An Unnecessary Role

embracing false choices

Archive for the ‘Employment’ Category

Clever people saying clever things part two

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Tony Clements:

Process aside, the most remarkable thing about the interview was his breezy reaction to the figures. Imagine if he was a health minister announcing a 97% fall in cancer survival rates, or an education minister admitting to a 97% drop in GCSE passes, or a Home Secretary announcing that 97% of all passports were not being checked at our borders? He’d at the very least get a harder time from John Humphrys.

The point of a housing minister is to build houses for people. What is the point of one whose ‘reforms’ cause a collapse in house building within a year of taking over?

Dan Hodges:

Nor, despite efforts by ministers to hang next Wednesday’s action around Ed Miliband’s neck, is this essentially a political dispute. It’s a good old fashioned dust up about pay and conditions. Or specifically what the TUC is calling the “Triple Squeeze” on public sector pensions; namely the shift in calculating uprating from RPI to CPI, the increase in individual contributions and the proposed increase in the retirement ceiling.

Some may see these as perfectly sensible changes, which reflect modern economic and social realities. That’s a matter for debate. But what’s not debatable is they mean an erosion of the existing pension entitlements of public sector workers. And however moderate or far sighted, trade union general secretaries get paid to improve their members conditions, not sit idly by as they decline. Again, some may question why trade unionists should expect better pension provision than the rest of the population. But that’s the whole point of collective bargaining; to obtain better terms collectively than you can individually.


Written by samelliot

November 28, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Posted in Employment, Housing, Labour

If newspaper redundancies are a tragedy, why are public sector redundancies simply efficiency savings?

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One of the unexpected heroes of the News Of The World shenanigans is radio genius Danny Baker. The greatest phrase-turner working in the British media today, he usually steers clear of politics (aside from occasional grumpiness about the manifold mysteries of Greenwich council). But this week’s revelations, and the media’s reaction to it, has got his dander up (apologies for post-watershed language):

On a similar theme, undercover Labour hack Political Animal:

I will not rejoice at a single person losing their job, but I do not see why an arbitrary decision by News International to make people redundant  is worthy of any more chest beating than the thousands and thousands of public sector workers who have lost their jobs as a consequence of equally arbitrary financial decisions from the Government.

I’d suggest, as Danny does, that some of the News of the World staff, and people like them,  have directly contributed to cultivating a callous attitude to public sector workers that means that  their job losses are written off as statistics, as savings in pursuit of deficit reduction. I don’t necessarily disagree with the need for reductions in public spending, but the scenes from Wapping yesterday have been replayed in Town Halls across the country this year. Maybe the media will be a little more understanding after this, but I doubt it.

Written by samelliot

July 10, 2011 at 9:40 am

Posted in Employment, Media