not often that i find myself in agreement with the tories (sorry con/dems) (though i suspect that as i get older i will slowly become the old conservative my dad was, hey and if this damascus like conversion was good enough for chris maybe it is good enough for me - angry at whitechapel... mmm has a ring to it, so i will find myself more in agreement with them than not, but let's hope that when that time of assimilation comes there is a labour government in power. anyway enough rambling, back to the point).
where was i?
not often that i find myself in agreement with the tories (sorry con/dems), but when it comes to their criticism of the london fire brigade’s planned bonfire night strike i am nodding my head in agreement.
don't get me wrong there are few occupations in the country who i think deserve more money than they get just because of the job they do and firemen are one of those groups.
i would proudly wear my two t-shirts from previous firemen strikes (well i would if they still fitted me - shrunk in the wash don't you know).
but there is a time and place.
oh i understand that for a strike to work it has to take place when it has the most impact.
it is why teachers don't go on strike during the summer holidays, why the tubes are always out when people are trying to go to work, that the posties will look to christmas to strike.
yet in all those cases it is mostly a question of inconvenience.
the london fire brigade holding a strike on bonfire night (which normally wouldn't matter that much - except it falls on a friday and the planned 47-hour strike will carry over into the busy night of saturday) has the potential to be more than an inconvenience, it has the potential to cause the loss of life.
the fire brigades' union general secretary, matt wrack, says "the long-term safety of londoners depends on a well-trained, self-confident fire fighting force." it seems he has no trouble building that self-confident force on the potential short-term pain on some londoners (mmm where have we heard that before, oh yeah from the con/dems).
(as an aside it appears that mr. wrack is one of the few union leaders who does not pay himself vastly more than his general members.)
as i say i would happily see the fire fighters paid much more i am just not comfortable with them deliberately putting lives at risk so that they can be 'self-confident'.
not to mention i am not overly keen on the fact that they have made me agree with the conservatives.