Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wall to wall Danny as we head back to the seventies?

It was heard to escape Danny Alexander's voice yesterday if you had a Television or a radio switched on at newsbroadcast times. Danny is the Westminster Government's front man in their efforts to make Civil Servants work until they are 66, pay more into their pension schemes and receive a pension based on their average earnings instead of final salary. Danny certainly got around yesterday and he certainly sounded confident on both the radio and television. It continues today in acres of newsprint:

"Yesterday the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander provoked fury by warning public sector workers it would be a "colossal mistake" to reject a deal that was the best they could hope for." More on the independent site.

The unions (or at least some of their leaders) are up for a fight. In that same Independent article we have Dave Prentis being quoted:

"Dave Prentis, the general secretary of Unison, made the comments as furious unions threatened to walk away from talks over coalition plans to require most public sector employees to work longer and pay more for less generous entitlements in retirement.
He told the Guardian today: "It will be the biggest since the general strike. It won't be the miners' strike. We are going to win." "

This observer feels that the Unions could be walking into a bigger trap than the one that Arthur Scargill fell into in 1984. Danny sounded upbeat and confident and it seems the Government are willing to have a rumble too. The Unions should be careful what they wish for, maybe some of the LibDems might not have the appetite for a prolonged battle but the Tories certainly will. The miners strikes of 73/74 toppled Heath but as we all know the paradigm shifted with Magaret Thathcher in 79 and the next time round the Tories were ready. If there is prolonged, unpopular union unrest then Cameron could go to the country just as Heath did in 74 on the issue of who runs the country and the result might not be very pretty at all - a Tory government with a majority and a mandate to go far beyond anything the present coalition may be contemplating. If such an election were to happen then voters in Scotland might turn to the SNP in huge numbers if Labour looked liked losing. Remember the huge spikes in SNP support in the two elections in 1974 when the SNP won 22 and 30% of the vote respectively.

A return to 1926? No, a re-run of 1984/5 maybe, at a push, if the rank and file have the bottle and are willing to gamble on losing a lot more than Danny is proposing at the moment. The times they may have a changed and we might have a lot more technology lying around but there certainly is a a bit of retro feeling creeping in after the first year of Cameron rule in Westminster. All we need now is a punk rock revival to really set the scene.


Anonymous said...

Will Gurnites express support for this policy because it may just be that public service pensions are unsustainable or will we rant against the policy because danny and the LibDems are part of it? Arguements on their merits anyone?

Anonymous said...

Strikes will not succeed because voters put this coalition Gov in power and will keep it in power. Who we get in power is a reflection of the state we have reached as a society.

We either:

Like our comfortable lifestyles too much to challenge what the English Gov is doing(in fact we are quite prepared to accept that it must be pain all around - as long as it does not affect us personally in some way);

Or we are so downtrodden but low / average / 'squeezed middle wages' wages, redundancy, lack of jobs, rising cost of living, ill health, caring responsibilities, etc, etc that we cannot face all the problems that will be created by strike action on top of everything else;

Or a combination of any of the above circumstances.

So no one wants to or is in a position to back anyone else prepared to challenge.

As for Danny Alexander - more shrewd power grabbing political manoeuvres I think; not daft this Tory Gov in waiting.

It seems the Cons let the Lib-dems have enough glory over the changes to the NHS reforms so it is about time the Lib-Dems are once again cast in the role of hard man villains. This is guaranteed to please hard line Tories and hack of a few more Lib Dem voters who will be having huge problems in finding someone else to vote for.

So at the next general election, with the all the boundary changes likely to lose (proportionally more) Lib Dem seats, Labour in disarray and voters disillusioned it will be a massive Tory victory all the way with the right wing clear to take over the party.

Watch out for a massive influx of English refugees over the Scottish and Welsh borders - all those who are not stuck in homes they cannot sell of course because of a downturn in the market.

Anonymous said...

The number of retired teachers and other public service employees is increasing rapidly simply because they are living longer (there is no need to be sidetracked into political debate about their importance etc). Can their existing retirement age and pension levels be maintained in such circumstances without additional contributions and/or working longer?

Stating the b******* obvious said...

Voters didn't put this government in power, that's why it's a coalition!

Anonymous said...

If someone has been in a job for 20 years or more, then of course they are going to be very angry, if they have been promised a decent pension, then have it taken away. That pension might have been the reason they took the job in the first place, so they've just wasted 20 + years of their lives. They could have been working in the private sector earning better money.
I am quite sure that this government is in for a shock at the huge amounts of strikes that are coming their way, Public sector workers could bring this country to its knees, because so many other walks of life depend on them. like if there are no teachers then no parents will be able to work, no bin men,no important officeworkers the list goes on.
I am retired now but I say good luck to them, if you don't fight for your rights then the government will walk all over you. Some people voted them in but that same people can get rid of them just as quickly.Thats called democracy.

Out Maggie out said...

In the old days of industrial action the army was brought in, but as this government is currently making 1000 troops redundant that's not going to be so easy

it was the Rock against Racism movement that saw so many protest song rather than punk, but wouldn't mind a revival of either!

Badenoch Seer said...

Judging by the loss of his Scottish accent in recent months, I can only assume Danny is hoping to be adopted south of the border come the next election?

Maybe he is also looking for a new party!

Turkey said...

Lib-Dems are turkeys voting for Christmas. Maybe someone should tell them. Nah, Maybe not.