Friday, September 23, 2011
Angry public sector unions warn of guerrilla action as Scottish ‘winter of discontent’ is mooted, strikes, strikes, strikes, ‘show me the money’!
I lived through the Labour ‘Winter of Discontent’ which saw the end of the James Callahan Government.
That ushered in 18 years of conservatism which saw Scotland utterly destroyed as a society.
2011 sees the start of real deep cuts to budgets forced on Scotland by the Tory/ Lib Dem Coalition in London.
The only difference is now there is an extra layer of administration between Westminster and the Councils called Holyrood.
People fear for their jobs, the ability to pay their mortgage or even whether they will be able to put food on the table.
2011 and the unions have declared a “winter of discontent”.
The unions are protesting over public sector pension contribution hikes and another pay freeze.
But the money isn’t there; the only way to balance without changing structure is compulsory job losses.
Public sector reform is needed and the reality is that the public sector must shrink to consolidate before any kind of expansion is possible.
Jobs will be lost and quality of service will go down.
Anyone not realising this is a fool.
So, the unions are gearing up for war in Scotland, and since the creation of Holyrood and the Scottish Government, the buck stops here.
When the rubbish starts piling up, services are overloaded and protest after protest starts, it will be very hard for any government to remain popular.
In politics, in a short space of time you can go from being favour of the month to being the most despised party.
Ask the Lib Dems, their support has deserted them for good reasons.
Of course people can play the blame game, kicking the can down the road to Westminster but ordinary people aren’t quite so forgiving or understanding.
If there is the same kind of chaos which marked the action of 1979-80, there will be a rise in protest voting the like we haven’t seen for some time.
Rubbish Mountains piled up, coupled with heart breaking personal stories of vulnerable people suffering doesn’t win elections.
The ball kicks off with a UK wide public service strike on November 30.
And we can expect much more action, leaving anyone wanting to run a positive campaign on a real sticky wicket.
Unions covering teachers, health staff, fire fighters and even prison officers could all ballot for industrial action.
When these types of people hit the streets there will follow a back lash.
Budget cuts will lead to job losses and reduced services, although some people like to stress no compulsory job losses, when posts aren’t filled, these are still job losses.
Someone better come up with radical thinking to reform the public sector, sooner rather than later.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University