Monday, September 13, 2010

The Dinosaurs Roar

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised but I am. Mark Serwotka, the leader of the PCS union has said today that not only should there be not a single job cut in the civil service, we need more civil servants and a larger public sector to get us out of the recession. I despair. I didn't think that even on the hard left there was anyone that stupid. How naive of me.

It is the private sector, and in particualr SMEs which will get us out of this mess, not the public sector. And the main priority of the government should be to create the business climate in which SMEs can thrive and invest.

And to listen to Brendan Barber and Bob Crow this morning you'd think we were back in the 1970s with talk of constant strikes and civil disobedience. Crow and his ilk need to be crushed. There's no compromise to be had with them.

UPDATE: A good post on this subject from City Unslicker.


Simon Lewis said...

I agree we need to reduce the size of the public sector. However the polices announced will NOT create the 2.5m jobs in the private sector that the government believes. The mistake Crow is making that this will force the government to bring forward more anti strike legislation which they are just gunning for and their lackeys in the Liberal party will support as they know they are living on borrowed time as come the next election there won't be a single Lib Dem MP or council in the country.

Dick the Prick said...

Calm down. They have to justify their 6 figure salaries, somehow. Fortunately, public sector workers are a lot more pragmatic than the ejeets who climb their way to the top of the Unionazis.

North Briton 45 said...

SME's 'will get us out of this mess'?! How stunningly simplistic. Is there any evidence of this at the moment? No.

Had the Labour government not bailed out the banks - opposed, incidentally, by George Osborne - we would be in an even bigger mess.

Until the private sector has the capability to regenerate the economy the only alternative is the public sector. SMEs are not capable of doing anything yet, they need the support of the public sector.

As for labelling the unions 'dinosaurs'; yes you are naive. They represent their members, of whom they have millions. They have far more members than any political party and therefore deserve to be heard. Just because you don't agree with them is neither here nor there; simply resting on your highhanded Tory, anti-union, bias is frankly pathetic.

Edward said...

Absolutely agree. They're parasites and they're afraid of getting what they deserve.

The Purpleline said...

The only reason we have boom and bust in this country is the supid voters vote for Labour and then the Tory party has to come in and rescue the economy and get labelled with the nasty party tag.

Brown actively pushed a scorched earth policy, it is the only way Labour can ever regain power. SO many times and so many financial failings prove this is correct.

I believe the Tory party must push ahead with cuts. They should privatise welfare budgets and the NHS giving the people (workers) phased in massive TAX CUTS.

Welfare should be a safety net, it should never be a trap. The net should be pulled taught and the victim should fall down and bounce out of the net back into work.

There is no excuse.

We need to stop making people victims and let them know they are the only ones that can pull themselves out. If they cannot because of education levels then they must at what ever age be sent to school.

Slash NHS budget by 70 bn and over 5-years give the Tax back to the people, we should be able to spend out money how we want. Tax for core budgets especially defence of the realm and core public health the rest should be paid for by individuals and that includes criminals, their families should pay for their up-keep.

I would also re-introduce Treason and ensure people like Bob Crow can be held to account for his treasonable actions inciting general strike.

starfish said...

I am afraid you are wrong

SMEs and the private sector will indeed generate the funds to get the nation moving but they do not do that in a vacuum

They do not generally educate their workers, provide buses and trains, treat them when they are ill or provide social housing if they cannot afford to rent or service a mortgage

Not to mention the many other services that the public sector provides

Wholesale untargeted cuts to the public sector will not assist the recovery.

OTOH there are self evidently areas of the public sector that can be cut - there are huge areas of bloat in the NHS for example (strangely ring fenced) while the inefficiency of some departments with a direct impact on business (Defra and Dti spring to mind)is legendary, not to mention the serried ranks of quangos, most of which seem to exist solely to justify their own existence and stifle entrepeneurism

Unions have an important part to play in all of this and they are simply making an opening gambit - in the same way that other interest groups do.

I note that one area that is crucially important to the recovery, the banking sector, seems to be indulging in business as usual, despite being bailed out by the taxpayer - many of whom are members of the unions you seem to despise

I also note that Francis MNaude was took a very non-confrontational stance on R4 this morning

North Briton 45 said...

@The Purpleline Please engage your
critical faculties. Under 18 years of Conservative rule, there were THREE recessions, huge unemployment, massive underinvestment and incompetence.

The unions will be predictably self-defeating but they are simply representing their members; it's what they are supposed to do.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Note that Serwotka also further escalated the cost of tax avoidance. A couple of weeks ago it was said to be around £30bn, then the figure was increased to £70bn, but this morning Serwotka claimed it was £120bn.

It'll be £200bn by the weekend. ;)

Dick the Prick said...

City Unslicker has a great post on this.

Simon Lewis said...

Did we not have boom or bust under the Tories?

john in cheshire said...

Crowe and the rest might just have some credibility if, for the past 13 years of socialism, they had fought for and defended the jobs of the indigenous peoples of our country. Instead, they have stood by and watched the waves of immigrants come here and take jobs that should have gone to our own people. The Olympic project, is the most blatent example of this, where most of the work is by immigrants and Brits aren't even considered for the vacancies. And that's billions of pounds of taxpayers money going directly into the hands of foreigners. Much to the deathly silence from the unions.

Max Atkinson said...

I wonder if Bob Crowe and Arthur Scargill are by any chance related? And, if you never saw Scargov in action, you can watch him at

RonLiddle said...

RBS was a worthy recipient of state aid. A huge amount of transactions go through RBS. Regular working people (in any profession) faced not being paid their wages if it ceased operating.

RBS folding would have had a hugely negative effect on the private sector, and a smaller effect on public sector workers.

Lloyds and Northern Rock were politically motivated and a terrible deal for the taxpayer. The private sector could pick up the mortgages, or purchase the liquidated assets - survival of the fittest. For the public sector it would have no considerable impact.

Roger Thornhill said...

@Simon Lewis. You are correct, there will not be an overnight taking up of the slack by the SMEs or wider private sector.

That truth, above, @North Britain 45, does not expose the flaw in deficit reduction, rather the irresponsible mortgaging of the future to the extent we are almost in a democratic "deadly embrace", with so many people dependent on "public spending" that it was almost impossible to get a mandate to fix it.

The whole thing screams "VESTED INTEREST" and "RENT SEEKING". It is human nature. Individuals, though wrong, should not be blamed too heavily, for until one is weaned off the addiction of State largesse, it is predictable that people will scream, shout and struggle like crazy to prevent change.

Spending money we have not got to somehow prop up the economy (result: even higher taxes and so less competitive private sector) is like pee'ing into a chilly bath to warm it up.

All delays to facing up to reality will cost us and drag out the recovery and continue to keep us uncompetitive. We are not a "rich nation". We are spending beyond our means and the means to repay well into the future, for, though there is the deficit reduction, debt still grows at an abysmal rate, spending outstrips tax receipts that were only at dizzy heights due to Gordon's gerrymandering of interest rates that would have created problems regardless of "bankers".

And the Unions want to maintain their slice via coercion regardless of the pain and suffering of others, regardless of the inability of the country to generate the funds necessary, regardless of the monopolistic and inefficient nature of SOME and I stress SOME aspects of service delivery.

I'd suggest Bob Crow go boil his own head, but I doubt there is a pot big enough and even if one could be found, the resultant fat and bone will become an environmental hazard.

Sean Haffey said...

There is a fairly simple fact that the public sector proponents blithely ignore.

Under the last Labour budget, just to balance the budget you would need to totally shut down the Army, The Air Force, the Navy, every school and university and the police.

This wouldn't pay down any of the terrifying debt: it would just stop it from getting worse.

Public sector cuts are critical to getting our economy back on its feet, and it will take years.

jamesofdoom said...

North Briton 45 - I don't agree the unions are truly representative of their members. Like Catholicism - the foot soldiers are completely at odds with the hierarchy.


anne riddle said...

Has Bob Crow graduated from being a Millwall supporter? This man, if listened to, is dangerous!!

Patrick said...

i agree with dick (10.16AM)

this is hot air; it is about justifying their salaries and their existence.

but not their relevance.

The Purpleline said...

@NorthBritain45 Please note that the recessions in the Tory 18-year rule were global events. I guess Brown got away with it, so I will also try. But the fact is they were global in nature and the first one was also a direct result of sorting out Labour from the 79 debacle.
92 was Unification of Germany and our policy of shadowing the deutsche mark. Release from recession was withdrawal from the ERM. Now we could boost UK Inc by withdrawal from the EU.

Matt said...

My wife was asked by her colleagues (all on the minimum wage) to join their union.

She asked them to identify one positive benefit the union had earned them in the past 10 years? They could not recall one.

She then asked them how it was that the area representative for the union managed to drive around in a top-of-the-range Jaguar? And only ever ate at the best restaurants when he visited?

They then stopped asking her to join the union. And several resigned from the union.