Vince Cable in his role as Coalition Business Secretary with a speech at the GMB‘s (Britain’s General Union) annual conference June 6 in Brighton cautioned the British Unions against widespread strike action.
The point from his speech that stuck out most for me was that there was no compelling reason to change strike laws unless a wave of strikes caused ‘serious damage to the country’s economic and social fabric’.
Quite breathtaking. And this from a man who also stated not so long ago “My heart beats on the left.” And that he felt emotionally and ideologically more aligned to Labour than to the Conservatives.
Our unions are already some of the most neutered in Europe thanks to previous Conservative anti-union legislation, not notably repealed by New Labour despite 13 years in office in which they could have done so. Teachers and nurses abandoned by all the mainstream parties – Labour and the Liberal Democrats following in the Conservative’s kowtowing foot-steps to serve and appease big business and its all-important party patronage and influence.
Quite breathtaking because it implies that currently there is no serious damage to the country’s economic and social fabric. As if we were living in economic and social paradise there would be any reason to have thoughts and intimations of widespread people unrest and uprising?!
It is not the unions or the hard-working police officers and social workers they represent that have contributed to the breakdown in our social fabric.
Rather the wrecking reckless under-regulated unfettered free-market politics of both Conservative and Labour that culminated in the 2008 global financial banking crisis that laid waste our social fabric.
And now a policy of social cuts to make those least responsible for the damage caused pay the most whilst though most responsible pay the least.
To paraphrase the Electronic song ‘they’ve been getting away with it all our lives’.
- VIDEO: Cable’s strike speech ‘ill advised’ (bbc.co.uk)