This article is unashamedly stolen from “Scriptonite Daily” and all credit must go to the author at that site.
One of the greatest myths of our time is that public services can be made more efficient if we run them as businesses. The commercialisation of our public services has been a manifest failure, and the response offered by the mainstream parties is that we simply haven’t commercialised them enough. What they fail to understand is that a public service and a business are inherently different beasts and asking one to behave as the other is like asking a fish to ride a bicycle.
Or: How even a Trade Union leader can get a knighthood under the Tories.
Just to prove that they’re fair, our ConDem government has knighted a Trade Union leader. For looking after the needs of Trade Union members? Well, you judge:
Brendan Barber, former General Secretary of the TUC, is now Sir Brendan Barber. His lifetime of “services to employment relations” has been rewarded. As an ordinary Trade Union member, I was hard-pushed to know exactly what services these were.
How do you sum up the last month or so? It’s been crazy to say the least! Where to start?
After over 39 years in my job, I decided to take retirement, 8 months short of my retirement date. This was not an overnight decision, but one that I had been thinking about for a while. I’ll be a free man come October. Obviously going early means that, instead of 8 months’ wages, I get 8 months’ pension, which is at a reduced rate (for life) because I took it early, but I can honestly say that I value my sanity above financial matters. And I think I’ll be OK.
Back home from Malta, had a great weekend. Got a few songs in at the Karaoke and a huge applause for my first ever attempt at “Here Comes The Night”. And after the long Easter Weekend returned refreshed to work on 2nd April. Had a quite easy, stress-free day at work which is unusual after such an absence, but still managed to wake up sick the following morning. I had all this around June last year, one thing after another, and here it was again. I felt better on Sunday but by Monday it was back to square one. Monday the 8th April 2013. A day that started badly until ….
Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead
I was chatting on line to a friend when she told me that Thatcher had died. I had to start checking every news source, and they were all confirming it. The woman that had led a huge change in British Society, where our communities had been replaced with individual greed, the whole culture of “I’m all right Jack, sod everyone else” had started. It had shamefully continued under the government of Tony Blair PM. An anagram of Tony Blair PM is “I’m Tory Plan B”. And so it proved. Monetarism, privatisation, attacking the conditions of workers, putting people out of work, whilst all the time transferring huge amounts of money from the poor to the rich, it had all started with Thatcher.
There’s something that’s been bugging me for a while. The whole question of racism, and the connected issue of so-called “political correctness”, can be a minefield for the naïve, and careless and spurious allegations of racism can be seized upon by racists as justification for their vile views.
I noticed last night that one of my FB friends had mentioned on her wall that the SWP (Socialist Workers Party) had accused her of racism. I know she isn’t, so I started a chat to find out why. I guess that another thing that had been on my mind was the stuff about the “3 wise monkeys”, the Japanese fable that was also much-used by Gandhi, which had resulted in four good socialist trade unionists in UNISON being accused of racism, and the whole weight of that union’s bureaucracy being used to suppress four top-quality activists whose real sin was that of not toeing the party line.
I must admit to being shocked at some of my friends, who take a fiercely anti-establishment stance, taking the line that Julian Assange is a “rapist” and “should be extradited to Sweden” and “deserves all he gets”. For those who have not followed this news, Assange is an Australian, and leader of a website called Wikileaks, which has gained notoriety for exposing government secrets, particularly those of the USA, which suggest that the USA isn’t the open democratic society it pretends to be.
The Olympics ought to be the greatest sporting show on earth. And, in part, it will be, but the way that corporate interests are being catered for leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. Some would say the same about “Fries”, those fried pieces of mash and flour served in fast food joints that have the cheek to call themselves restaurants. It takes a clown to come up with that one! But what if we don’t want “fries” but proper chips? You know, thick cut from real potatoes? And what’s the connection with the Olympics?
Remember the defeat of John Major’s Tories, and smiley Tony Blair PM (an anagram for I’m Tory Plan B, too true as it turned out) and dancing John Prescott? Somehow, what followed will always taint my view of that song. After my last blog, the final insult took place! But since then things have picked up, with a couple of surprises that I was not expecting.
On Saturday, we played at The Victoria in Witham, a pub with a Scooter and Motor Bike club. Unfortunately the layout of the place was a bit awkward, we were trapped in a corner, and it was not possible to get decent footage of us, though I do intend to share some of the audio tracks. We also couldn’t hear ourselves, and it was hard to see the audience – but we’re told we sounded OK once the sound was balanced up.
On Monday, my birthday by the way, we played in Harlow, in the open air. It was our first experience together or that sort of stage, and the great thing was, that as soon as we set up our amps, someone with a console off stage did the sound balancing for us. Of course, that’s no guarantee that my trusty DV camcorder will pick up the sound, especially the bass that seems to confuse it badly, or that the people I’ve entrusted it to, will just leave it running, rather than try to save tape between songs and miss the beginnings! Still, the video footage is great fun. I don’t seem to be able to embed a playlist here, so please use this link to watch all the concert. Or if you prefer, you can see the individual videos.
I’ve just experienced 5 days that started 35 years ago! I know it doesn’t make sense, the long explanation is here!
The short explanation is that I joined the old CPSA Broad Left when it became an open organisation back in 1977, and the hard work done by me and others has made it possible to get the PCS Union to where it is today.