard and Danny Alexander was doing the rounds using the phrase "untenable".

So don't believe the hype over these strikes, this is just ordinary workers standing up for each other when faced with an ideological dismantling of their working conditions. Divide and Conquer is how the government will beat the ordinary people of this country into submission. They can casually say Labour are bought and paid for by the Unions (plainly nonsense given Labour's silence on the subject) but it seems to be a taboo to point out that the conservatives are bought and paid for by rich tax-dodging bankers.

The government are in disarray over this, they can't win the argument so they rely on media lapdogs, when they are put on the spot they are exposed. Listen to Francis Maude flounder and then think back to the NHS Reforms, the pitiful "bonfire of the quangos", the farce of the £9k student fees ("exceptional circumstances" anyone?).

So where is Labour on this, 1000s of members & supporters will have been on strike yesterday and ministers went out of their way to condemn to strike action as much as the can't be right that the Labour party are too paralysed by fear of public opinion to make a stand on issues like this. Instead of vague allusions of sticking up for the "squeezed middle" we have to stand up and be counted in supporting and trying to protect ordinary hard-working people. Why did we let the agenda be set as loony left public sector fat-cats and their massively lucrative pensions instead of going out and saying "We will fight for public sector pensions just as much as we will fight for decent private sector provision". Unfortunately we allowed it to become "Divide and Conquer" and that's how they beat us every time.

Why are we afraid to stand up for unions, everyone knows they are on our side of the argument. Why try and be vague and mumbly about it? It is less toxic than the Tory affiliations with the bankers and tax-evaders. Again we let the media set the agenda and we are nipping around the sides. The government is there for the taking as Ed Miliband has proved 3 weeks in a row at Prime Ministers Questions...yet it falls to the likes of Serwotka, Crow and Bousted to skewer the ministers. It feels like a huge missed oportunity to show people that we are standing up for everyone rather than being afraid to stand up for anyone.

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