On the Thursday of this week 42,000 drivers and mail centre workers employed by the Royal Mail went out on strike, a day later they were joined by 80,000 delivery workers, and for two days not a letter was delivered from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
This latest round in the seemingly endless battle between the Royal Mail and its employees resembles nothing so much as another step in the slow suicide of an old and trusted friend. He might have had his leadership abilities questioned, again, at PMQ’s by an opposition that can smell blood in the water but it is hard not to agree with Gordon Brown when he told the BBC ‘This strike is self defeating. It’s essential everyone gets around the table.’
The table in question being in the office of arbitration service ACAS, he, or rather wily Lord Mandelson might get them there, but I doubt it will do any good.
Rather like an exasperated school teacher breaking up a fight in the playground you cannot help feeing the postal strike is a classic case of six of one and half a dozen of the other.
In the blue corner we have a macho management led by Royal Mail Chief Executive Adam Crozier, a man who seems to work on the premise that it is the role of his staff to meekly ask ‘please sir how high?’ whenever he bellows ‘Jump!’ In the red corner we have the CWU, for whom the industrial strife of the seventies and eighties seems never to have happened, all they have to do is call a strike, bring the country to a halt and it will be off to Downing Street for beer and sandwiches.
Caught in the middle, as ever, are the poor bloody workers, people who know from bitter experience that times have changed and the old ways of working for managers and union alike have long ago become obsolete. They provide what is, for all its faults, a truly first rate postal service and they deserve to be better led by both the Royal Mail and their union.
Sadly the job is being done by people who think this strike is how the revolution is going to start, be it the free trade one where the market carries all before it or the one where the workers unite to build a better world; they are wrong. This is how revolutions end, in bitterness, strife and disappointment.
Source : politics.co.uk
Not in front of the children.
Have you seen the new television advert put out by the Department of Energy and Climate Change? It cost £6million and uses images of cartoon animals drowning in an epic flood to scare (I mean educate) us about the dangers of climate change.
The Advertising Standards Agency has received 357 complaints from viewers who said their children had been frightened by the advert, which uses a father reading a bedtime story about the horrors of global warming to his child as a framing device.
I don’t know about scaring the children, the wild eyed evangelism of the green lobby on this issue does a good job of scaring most adults.
Undoubtedly Energy and Climate Change minister Joan Ruddock has a point when she says ‘Climate change is not just a problem for generations of people in the future, it affects us and our children owe it to them to take action now.’
Indeed it is and we certainly do have to act, but when we do so we have to be guided by rationality and a willingness to question everything, not the hysterical propaganda put out by a green movement the is in the throes of turning itself into a fundamentalist faith that, like all such faiths, sees reason as a threat.
Storm in a teacup.
What is your favourite type of biscuit? Not, you would think, a particularly tough question, even if it was put to you by Jeremy Paxman rattling the biscuit barrel under your nose.
Nevertheless when mumsnet asked Gordon Brown to name his biccy of choice (twelve times as it turns out, so maybe Paxo was on the job after all) he was unable to give an answer, eventually a spokesman let it be known that our beloved leader likes ‘anything with a bit of chocolate on it’.
The mind boggles at the tortuous round of negotiation, hand wringing and hastily convened focus groups the inmates of the Downing Street bunker must have gone through before arriving at an answer that leaves nobody any the wiser. Bourbons or chocolate digestives; make your mind up man.
The leaders of the two opposition parties had no such problems giving an answer, for the record David Cameron likes organic oatcakes and Nick Clegg prefers either Hobnobs or Rich Tea, how very Liberal Democrat to have two contradictory policies on the same issue. The press haven’t, as yet, asked the oik Griffin what sort of biscuit he likes; mostly because nobody cares.