Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Support the pensions strikes! Don't scab!

I went this morning to a protest outside Lancaster Hotel, Hyde Park. The conference was organised by the events management arm of Capita, currently bidding for £750 million worth of business from Barnet Council.

There the representatives of profit-hungry multi-national companies had privileged access to the executives of the public services who make the decisions about outsourcing. Barnet residents were not welcome inside; we were not allowed to come and give an alternative view of the One Barnet programme to that dished up by Barnet's deputy chief exec Andrew Travers. Not even allowed to put questions to him.

What is this all about? It surely isn't democracy!

And, be sure, the Government's assault on public sector pensions is intimately linked to their plan to privatise public services. They want to entice the big multinationals by saying, "here, you don't have to pay these guys so much when they retire".

That is why, if you are working in a service where the union has voted to go on strike tomorrow, you should support the strike. You are allowed to join in the strike even if you did not take part in the ballot and you can join a union on the day to cover you, if you are not already a member. Support the strike!


Don't Call Me Dave said...

Scab: an insulting word for a person who continues working while other people in the organization are on strike.

So it’s not OK for Conservative Councillors to insult members of public, but it is OK for militant Trots to insult ordinary people who recognise that the country is in a shit hole thanks to Pa Broon’s reckless mismanagement of the economy, and would just like to do a honest day’s work?

Vicki Morris aka Citizen Barnet said...

"Scab", it's the English language word for someone who breaks a strike. I didn't choose it, I don't like it. But there we are, that's the word we have.

What is a scab? An honest toiler? Don't you think the people going on strike are honest toilers? What do you think they are?

What wretch would willingly submit to having their pension hacked at while the rich go on getting richer?

Don't you recognise a context for this strike? A government with a political agenda beyond simply balancing the books.

A government that wants to privatise public services, attack public sector unionism as Margaret Thatcher attacked private sector unions.

Context: an economic system that has amply shown its drawbacks in the past few years.

Blame it all on Gordon Brown? What I blame him for is his Toryism.

Do you see no role in causing Britain's woes for capitalism? For the economic system that allowed bankers to speculate on dodgy loans to people who didn't have enough to buy a decent home? That would let it happen again?

Don't compare me to those Conservative councillors. I'm not taking money for what I'm doing. It costs me a lot to do what I do.

People who break the strike tomorrow might as well have a sign pinned to their back with 'Kick me' written on it, because that is what Brian Coleman, Richard Cornelius and Nick Walkley, with varying degrees of contempt, will do to Barnet workers if they don't stick up for their own and each other's interests.

Scab: no apology for using it. Nasty word, stupid thing to be.

baarnett said...

DCMD: It's surely a lot more than "militant Trots" who would be unhappy at fellow workers going past them tomorrow, maybe for the first time since thirty-two years ago (the last strike of this size).

And is there such a huge difference between these unions and the practices of, say, the BMA, the Law Society, ICAEW (accountants) or the House of Lords?

Don't Call Me Dave said...

You chose to use the word ‘scab’. You could have said ‘strike-breaker’ or ‘worker unwilling to give into left wing militancy’. Scab is a word clearly designed to denigrate and intimidate those who do not subscribe to a particular agenda.

Gordon Brown a Tory? Are you serious? Only the deluded left think we can keep on spending money we don’t have. Brown sold off our gold reserves when prices were rock bottom and converted them into useless paper currencies. Everyone told him it would end it tears, but he wouldn’t listen. He then spent billions of pounds creating hundreds of thousands of unproductive non-jobs.

Governments do not have any money. They can only spend what they raise in taxation or from borrowing (i.e. taxation deferred). Government borrowing for anything other than long term capital expenditure is immoral. Forcing future generations to pay for the excesses of their predecessors is repellent.

The reason we are in such a mess is because we have been living beyond our means for far too long. Nobody wants to see other people out of work or losing their pension rights, but the reality is that we can’t have what we can’t afford. Why should the public sector be immune from the cutbacks faced by the private sector?

Capitalism is not a perfect system. I’ve not ever met anyone who ever claimed that it is. But it is better than the Socialist utopia you desire. Name me one Socialist democracy that is not in similar dire straits? The banking crisis, lest you forget, occurred because the last Labour government took its eye off the ball. It abandoned regulation because all Gordon Brown could see were the billions in taxes to be creamed off the top. Nobody bothered to question how this money was being generated. It was the Labour government which allowed fat cats like Fred Godwin to draw an outrageous pension because it stuffed the civil service full of people who do not understand business or know how to negotiate.

And it was your mate Tony Blair who introduced the Local Government Act 2000, which has allowed fat cat councillors to emerge supported by fat cat chief executives. Labour had no mandate for this.

baarnett: I’m not sure I see your point about the BMA et al.

Vicki Morris aka Citizen Barnet said...

I use the word scab because that's the word people use. I don't like it, I told you that.

Denigrate? I think people who break the strike (!) are fools to themselves and fools to those they work with.

(People who don't join the union are always happy to take the gains that union action has won, I note.)

I don't recognise any sociaist utopias anywhere, past or present. But this is a much bigger debate, to be continued another day.

I'm on my way to work - in a private enterprise. I'm a freelance because staff posts are hard to come by. I don't get a pension, sick pay or holiday pay. Is this progress? I don't think so.

And before DD accuses me of self-pity, I am simply pointing out the way employment is headed for too many.

Defend your pensions, defend your public sector jobs!

David Duff said...

From my blog - 'a poor thing but mine own!'

Stuffed and puffed as they are with their own ridiculous and risible self-importance, the public sector workers (or some of them, anyway) are on strike and, as I could have told them, no-one noticed. Kids enjoy a day off but they have too many days off already so parents are used to coping. Civil servants are absent for a day but the only difference is that this time they don't have a sick note. Patients have their minor ops put back which is probably for the third time anyway. The word from Heathrow is that far from chaos everything is moving better than a normal day.

The very best piece of joyous news to be heard in Osborne's speech was that the number of public service employees to be laid off will almost double. Christmas has come early this year.

Mrs Angry said...

Duff: I have a treat for you over on my blog: an example of the most appalling sort of leftist, anarchic trouble making, and yes, DCMD, wilfil intimidation of honest workers. An utter disgrace.