Thursday, March 01, 2012
(i had written this last night - and about nine tenths of the way through the computer decided to just lose it. this version will not be quite as good as that one). len mccluskey is the general secretary of the unite union, britain's largest union. as such he weilds a lot of power and influence. unions are necessary, in fact they are vital, they should be there not only to protect the employee at work or to improve the employees conditions at work, unions should also play an important role in the social and economic health of the country. the con/dems, sorry i mean the coalition government, have embarked on an austerity drive which is supposed to help us recover from the financial crisis which had been created by the financial services around the world but the con/dems conveniently blame on the labour government. a large plank of the austerity drive is cuts to the public sector. most people are sympathetic to public sector workers. it is a sympathy that can easily be lost. one way of losing it very quickly, i would argue, is to call for strike action and acts of civil disobedience during the olympic games (they probably won't do it against the paralympic games just in case they have to criticise themselves for offending the disabled community). while there is tactical sense in targeting the olympics - it is also one that involves great risks as it will easily be seen as a combination of greed (i refer you to the antics of the rmt union) and blackmail. neither will sit too well with people who are suffering economically themselves. you would like to think that len mccluskey is just sending up a warning shot and this will lead to sensible discussion. but you just can't be sure. mr. mccluskey was elected to the role of general secretary with a large majority of the votes. 15% of those eligible to vote did. mr. mccluskey's salary is somewhat above the average wage his members get and i am sure his pension will be a healthy one. perhaps mr. mccluskey is just upset he didn't get a ticket or two in the olympic ticket ballot?