Politicians fail to ‘Strike’ the key notes as Public Sector Workers Walk Out

1 12 2011

Jeremy Clarkson says he’d have you all shot in front of your families, David Cameron said you were going to cost the economy half a billion and then lose your jobs, George Osborne, flatly stated that your actions will “not achieve anything, it is not going to change anything”. Basically if you were one of near two million public sector workers who walked out for 24 hours yesterday, your leaders – and one fat, climate change denying pillock – think you are destroying the economy and believe your kind should be stopped. Funny that, I’m sure many of you feel a mutual apathy towards these incredulous lunatics that appear to be trampling all over our futures.

There was some support from inside Westminster yesterday, coming in the form of “Red Ed” Milliband, as our tabloids love to call him – presumably because his name rhymes with red, he’s a communist and he doesn’t hate the unions – you Stalin you! Inspiring words they were too; “I’m not going to condemn public servants who feel they are in an impossible position… It is the government’s failure that has led to today’s strike” inspiring stuff I think you’ll all agree, no wonder people feel the need to take to the streets…

So from one gutless leader of a floundering opposition to one clueless nit-wit Prime Minister and his pathetic attempts to scare people into compliance…

Just days before the planned walk outs on Wednesday, the government announced that the strike action could cost the British economy £500million and could lead to job losses. In the ensuing war of words with the unions, the government then managed to claim that this was both “fact” and “a worst case scenario” on the same day. Sorry what? By definition surely nothing can be both “fact” and “a worse case scenario”…

My cousin and her Paramedic mates "costing the country £500million yesterday"

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word fact as “something that is indisputably the case”. A scenario is defined in two ways: 1. “A description of how things MIGHT happen in the future” and 2. “A written outline of what happens in a film or play”…

Hmmm, that doesn’t really make any sense does it? Either the dictionary is wrong on one or both of these definitions, or our own government seem to have a pretty hard time separating truth from bullshit. You can see why the unions accused our leaders of “fantasy economics” and more to the point, you can see why people just don’t trust their politicians anymore and quite frankly, why should we?

I want to make it clear why I am with the strikers. In our “democracy” where all decision-making is placed in the hands of dishonest, self-interested politicians, strike action is probably the only way to try to change anything in-between elections. The government like to use the words negotiation when talking about changes to public sector pensions, but there has never been a negotiation. The government has dictated its terms and then said like it or lump it. There is no flexibility or willingness to help people understand the reasons behind government policy, this understandably creates anger and eventually if impasse continues, a strike becomes inevitable.

That I am on the side of public sector workers does not mean that I believe yesterdays action will have had any impact or change anything. Mr Osbourne showed his contempt for the British public by proudly announcing this stance the day before the strike. Indeed, it stands as great testament to the media and political propaganda machine in this country, that you can tell millions of people they are going to have to work longer, for less money than they thought and most don’t strike. It amazes me that we are not knocking down the doors of parliament and demanding answers, we are all “generation fucked” in the hands of economics in its current form, so why isn’t everyone getting angry? What is it going to take?

A former lecturer of mine from university, Peter McGunnigle, has a great analogy to describe why people like him felt the need to strike yesterday:

You go into a restaurant, look at the menu and order a £15 steak. You are told it will be 10 minutes.
15 mins later your meal arrives and it’s a BURGER and the bill is not £15 but £18. The waiter says sorry but times are tough and we thought we could afford to give you a steak for that price but things have changed.
Would you soak it up and say yeah that’s cool ? 
No I thought not, you would be a bit unhappy, you might even walk out of the restaurant – That is how many people felt on strike today

I think that is a pretty fair description of the principle behind the issue. The only difference of course is that your future security is at “steak” (couldn’t resist) and you probably wouldn’t walk back into the restaurant 24 hours later, if ever. Isn’t it a shame we have the strength to follow our convictions in a steak house but not when it comes to our own futures? Its fairly poignant when you think about it. Why are we so happy to place our trust in a group of people who don’t really seem to know what they are doing?

I don’t prescribe to this idea that all politicians are evil, I don’t even believe all Bankers are evil, in fact I believe that most people irrespective of money or power, are good. I don’t think anyone knows how to fix it, but I think rather than being evil, they are just afraid to admit this. It is a shame because until we admit that our circumstances are new and different from any previous examples, we won’t begin to think differently.

In the interest of fairness it is important to try to balance the argument here, because in truth the pension scheme that has been on offer was ridiculously unsustainable. It is part of the reason our country finds itself in this position and largely you can blame Labour for creating that situation, although Baroness Thatcher had her hand in creating the world we see before us today as well.

However the fact remains that David Cameron is not wrong when he says, “As a country, we’ve got to make sure our public sector pension scheme is affordable. There are only two places where the money for public sector pensions can come from – it can come from the taxpayer or it can come from the people contributing themselves.”

To quote one of the better Christmas ads this year “As far as a conundrum goes it is up there with Justin Bieber and Eggnog” and it really is, or at least it will be until someone turns round and admits that the money for the previous pension plan for public sector workers was never there.

I think right there is the crux of the economic issue as a whole, none of this money – these debts, these pensions these mortgages – ever really existed, it was created out of thin air, by a bank, on a promise. Until someone in power turns round and admits that at the centre of all our problems is money creation, until someone admits that there is not enough real money in existence to pay back just the interest on the debts that exist in the world, nothing will be solved and we will see more and more civil unrest, more and more poverty and more and more inequality and anger.

So to those who condemn people who strike, I say to you, who is fighting for your future? To those who strike, or occupy or protest, I say keep doing what you’re doing, you are the drivers of change and change is coming, whether we like it or not.

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22 12 2011
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