The Torygraph reports that their political namesake is considering reducing the “power of the unions.”
There’s no real question that this is simple knee-jerk opportunism on the Tories’ part. We’ve had a teachers’ strike (whose justifications were admittedly dubious) and a strike of chemical workers (whose justifications seem perfectly commendable), and Osborne is trying to craft a winter-of-discontent image of unions holding the country to ransom. Pathetic, George: and the Daily Mail-style scare tactics aren’t befitting even of the current Tory frontbench.
What is slightly more scary is the tone of this message and the exposure it gives to the Tories’ hypocrisy. Only this morning, Cameron was telling us how he was only worried for the poor people of the country in opposing the abolition of the 10p tax rate. Nonsense. In a climate where the poor are being squeezed whilst the rich are getting better off (one of the legacies of the current government of which I am less proud), workers need the protection of the trades unions – they do not need yet further erosions to their powers.
In another blindening dose of inconsistency, when it comes to the blame game between employer and union, Osbourne believes the unions are to blame and need to be cut down (cf. Grangemouth), yet when it comes to Civil Servants and the employer happens to be Gordon Brown, can you guess who is to blame?
Striking was not the right way to tackle the issue, he said, adding that the “real culprit” was Gordon Brown. By that reasoning, who was to blame for the miners strikes of the 80s?
… the unions, I guess.