What do you think? I reckon Brian Coleman has cracked open a bottle of champagne this evening. Brian Coleman probably cracks open a bottle of champagne most evenings, but he's probably chosen a rare vintage this evening, perhaps something he's been saving up for a special occasion. The sort of bottle he might have got in a hamper, a special gift from someone like AssetCo.
I heard the news that the FBU has called off its 47-hour strike due to start tomorrow at 10am while I was in a meeting about the recent strike wave in France (!). A friend sent me a text. And I still don't know much more about it than that. I had a lonely journey home feeling dejected, then something to eat and now here I am.
I thought I'd record my initial feelings of deflation, because initial feelings can often be quite instructive. Why am I depressed about it? Because the FBU said they wouldn't negotiate with a gun to their heads, but now, it seems, they have agreed to do just that. Because I suspect the leadership lost their nerve, worried that the ordinary membership weren't up for it. I think they almost certainly were up for it, but will feel less like that in the weeks to come, now they have seen their leadership hesitating.
And what will change in the next few weeks? Will it be possible to ramp up the confidence of members and send the management cowering back into their shells? Well, if that isn't possible now, I only think it's going to be harder in the coming period. The union has blinked, as far as I can tell. Coleman and the London mayor and the Tories and London Fire Brigade will be cock-a-hoop tonight, and so will the weasels - they are only a handful of people, let's be clear - who were crewing the AssetCo engines. And so will John Shannon, AssetCo CEO, who will now make a profit on his contract with LFB. And so will all the egits who think that firefighters - and other public servants - shouldn't have the right to strike. And so will all the journalists who researched and wrote snide little smear stories about firefighters.
Right, perhaps these initial reactions are just a sign of my ultra-leftism (increasing with age and the frustrations that go with it). I'm going off to read up on the web now and see if I'm wrong.