I’ve always been shite at chess. The only reason I briefly made it into my primary school chess team was when this lassie I played in the chess club made a mistake and knocked her king over in disgust. Oh Arna where are you now I wonder?
But, even me with my shite chess skills I know that with industrial action there’s always manoeuvring going on. The classic example of this was the miners strike. Now take any political position you want and please do remember what actually happened at Orgreave, but that aside dear god the NUM were fucking morons in a hey, lets wait until winter has passed and the government that wants to destroy us has stocked up on coal and made transport arrangements for moving it about Britain and only then go on strike. Jezuz.
Private sector unionism being mostly fucked, a government wanting to cut costs has to take on the public sector unions. And so it seems they are. And again the miners strike provides some useful lessons, the biggie being most Labour politicians will fucking desert them so don’t even waste breath asking for support. Instead call them the bunch of cunts they are and be done with it.
That still leaves the bigger picture thoughe, something I’ve never in any dealings I’ve had with trade unionists had much sense they had much of a fucking clue about. So in the spirit of that here goes;
Government has a 5 year spending plan, you can find out what the headline numbers are here. Key to this is cutting costs on an ongoing basis. The magnitude of the cuts are not something that’s been experienced in the last 50 years i.e. see what’s happening today? Well that’s what’s going to happen tomorrow and the next day and the day after that and so on and its not something you‘ve ever experienced in your utter fucking puff.
To give a practical example, as from something like September this year multi-year public sector pay freezes come into force - now if inflation is 4% this year that’s a 4% pay cut in real terms. And if inflation is still 4% next year then that’s another 4% pay cut. See? That’s an 8% pay cut in total. Ouchy. So shit won’t be getting any better, in fact it’ll be getting worse, permanently worse (or are civil servants dumb enough to be expecting a 10%+ pay rise in 2013 to make up for what they’ve lost out on?).
Hence any government wanting to fuck shit up over the medium-term will provoke a fight now, the idea being it’ll win in 2011 and as a result kick the fight out of the unions who won’t challenge said shit in 2012 and 2013 (or 2014 for that matter). So there, that’s the bigger picture. Its not a “trap” as Ed “Suck-on” Balls calls it, it’s a pragmatic, thought out plan and not one that appears open to much negotiation. Its also one that will presumably see hunners of shite about gold plated public sector pensions being wanked over in the Tory press whereas the reality is that normal sods are being forced to pay for the bank bail outs out of their own pockets. And the fact is if the public sector lets itself get fucked in 2011, then it’ll also get fucked in 2012 and 2013 at the very least in every way imaginable.
As an aside I mind for some reason going to a meeting organised by the EIS in response to the McCrone agreement and associated proposals to do away with Assistant principal teachers and senior teachers. What came across was very clear - the union had given them up during the negotiations and despite a few tub thumping fannies thumping tubs, it wasn’t in any way supporting those affected. What also came across was that the room was full of assistant principal teachers and principal teachers who for the most part didn’t have a fucking clue about how they’d been stitched up or what was coming. If that’s how the public sector is today, then they’re fucking fucked and can go and fuck themselves for being such ignorant fannies.
A 22nd June P.S. - was hearing informally today teachers are now leaving thehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif EIS in favour of the SSTA because the former hasn't been aggressive enough in its negotiations. Shit could be getting interesting.
A 28th June P.S. - And so it goes. The Spod himself has blogged about how there shouldn't be a strike/the government has cocked up negotiations i.e. a predictable, critical stance formulated to attack political opponents/not alienate Middle England. Personally, if I was a trade union baron I'd (a) ask for my money back and (b) feel an utter fanny for pushing the Spod into the party leadership