STRIKES & CUTS: The shape of things to come.

Stick ’em up
Everyone in Europe is going to face strikes,
but BT industrial action could easily be averted.

Dwarfing the measly £6.2 billion shaved off the bloated legs of Britain by Osborne earlier in the week, the Italians slashed their two-year spending plans by £20 billion last night. They include measures to cut public sector pay, freeze government recruitment, and downgrade almost all public sector pensions. Italian Unions immediately announced that this called for strike action.

‘Serves Berlusconi right’ think the Fluffies, but many Trade Union organisers need only an excuse to continue their destiny, the destruction of the wicked capitalist system. In the UK, the Unite Union is very obviously politically motivated…otherwise why Twitter during negotiations, and why sponsor 50 Labour MPs, and why Charlie Whelan? I’ve often wondered why Charlie Whelan, but it’s actually pretty obvious why.

Last night too, BT confirmed a £1 million bonus for its boss Ian Livingston, and 2% pay rises for the staff. The Communication Workers Union represents 55,000 staff. It immediately decided to ballot its membership on a strike ‘to demand higher pay’. Honest, if nothing else.

We’re going to get a lot more of this (both here and on the Continent) but after twenty years of McGaheys and Scargills and thirty years of Loadsamoney, it is evident that nobody has learned anything.

The Coalition is in a unique position here. It has a junior partner beholden to neither side, and a God-given chance for the senior Party to hit a boss over the head. I realise that BT is privatised now, but its service and general value for money are still dire, and there’s no way (given either company performance or economic climate) the boss should be allowed to award himself that much money.

Clegg should tell the Union to take the offer or face the consequences, and Cameron should tell Livingston to forego his bonus.

They won’t, of course. Any more than they will seize the day vis a vis Euro/EU meltdown.

I’m beginning to have a few doubts about this Coalition, and we’re only ten days in.