Sunday, January 18, 2015

The nasty party in full spate

Paymaster General Francis Maude went on an anti-union rant which shocked his audience in Barnham, West Sussex for Any Questions on 16 January. The Conservatives got 36.1 percent of the vote in the election and Frances Maude himself only got 38 percent of the eligible vote in Horsham. However they intend to impose a quota of 40% on trade union ballots.

Maude raged about trade unions “endangering public safety” and “inconveniencing millions”. This is so even when unions strike over safety issues – at least in the doublespeak of the Conservatives. Even Liberal Norman Baker had to demur at Maude's union-bashing pose. He reasserted the right to strike, something Maude is not so keen on.
Sadiq Khan observed, “the nasty party is back.” They have never been away, Sadiq! 

He did however categorically reject the Tories' proposals and defended the role played by trade unions in bringing about health and safety laws, equal pay, maternity rights, part time workers having rights and improvements in pensions. This is what we wanted to hear but we will have to see if a Labour government takes the same attitude to the trade unions.
Maude and Dia Chakravarty from the Taxpayers Alliance argued that the cuts were 'eliminating waste' which is fine until you fall ill and need a hospital bed or you lose your job and need help.
Conservatives seldom talk about class war, they are too busy fighting it. It was instructive to hear the nasty party in full spate. Workers need a party to fight their corner as fiercely as Maude and his ilk fight for the bosses.


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