Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Rally round the Public Sector


Today's public sector march was followed by a rally at Manchester's Whitworth Park. At least 20,000 took part in the demonstration in Manchester, in solidarity with many more UK wide protests. There were also demos in the Manchester satellite towns of Wigan, Bolton, Bury and Oldham.

61% of the country supports this strike but the government is penalising the public sector, the poorer and disadvantaged rather than those who got the country into the economic mess and those that could afford to get it out again, i.e. the bankers and the super rich. 

A solution would be to insist that the very rich and big businesses pay fair taxes and stop avoiding taxes by using offshore banking and other evasive actions. 

This popular Facebook status sums it up too: "Remember when teachers, lecturers, police, ambulance staff, nurses, midwives, doctors and firemen crashed the stock market, wiped out banks, took out billions in bonuses and paid no tax? No? Me neither. Show your support for public sector staff."

Further reading

The Guardian reports that "The UK is experiencing the worst disruption to services in decades on Wednesday as more than 2 million public sector workers stage a nationwide strike, closing schools and bringing councils and hospitals to a virtual standstill. The strike by more than 30 unions is over cuts to public sector pensions...leading to the closure of most state schools; cancellation of refuse collections; rail service and tunnel closures; the postponement of thousands of non-emergency hospital operations; and "horrific" delays at airports and ferry terminals. The TUC [Trades Union Congress] said it was the biggest stoppage in more than 30 years and was comparable to the last mass strike by 1.5 million workers in 1979. Hundreds of marches and rallies are due to take place in cities and towns across the country."

Yesterday Chancellor George Osbourne punished the UK masses further by introducing a 1% pay cap until 2015 for public sector workers, and changing the pension age of 67 to take effect in 2026 instead of 2034.  Even the most right wing of British newspapers, The Daily Telegraph, opines today that Osbourne's autumn statement means "Middle class workers will be hit while the rich benefit after the Treasury announced changes to the capital gains tax regime."

Mark Steel in The Independent is also always a wonderfully light hearted yet accurate read on these oppressive matters:
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mark-steel/mark-steel-unions-just-want-the-mums-to-pay-6269659.html

It's going to be a  long winter of discontent...

3 comments:

  1. I support the strikes & am tired of hearing "well everyone in the private sector has a rubbish/no pension so why should the public sector not have the same".

    ReplyDelete
  2. oh ! how interesting to see horses present. makes me wonder whether that would be possible / a good idea over here, as tomorrow will be a further huge strike roaming through the city, and yes, mostly about public sector, as a few days ago about 16,000 were laid off.
    Hopefully it will remain as peaceful as your march.
    Please have a good Thursday.

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