Day 2 of TUC Congress at Brighton. This morning I went for a very quick run along the beach while listening to Radio 4 "Today". The Congress was the second item on the news headlines after a report on last nights Paralympic closing ceremony.
Outgoing TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber was interviewed live by John Humphrys who repeatedly tried to suggest that trade unions have had their day and are old fashioned and ineffectual. Brendan saw him off. The suggestion that the union’s only plan for the economy is mass strike action is laughable but typical of silly media stereotyping.
Congress started at 9.30. There was a Dixieland jazz "improvisation" band playing beforehand. Appropriately of course they were playing "When the saints come marching in" as delegates entered the hall.
Brendan gave his keynote speech. He used the example of the Olympics to hammer those who think that "the market knows best" and "you can’t pick winners". Targeted funding resulted in Gold medals for British atheletes and the debacle over GS4 security showed that the public sector can actually be better than the private sector. Brendan received a well deserved standing ovation.
Debates this morning on Anti-Austerity campaign, The Economy and Health.