Local View: Strike!! Power masquerading as protection

While America was indulging in the greatest political spectacle in the world on Tuesday this city saw a return to some of the darker days of the Callaghan administration and the mass strike action that has crippled Britain in the past.

The unions claimed 20,000 were striking which should seem like a pretty impressive number. It would have been if they all bothered to attended. But I only saw about 2000 on the picket line; 18,000 clearly aren’t that bothered by the whole thing eh? And judging by some of the smiling faces on the front of most local papers we shouldn’t be to concerned about these peoples resolve. In fact I have decided to call ‘a nice day off people’ instead of ‘strikers’.

The strike is over new pay grading to encourage fairness and close down the inequalities still seen across the gender divide. The Unions claim that there will be mass wages cuts but in reality about 10% will see a reduction with the rest either rising or staying the same. Many of the biggest rises will be seen by the lowest paid. The majority of council employees have already returned there new contracts. But as with all union activity, the mere fact that a majority are happy is not enough.

Some of the hardest hit by the strike were school children (though I don’t quite think they would agree with me here) with a 134 schools closed overall. Teachers across the city stood up with all the inclusive socialist patter they could muster and said “Comrades, balls to these kids education! In three years time I will be three quid a year worse of them I am now if we don’t take inflation in to account! Who’s with me!!”.

Labour leader Albert Bore told the ‘nice day off people’ that he would have thrown £80 million more into the pay deal. Err, If this isn’t the best example of why we should keep the current Conservative led coalition then I would like to hear it! I mean, if the current administration can get the job done for £80million less (that’s £80 million!!) then why on earth vote for Bore?

In a bizarre example of particularly bad leadership the 41 Labour members of the city council decided to take part in the ‘day off’ instead of debate the measure in the council chamber.

The naïve sixth form politics that led to this show of solidarity reinforced their selflessness; at best this was a fettering of their duty to all of their other constituents, not just the minority that work for the council (a minority that is further reduced when you consider that he majority of council employees have returned their new contracts).

The Birmingham Post reported that two Labour councillors were ‘given “special dispensation” to cross the picket line’ to attend the debate. At what point did our elected representative have to get permission from Union leaders to do anything?

How sad is it when our elected leaders, many of them having spent all their professional life in politics, think that their objectives are better served by staying outside the democratic process than engaging in it. Then again, when you have already lost the moral and empirical arguments perhaps their decision to stay away was tactical. Like all union activity; the only people that matter to them are themselves regardless of hyperbole.

At the end of the day why were they there? Greed mainly. They want more money and they want it now. Regardless of the council tax rise that poor families will have to suffer and that impact it will have on business rates – forcing more companies to steer clear of Birmingham which in turn means a loss of even more employment opportunities. They have no regard for the fact that Cllr Rudge and the other leaders of Birmingham City Council have a fiduciary duty to look after every tax payer, not just those that work for the Council directly.

On an individual level you have to ask yourself would I be saying this if my salary was dropping. Well yes I would. If I was that annoyed I would get a new job. Take my skills, experience and qualifications on to the open job market and go somewhere else. Fortune usually favours the brave. But behind this strike there is something else. On the one hand you have the disgruntled unions that have glimpsed a new cause to get their claws into. Their ambitions of power have always masqueraded as protection. And on the other the lazy, something-for- nothing culture that is slowly eating in to the fabric of this country. People today think that if they’re not happy all they have to do is shout loud enough and they’ll get what they want.

We should be congratulating the City leaders for stamping down on inequality in the work place and for having due regard to tax payers across the region in the long run.

Any way, later in the day it started raining (God obviously isn’t a union man) and then our newly converted ideologues decide they didn’t want to get wet and went home for a nice day off.


18 thoughts on “Local View: Strike!! Power masquerading as protection

  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Kacin Alexander

  2. I can’t actually believe you think those facing a pay cut should “get on their bikes”. I thought you guys were meant to be into compassionate conservatism these days.

    Of course the majority are happy with their pay increase deals; the whole point of the action is to stand up for the sizeable minority who are losing out. Your article says that the views of the minority should be ignored by councillors simply because they are the minority! I’d be terrified of you ever being elected to represent me.

    And how dare you accuse hard working public servants facing life-changing pay cuts as greedy?

  3. why is the council being forced to cut peoples pay???

    because LABOUR is forcing the hand of the council saying pay has to be equalised(a good thing) but then not stumping up the money to allow the council to do it without pay cuts.

    like andy said if those people are so unhappy by the new labour enforced pay deal they can seek employment elsewhere and get the market rate for their skills.

    of course pay cuts are a bad thing, but what is the alternative a huge council tax hike? well of course you wouldlike that seeming as council tax has almost doubled under labour.

    and furthermore you would love being represented by us, because things might actually work without a 100 foot form to fill in!

  4. I have read that the council had the cash to minimise the effects of the pay cuts, but the Tory administration spent it on somthing else… irritatilngly I have lost my citation on this.

    So you too Ryan seem to think that people who have been screwed over by their employers should up their jobs and just leave? Since Labour have screwed you over so badly on council tax, why don’t you get up and take your skills to another country with less tax rather than sitting here lazily and moaning about it? There are freedom to work rules throughout the EU you know!

    As for the 100 foot form, are you referring to that tired old debate over the stop and search form? If you’d rather the police go back to the days of being able to get away with stopping anyone they like without fear of having to justify it, and being able to target certain groups of people without anyone noticing, then that bothers me even more.

    Anyway, we’re getting into specifics here. The point that the original blog and the subsequent comments have hilighted so starkly here is that the underlying principle of my party is solidarity and looking out for each other, wheras yours is looking out for number one and not giving a shit about anyone else.

  5. The “underlying principle of my party is solidarity and looking after each other”? I love it how Labour presist in white washing history. Your “picture perfect party” has presided over a period of government that is viewed as even sleazier than the “peak” of tory sleaze in the early 1990’s. The Tories didnt do anything by deception… Labour dont do anything without deception. As for looking out for each other… our society is more divided and destructive than EVER! Quite an achievement.

    The inequality gap is bigger than at any period in our history, the “economic growth” Labour bang on about has been the culmination of nothing more than a continuation of the Thatcher legacy. Your party call Thatcher and the Tories devisive and socially destructive… yet you have done bugger all if anything to reverse her policies… if anything you have continued them!

  6. I referred to underlying principles rather than specifics/realities for a reason. They are two very different things, as your post points out.

    For example, the underlying principles of Christianity, (those of forgiveness, equality and, er, looking out for each other,) are rather laudable, and yet what many Christians do is rather counterproductive to those aims… as such the Labour Party sets out with some nice ideas, but often fucks up. But at least it starts out with those decent ideas.

  7. Thats quite an omission to make Brigid, ‘The Labour Party often Fucks up’ a bit of a strange defence.

    A bit like Brown defending Hain by calling him incompetent.

  8. If that is the case… I’d rather start out with “selfish ideas” and succeed, than start out with “good ones and fuck up”

  9. I’m not omitting anything editor, just making a distinction between principle and practice! I don’t think it’s strange for me to admit my own party fucks up, I’m not some sort of blind loyalist :)

    Dan… that’s a dissappointing mindset, I’m sorry to hear you feel that way :(

  10. This blog never fails to amaze me. It would take me too long to pick apart every one of your arguments, but needless to say that if the general public catch wind of the fact that even a sizeable minority (as opposed to the actual majority) of your rotten party hold the views that almost every one of your loyal commentors allude to, the whole veil of compassionate conservativism is going to be blown away to reveal you for what you all are…

    Keep up the good work, Brigid!

  11. John… YOU never cease to amaze me. You seem to continually make statements like “It would take me too long to pick apart every one of your arguments”… Why not give it a go as Im sure we can pick yours apart even quicker… But no you prefer to hide behind little one liners… Sounds like your party in general!

  12. what i feel happens with some labour supporters is that they cannot seem to understand that a large swath of the conservative party has changed. i certainly woudnt have joined the tory party of the 80s and probally not even the party of the 90s but the new party whcih david personifies is one can subscribe too.

    Conservatives do care about people, every person in society we just have a different approach to it. so with the council workers sayng take ur sills elsewhere is not leaving them out in the cold but saying that look if an employers thinks it can treat u this way then leave them out in the cold and get paid better by someone else. it is EMPOWERING people to make teir own CHOICES.

    and the paperwork comment is not regarding the “tierd old ” debate about police forms, well the comment was not only in reference to them, but to the general burdon of administration our public servants feel. and of course i wuold never want to see a situation whrre the police could act racistly or homophobically, but rather than a form, why not make sure the police complaints authority is robust and through public complaints would hold officers to account. therefore reducing paperwork and maintaining integretiy.

    some labour supporters seem only to be able to debate the past with me, not what the tory part has and is becoming.

  13. The post says clear as day that as long as the majority are happy, fuck the minority.

    I’d love to see you say that to the face of one of the hundreds facing a pay cut.

    I hate to disillusion you Ryan, but the view expressed in the original blog, that those screwed over by their employers should just “get on their bike” and look for new work, was rather notoriously esposed by Norman Tebbit as your party’s employment minister in 1981, back in the days when you’d never have joined.

    And you are NOT empowering people by just telling them to sod off! Would you tell a Saudi Arabian woman who wanted to drive a car to just emmigrate? Would you tell a man subject to homophobic abuse at work to just forget it and get a new job? Would you tell someone whose house got repeatedly vandalised just to move? Because this is no different! Market forces may work for commodities, but when it comes to peoples lives you can’t just treat them as souless products.

    Actually I’m scared now that the answer to any of the above might be yes.

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