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Should public servants go on strike?

11 July 2014

7:24 PM

11 July 2014

7:24 PM

David Cameron has promised to change the law to make it harder to go on strike if he wins the next election. The Spectator has generally been in favour of tightening up strike laws, not trusting union leaders to do the right thing. In 1919, just as a law banning the police from striking was being passed, The National Police Union issued a sudden order to down tools, which was not a good PR move.

This unscrupulous attempt failed except in Liverpool and Birkenhead, where about half the police absented themselves from duty and allowed the criminal classes, who are largely Irish Roman Catholics, to riot and plunder. Order was restored last Sunday by troops. In London about a thousand men out of 19,000 failed to appear at their posts. Sir Nevil Macready was prepared for such an emergency, and a mild outbreak of disorder south of the river was promptly suppressed. In Birmingham a tenth of the police ceased work. All the other police forces remained loyal…An ugly feature of the police “strike” was the secrecy with which it had been planned by the Union organizers for the eve of the holidays. These men suddenly issued an order to their deluded followers to cease work at once. Had the order been obeyed, the great cities would all have been exposed to the fate of Liverpool, where for several days the mob had command of the central shopping district, and looted and destroyed property to the value of £200,000 before it was dispersed by rifle-fire. The organizers must have foreseen the possible results of their action.

A year later, the Conservative government brought in a bill to make union ballots secret. The Spectator was in favour of reform, describing how wild young men were running amok and ‘prostituting trade unionism and Democracy’.

On the vital issue of a big strike the vote should be as free and secret as the Parliamentary vote. No ballot should be valid without a clear majority vote. And above all, in politics and in trade unionism, the vote should be one of intelligence and not ignorance. If we are ill we seek a skilled medical man. If we want a machine we seek a skilled engineer. If we want a house we seek a skilled architect. But when we want to settle huge and vital industrial, social, and political questions we appeal to the mob, especially to the ignorant section of the mob. Let us enfranchise intelligence, and then, but not till then, shall we be on the road to real progress and happiness. A wide and comprehensive franchise means rule by ignorance. The open trade union ballot means rule by intimidation. The “faked” vote means rule by trickery.

[Alt-Text]


After some early strike success in the early 1980s, the National Union of Mineworkers voted three times against Arthur Scargill’s motion to strike again. They were right and Scargill was, according to The Spectator at the time, ‘a paper tiger and a flesh-and-blood buffoon’.

The Government and the country gain immeasurably from the miners’ demonstration of their commonsense. The miners have called their own bluff, and shown their president Mr Scargill to be a poker player fit only for the kindergarten. We are all most obliged, and especially to Mr Scargill for being so silly as to go for broke with a busted flush.’

This week Cameron said he did not think public services should ever be disrupted. When he’s taking on unions for teachers, firemen and civil servants, he might perhaps like to use this argument from The Spectator in 1919:

The policeman’s calling is not a trade, any more than the soldier’s or sailor’s calling. The policeman’s task is to protect the community against criminals. Therefore the police must be controlled by the community. If they were controlled by any private persons like the Police Union Executive, those persons would be our masters and we should cease to be a democracy.’

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Show comments
  • paulthorgan

    In the US it is illegal for federal employees to strike. And that is seen as constitutional.

    State-sector workers should not be able to hold the country to ransom.

    Today’s NHS strike is an argument for its effective monopoly to be broken up so staff could be attracted to the fragment that pays more. Market forces would determine salary instead of a centrally-planned edict.

  • First L

    ‘The policeman’s calling is not a trade, any more than the soldier’s or sailor’s calling. The policeman’s task is to protect the community against criminals. Therefore the police must be controlled by the community. If they were controlled by any private persons like the Police Union Executive, those persons would be our masters and we should cease to be a democracy.’

    A perfect argument for dismantling ACPO and the Police Federation. Both of which are attempts by private persons within the police to take control of it and direct its usage against the Government and the Community.

    • Tim Baker

      What about the Freemasons?

  • Jacques Strap

    Of they should go on strike – during the school holidays.

  • 20thcenturymax

    Let’s say for arguments sake that all strikes were outlawed? How would this effect our democratic rights as a society? How would our voices be heard? It’s all very well to say that people don’t want their lives disrupting but we’ve already seen evidence from this government that ordinary people have little or no say in decisions that are made on our behalf, whether we’ve voted for a particular party or not. Whilst politics remains a ‘career’ choice for wealthy Etonians (by the bucket load) and hereditary peers continue to have so much power over the working classes. Do we really want to close down yet another way of saying ‘please listen to us’? Who are politicians actually supposed to be working for?

  • global city

    Just watching Zulu, they’re charging again……. reminded me of this blog for some reason!

  • saffrin

    I’m up for revoking all of Maggie Thatcher’s anti trade union laws apart from the ballot.
    The only thing that allowed red robbo to run riot in the 70’s/80’s was the voting was 100% BS.
    I remember watching one televised vote at the Cowley car plant where only a few dozen hands went up out of hundreds and that commie bas*ad still called a strike.

  • Colonel Mustard

    The heading photo tells us all we need to know about the motivation of those “strikers” (political campaigning by other means).

    • BarkingAtTreehuggers

      I heart your new avatar.
      It will appeal to those who are motivated by further socialising their losses whilst raking in the landlord benefits because they think they deserved their inherited and/or God-given wealth.

      The productive world laughs at this fatuous belief and proves them wrong, every single time.

  • Mynydd

    There are two sides to a strike, the employers and the unions. During the last four years there as been very few strikes where the private sector is the employer, whereas when Mr Cameron is the employer there has been major strikes. In many cases it’s the same union talking to the private sector and state employer. So why the difference. Personally I think work to rule and your contract is a more effective weapon than strikes. For example, teachers complain their non teaching duties mean often a 60 hour week, I would recommend stopping non teaching activities, strict application of the safety rules and a ban on overtime as the best method to get Mr Gove to the table.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      I recommend that Gove tells the teachers to FO or be sacked.

      • Mynydd

        It just goes to show how childish you are. Sack the teachers, all state schools would close until thousands of replacement can be found maybe from over seas or any one from the dole office, unable to read and write no problem, and then there are the court cases for unfair dismissals.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Sack the ones that strike or are incompetent you fatuous Labour troll.

  • berosos_bubos

    It doesn’t matter whether they go on strike or not, the point is the country needs defined contribution pensions for all state employees as anything else is not affordable.

    • saffrin

      State pensions for every contributor are affordable, unprovoked wars and foreign aid are not.
      I fail to see why anyone would think private pension are the way to go when a) those private companies can go bust at any time, b) the value being constantly deflated by management and admin charges or c) simply stolen as happened in the Maxwell case.

      • Alexsandr

        but the government has spent all our state pension contributions hasnt it. Now it has to find the resources to pay pensions for the baby boomers. now that was a good idea wasnt it? bet they shirk on the deal when I need to get my state pension. They have already stolen my SERPS and graduated pension.

        • saffrin

          George Orwell.

  • Amir

    Read this article about Labour’s reaction to strikes:
    http://www.casualpolitics.co.uk/2014/07/which-party-is-most-worried-about-strikes/

  • 20thcenturymax

    If the turnout was so abysmal, why are the Tories worrying about it so much?

  • you_kid

    How come the French do about once a month – do they have more rights after all?
    Delibertion after deliberation on yet another Magna Carta elitist anomaly…

    ‘I never voted for that’ either!

    • HookesLaw

      I’m not sure the Magna Carta was a great leap for the commion man.

      • Jacques Strap

        Lefty

  • Holly

    Mandatory voting for union members, and strike to be held within six months from day of ballot.
    Simples.

    • Mynydd

      Mandatory voting for police commissioners, local election, general elections and EU election,
      Simples.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        No a recipe for Fascism as Labour would try to rig every election with its placemen.

      • Holly

        Absolutely!

      • Alexsandr

        Im up for that as long as there is a none of the above option. if none of the above wins then the seat is left vacant

  • alabenn

    If public servants want to strike they should be subject to the same working conditions as the private sector.
    No guarantee of gold plated pensions, the same rules on dismissal, the same rules on redundancy payment and job guarantees, and holiday and sick pay entitlements.
    They would soon have to work a lot harder than they do now.

    • anyfool

      It is hardly likely they would be able to work harder, there is a serious problem with obesity among the public sector workforce, this is reflected in the sickness rates.

      • telemachus

        What is your evidence for that ridiculous statement

        • Daidragon

          He read it in the Daily Heil.

        • anyfool

          Are you blind, have you never been to a hospital, have you seen the council workers in the offices, take the kids to school, it is not the kids who need playing fields it is the porkers who are teaching, the PE teacher should be taking the staff for lessons.
          The strike on Thursday gone, the people they interviewed for the news were without exception overweight.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Public servants receive index linked salary related pensions paid for by the private sector. Private sector workers also have to pay for their own pensions via a money purchase scheme. Private sector workers have no guaranteed pay rises or salary incements while public sector workers do. Private sector workers face a much higher likelihood of redundancy. All in all private sector workers pay for everything, including the public sector which generates no wealth directly, and take most of the risks and rarely, if ever, strike and certainly not for political purposes like the fetid scum referred to in this article.

    • Daidragon

      The right wing, always wanting to level down. If I can’t have it nobody can. The brightest and best people in this country work in the public sector and should have all our support in the face of this attack on living standards by people too thick to get a graduate level job.

      • telemachus

        I love it
        Greedy spivs and corporate stooges

        • Colonel Mustard

          Sums up the Labour party perfectly.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Yep that is the Blair/Brown Labour Party to perfection.

      • Alexsandr

        ‘The brightest and best people in this country work in the public sector’ = what complete rot. Have you any basis for this slur.

        • telemachus

          Careful
          Which are you?
          Greedy spiv?
          Corporate stooge?

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Socialist nutter?

        • Daidragon

          Why is it a slur? Most graduate level jobs are to be found in the public sector.

          • anyfool

            The councils and the civil services are stuffed with people with sociology degrees, they are not worth the paper they are written on.
            The only degree now needed is in jargon dissemination.
            We now have child minders ( social workers) destroying family life around the country and very well paid for their dangerous ideas.

          • Jacques Strap

            A degree these days is not even worth several O-levels in terms of difficulty.

        • Andy

          Plenty of murderers though – think Mid Staffs.

        • Jambo25

          Average qualification levels. Its the only objective measure we have.

          • Alexsandr

            degree count bumped up by calling old vocational qualifications degrees. like nurses. and of course teachers and lecturers are all graduates now. (didnt use to be for teachers)

            • Jambo25

              I entered teaching, in Scotland, in 1973. It was an all graduate profession then.

            • Jacques Strap

              Doesnt make them good at their job. Old school nurses had EMPATHY. Something you cannot learn in a university, but it is essential for doing a good job.

              Requiring a degree to be a nursing is why it has gone so badly wrong.

              • Jambo25

                Well, I’ve been in I/C and H/D wards a couple of times over the past 15 years and I wouldn’t have wanted non graduate nurses anywhere near me.

                • First L

                  Why not? The only medical procedure a nurse is required to do is injections and blood removal. You don’t need a degree to perform those.

                • Jambo25

                  I look forward to the next time you are in a post op I/C or H/D ward with non graduate nurses. Let me know how you get on?

          • Jacques Strap

            Wrong. Wealth creation is another objective measure we have.

            • Jambo25

              No you cannot. Drug dealers are great at wealth creation but you wouldn’t hold them up as examples.

      • Colonel Mustard

        More tripe.

        • Daidragon

          If only. Have you seen how much the spivs and stooges cost us with their giving away of the Royal Mail Colonel? Appalling no? At least Brown got current market value for the gold.

          • Colonel Mustard

            That was Cable wasn’t it? A former Labour party member and Labour councillor, now a Liberal Democrat which last time I looked could not be considered a conservative or right wing party.

            You are barking up the wrong tree. The corporation of the UK into a management system with the people as “employees” has been progressed by all three parties working to an agenda like an iceberg. Far more than we see lies hidden and it has little to do with traditional left-right politics.

            By the way there is a very good article on what Labour has done to Wales in this week’s Spectator which should ring alarm bells for anyone currently planning to vote for the Marxist muppet now “leading” that party on behalf of the Marxist Mafia underworld.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            It takes a very special kind of idiot to defend Brown’s pre-announced sake of Gold. It was done, incidentally, to ward off a banking crisis whereby a number of banks had ‘shorted’ Gold and found the price moving in the wrong direction. Of course, Brown would not acknowledge this and took no steps to tighten his ludicrous tripartite regulatory system for banks in the UK. The rest, as they say, is socialist nutter history and the largest structural deficit in peacetime history.

            • Daidragon

              Nothing to say about the Royal Mail rip off then.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Changing the subject rather than addressing the issue how typically dishonest. Making an IPO such as Royal Mail is a balancing act between getting the best possible price and failure -there is no definite value beyond what somebody else is willing to pay. Market conditions were not as buoyant as say, the mid 80s and thus over-caution possibly prevailed. All to the good for the employees who got free shares of course and are entitled to dividends. I don’t see them being ripped off only the usual group of socialist nutters desperate for something to complain about. Now address the issue in question.

          • Andy

            Liar. That idiot Brown depressed the value of Gold. He gave it away.

            • ButcombeMan

              But somebody benefited.

              The gold fix has been, like LIBOR, easy to manipulate and profit from, Writing trades in (backdating) after the fix being only one way of profiting.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                I believe Brown sold Gold reserves to avert a banking crisis with a lot of banks taking ‘short’ positions on Gold and facing horrendous losses due to adverse price movements. Of course, this was evidence that the tripartite banking regulatory system dreamt up by Brown and Balls had failed and so had to be hushed up and the system left in place. The rest, as they say, is history.

                • Jacques Strap

                  Gold is a hard asset.

          • Holly

            Only because the jerk ‘tipped off’ prospective buyers, thus enabling the price of gold to drop.
            Having said that, I would have priced Royal Mail shares at £5.50 a pop.

          • First L

            Vince Cable and Gordon Brown you mean – those well known Capitalists.

            If we don’t want to bankrupt the country it’s useful to have people in power who actually understand money and business and the markets. Socialists tend not to be such people.

      • Andy

        We should break up the public sector and privatise swaths of it. Some of the most stupid people work in the public sector who are parasites on industry and the productive part of the economy.

        • Daidragon

          Yet I bet you still call the fire brigade when your house is burning , call the police when you are scared and rely on NHS trained staff to cure you of any illness. Parasites? You disgusting wretch. The public sector is also the largest purchaser of private sector goods and services so you’d also fuck up the economy.

          • Andy

            No point in calling the Fire Brigade on Thursday – the silly bastards were on strike. The Police ? Lazy and stupid most of them. And lets celebrate their glorious achievement in allowing Jimmy Savile to abuse x number of children. Lets also celebrate their sense of priorities – 100+ detectives working on phone hacking and only 7 on child abuse. NHS ? Lets not mention the murderers in Mid Staffs, a far from isolated case, and the wide spread abuse and callous treatment of the elderly in NHS hospitals by NHS Staff in that glorious Fascist creation.

            We should break up the public sector and return power to the people. And we should destroy all trade unions who do nothing but blackmail the people. The disgusting wretch around here is you and scum like you.

            • Daidragon

              Shall we bring back slavery while we’re at it you swivel eyed monster.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                He did not advocate any such thing you have simply grasped one of the usual abusive tools of the Fascist Labour Party.

              • Andy

                You lefty scumbags will soon be busy building your concentration and extermination camps for all those who disagree with you or of whom you disapprove.

              • Holly

                If I am not mistaken, due to a decade of Labour inaction, we have just had a slavery bill go through Parliament.

                I have worked in both private and public sector, and the private sector worker is 100% a more conscientious worker than those I worked with in the public sector.

                How many private sector workers can be 22 hours up, or down on their contracted hours?
                How many private sector workers come back from maternity leave pregnant! work six weeks then bugger off on maternity leave again?
                P*ss take or what?
                How many private sector workers can start at 7am, go home at 10am and still get their full pay, if within the allowed 22 hours up, or down rubbish?
                How many private sector, term-time workers can start work at 10am, chit chat in the canteen until noon, and go home at 2.30pm?
                How many private sector workers can file their work under ‘B’ for bin, if they do not know how/want, to do that piece of work?
                Been there, seen it, got shunned for not doing the same lazy work practices.

                Absolutely ripe for reform!

          • paulthorgan

            “Yet I bet you still call the fire brigade when your house is burning , call the police when you are scared and rely on NHS trained staff to cure you of any illness.”

            This is not a justification of the bloated state sector. In addition it has been reliably demonstrated that the NHS routinely abused and neglected vulnerable people to death and no-one has been arrested, charged, tried, convicted and sentenced for the premature deaths of thousands.

        • Jambo25

          Before entering teaching, I worked in a civil service ministry dealing directly with industry and commerce. After entering teaching I was active in numerous projects run in association with the CBI and various other business organisations. I have rarely met such stupid, incompetent and arrogant people as some of the management types I met with in those projects.

          • Andy

            I had to deal with Trade Unions. I very quickly learnt that most union leaders didn’t give a flying f*ck about their members jobs: it was all about revolution and class war. They never understood basic economics – a ‘profit’ was an evil thing to be eliminated – and it was a waste of time and effort to try and explain these things to them. They were, basically, as thick as pig sh*t. I do not now deal with any trade unions and I never will again.

            • Jambo25

              And I had, as outlined above, to deal with middle and upper management types. I learnt that many of them were very good at lining their own pockets, dodging responsibility and passing the buck for failures. They weren’t very good at taking anything other than a short term view of events, investing in their own companies or training and upskilling their own workforces. In industries such as construction and engineering they were dire at medium-long term manpower planning.
              British management virtually destroyed the car industry and several others but when those industries were taken over by foreign owners and foreign management practises they morphed into world beaters.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        What utter unadulterated crap. The brightest and best people work in the private sector and generate the wealth necessary to pay for the public sector. Without the private sector there are no public sector workers.

        • Daidragon

          The largest private sector employer in England is the John Lewis group. No disrespect to their workforce but they clearly aren’t brighter or better than graduate level professionals who have trained for years and have jobs that involve saving people’s lives.

          • Colonel Mustard

            The new elitism eh? Graduate level professionals in the public sector, predominantly left wing, steeped in political correctness and diversity training, often affiliated to the Labour party or other extremist left wing parties as members or activists and “leading beyond authority” rather than simply managing and providing services as public servants.

            And we have to buy into that old “national treasure” chestnut to avoid giving offence, a platitude rolled out on QT every time public sector workers are mentioned. That despite the historic evidence of scandals, negligence, incompetence, abuse, corruption and inefficiency. And the elevation to the status of “heroes” those who just do their jobs properly.

            • Daidragon

              ‘And we have to buy into that old “national treasure” chestnut to avoid giving offence’,

              I agree that the public sector worker in Buckingham Palace gets too much credit. rest of your rant is just default swivel eyed nonsense.

              • Colonel Mustard

                She is not a “public sector worker” but our Head of State.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Well he is a swivel eyed socialist nutter.

                • Daidragon

                  Paid for by the taxpayer. If doctors, policemen and soldiers are ‘parasites’ then so is she.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  I don’t think I described them as ‘parasites’ did I?

                • First L

                  Er she doesn’t take a penny from the public purse. She lives entirely on her own money – 90% of which is taken for the public.

    • telemachus

      You know nothing
      Many in the public sector slave hours and suffer abuse from the public that would give many in private sector jobs suffer a nervous breakdown
      We need to value our work forces wherever they toil

      • Colonel Mustard

        Tripe.

      • Gareth

        Absolute tripe,

      • paulthorgan

        They suffer abuse because the complaints systems are a joke and they have far too much job security.

        Where in the private sector people would be dismissed for misconduct or incompetence state-sector workers are ‘spoken to’.

        If state-sector workers did their jobs better then there would be fewer problems. As it is the state sector is a refuge for the under-qualified to do jobs no-one else wants to do.

    • Tim Baker

      Who’s going to change it? The Tories?

  • Winston Burchill

    Problem with these strikes is that they are usually politically-motivated.

    • you_kid

      … then something is deeply wrong with your system.

      • HookesLaw

        How so?

        • you_kid

          What’s political about withdrawing your labour?

          Is just a job for crying out loud.

          • HookesLaw

            The miners strike was not political? Red Robbo was not calling strikes for political purposes?

            • telemachus

              Arthur Scargill was trying to save the mines
              As shown by what happened when he lost

              • Alexsandr

                now look at which governments closed the most mines.
                anyway, health and safety was making deep mining more and more unsustainable -if it costs more to get the coal out than the coal is worth you cant carry on. And now we have the technology to get the gas form the coal thats deep underground without anyone having to go anywhere near the coal.

                • telemachus

                  Hindsight

                • Daidragon

                  The mines were profitable. It;s a scandal that the country with the best coal in the world now imports it by ever greater tonnage per year.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  The mines were not profitable you idiot. People do not close profitable businesses. A business is not profitable when the cost of digging up the coal is more than the price you can sell it for. I remember the huge pay rises extracted during the 70s and the triumphalism of the miners leaders and all they were doing was ensuring the redundancy of their members. Selfish, brainless idiots.

                • Alexsandr

                  And we killed and maimed miners – it was a vile job. Look up

                  Coalworker’s pneumoconiosis and White Finger Syndrome. And disasters I remember like Aberfan and Lofthouse.

                  now we can extract the energy from deep underground with no need to send men down holes. Its a chemical process done to the coal in situ underground that yields gas.

              • Andy

                Bullshit. Harold Wilson and his Labour Government closed far more mines than Maggie did. That cretin Scargill thought he could bring down a government, but Maggie was ready for him and he lost big time.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                So why did Labour close more than twice as many mines and make more than twice as many miners redundant than the Conservatives? How long will we all have to wait for an honest answer?

              • Colonel Mustard

                Scargill was a subversive Soviet agent of influence inciting chaos.

            • Daidragon

              No it wasn’t. For the men it was about saving their industry, jobs and communities. They were right and we now import coal.

              • Andy

                No they weren’t. It was a political strike trying to bring down a government. They lost and have paid a heavy price for their arrogance. No sympathy should be wasted on such scum.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Most of the prominent unionists and Labour party mouthpieces who orchestrated the strikes were militant “agents of influence” for the Soviet Union. The ordinary miners were duped and used to do the dirty work of subversives intent on regime change. The same sort of militants who orchestrated those in the heading photo and the same imperative.

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  So the miners were duped into ‘giving in’ to the case made for Russian, Colombian and US coal domination today? Amazing theory, I have a better one:

                  Britain’s rulers have been repeatedly found to be profoundly financially illiterate. Piketty is coming to aid but the hand reaching out is considered by most as an act of humiliation.
                  Tough boys, get over it. Swallow your pride.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Piketty? Hee-hee. You lefties do clutch at any passing straw as long as it’s the same old song being sung. Obamania anyone?

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  Obama is not a leftie lad, he’s a puppet like all the other Presidents before him, from perhaps Carter onwards.

                  Anyway, swallowed the pride yet or will you continue to double the debt again whilst calling for austerity in the regions?
                  You chaps are so financially illiterate it’s untrue – no wonder Monty P have reunited. Nothing has changed in Britain, nothing.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Is it your turn on the EU disruption rota today lad? Your gibberish spouting sock puppets must be exhausted. Plenty of socialist nuttery to spare no doubt.

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  I cannot beat you at socialist nuttery – QE One, QE Two, QE Three, Funding for Lending and raising house prices by 20% in London only proves my point. Carry on trickling down your socialism – the world laughs in anticipation at what you socialists will come up with next.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Is that the view of the Goat lad? When does his shift commence? Is it before or after dado trunking and you kid? No matter because you will all be spouting EU sponsored socialist nuttery.

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  Go on pal, carry on trickling down your socialism – the world laughs in anticipation at what you socialists will come up with next. How will you gangbank the next generation for yet more of their future cash – a sell out of such mindblowing proportions will not require a further sponsor (like yet more immigrants perhaps), will it?

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Tell it to the Goat lad it might understand you gibberish. Are your EU paymasters happy with your work and which of your sock puppets is next on shift?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Lad? Come now.

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  So Obama is your homeboy, then?
                  That particular tee sold over a million times.
                  Come on now, admit you bought one.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Curb your obsession!

                  118 comments in this thread (so far) – plenty to go around.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  I didn’t realise it was his shift today Colonel. I thought it would be the Goat or dado trunking. Those EU sponsored sock puppets get everywhere.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Yes you idiot because when it costs £1 to dig up your own coal and you can only sell it for 25p your coal industry is not going to last very long. Particularly when you can buy coal on the open market for 20p. Same with cars, boats, planes etc etc all of which the pig-ignorant scum of the trade union movement failed to understand and one by one those industries became uneconomic and died. Incidentally, who closed more pits and made more miners redundant? Labour or Conservative governments? You will find that Labour closed more than twice as many. Mrs Thatcher merely said enough is enough and shot the dying beast.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                They didn’t call the strikes though did they? It was Scargill a socialist nutter desperate to turn Britain into Cuba and overturn a democratically elected government because it didn’t happens to follow his extreme leftist agenda. The poor old miners lost their jobs earlier than they might of done because of the vanity of a coterie of lunatics led by Scargill. Ironically, twice as many of them lost their jobs under Labour Governments and more than twice as many pits closed as did under Thatcher. Not a statistic the socialist nutters like being reminded of. Never mind, if Fascist Labour ever get back into power some paid liar will rewrite history accordingly.

                • Alexsandr

                  lets also look at Labours record closing railways. Check how many route closures Barbara Castle signed off. And compare the railway workforce now with that in 1960.

  • JonBW

    Public Servants generally didn’t strike on Thursday….

    95% were at work.

    • telemachus

      So to ban strikes therefore is anti democratic

      • Smithersjones2013

        Strikes have nothing to do with our democracy

      • JonBW

        Couldn’t agree more: strikes are a fundamental right.

        However democracy needs truth; and the truth is very few supported the strike.

      • Alexsandr

        so a few thousand workers can disrupt the country governed by a government elected in and election where everyone can vote. Hmmm.

    • Fraziel

      LOL, i work in Glasgow and in my office there are around 1200 staff. Less than a hundred were at work. That was repeated pretty much across the board in every other office in Scotland. You really need to stop believing the tripe in the Daily Mail.

      • anyfool

        Scotland is a different political construct in that like the North East of England they have a somewhat higher public sector than the rest of the country.

      • HookesLaw

        As long as we keep electing tory govt it will not be possible for more than 500,000 to go on strike since that will be the size of the public sector.

        I understand teachers are on holiday in Scotland. Its not clear to me that local govt or fire services were involved either. The only references seem to be with the Public and Commercial Services Union.

      • JonBW

        I work in local government; in my office I’d say that less than 5% were on strike. Locally, 90%+ schools, libraries et cetera were open.

        You really need to stop believing the tripe on the BBC news…

  • telemachus

    We are not yet a police state
    If folks wish to withdraw labour in the face of an intransigent employer, it is their right
    And duty

    • southerner

      There is no “right” to strike. That myth is a complete fallacy (as are most of your postings).

      • telemachus

        There is a right to decide whether to go to work

        • Andy

          There is a right to decide whether to employ scumbags.

        • Alexsandr

          if i decide not to work they ring me and tell me not to return.

      • alabenn

        There can be a right to strike if their is a corresponding right for the employer to fire then if they strike, without that it is not a strike, it is a blackmail threat.
        Reagan showed the way with air traffic controllers, it is doubtful if any leader in Europe would have the guts.

        • HookesLaw

          The traffic controllers were out of contract. Reagan offered a generous deal, 11% and they demanded 100%.
          The strike turned out to be illegal and Reagan ordered them back to work and then he sacked those who did not.
          Reagan was a former union leader himself and the traffic controlers had contributed to his election campaign.
          Crucially they also played an important part in the US air defence system. The Democrats and indeed other unions supported him.
          It was something of a special case.

          I do not think where security and public safety are involved there should be strikes

    • Alexsandr

      yes, but we need to protect ourselves from people organising strikes for political ends without popular support. So why not have a threshold of the electorate have to vote yes rather than those who actually voted.

      • telemachus

        You mean like MP’s have a majority of the electorate to get into parliament to rule over us

      • MichtyMe

        Should we protect ourselves from politicians without popular support. Should they be in power with 30+% of only those who turnout to vote?

        • Smithersjones2013

          Given that none of the parties have actually managed to raise more than about 25% of the registered electorate to their banner in over ten years if we did we would end up without government (and indeed without county or local government either).

      • Smithersjones2013

        Because the response is to batter the political parties becuase of the lack of support they suffer from.

      • Fraziel

        if the same rules were applied to mp’s none of them would have been elected. If a union calls a strike there is no obligation for any memeber of staff to join it.

        • Mynydd

          Mr Cameron and his party were elected on 23% of those eligible to vote, yet four year later he is still in power

          • Inverted Meniscus

            And the comparative figure for Fascist Labour is?

            • Mynydd

              Why nor accept if Mr Cameron wants to have a minimum percentage for strikes it should also be applied across the board. Why now he has been in power for over 4 years to act, nothing. Mr Cameron is playing politics with business and industry, because any change in the law would apply to the private sector as well as the public sector.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Because the private sector is neither unionised or liable to strike you cretinous fool.

        • Roderick

          “If a union calls a strike there is no obligation for any memeber of staff to join it.”
          You are joking, I take it. Have you ever seen a picket line?

      • Daidragon

        Fine if you want to extend it to all elections. Otherwise it’s just another attack on employees rights and conditions by people who have never done an honest days work in their lives.

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