Thursday, June 24, 2010

"We're all in this together"?

A "Progressive budget"? Yeah.  Check out this morning's Guardian take on this and the CONDEM belief that we are all sharing the pain.

Osborne's "tough but fair" claim is also shown to be a nonsense.

I blogged on this "Equality of Sacrifice" poster in April and thought it could be a question of history repeating itself.  I never thought it would be quite so apt.

Mind you - how the "The Grauniad" itself has the blooming cheek to complain about anything after this - is beyond me.

(thanks to Col. Roi for a higher quality version of this poster)

Update: according to David Miliband it was from the 1929 General election


Another article in The Guardian said...

“Alistair Darling admitted tonight that Labour’s planned cuts in public spending will be “deeper and tougher” than Margaret Thatcher’s in the 1980s, as the country’s leading experts on tax and spending warned that Britain faces “two parliaments of pain”…

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said hefty tax rises and Whitehall spending cuts of 25% were in prospect during the six-year squeeze lasting until 2017 that would follow the chancellor’s “treading water” budget yesterday.”

Guardian March 2010.

Anonymous said...

of course the cuts will be deeper than thatcher - she cut after years of cuts by the previous labour government while we have had 13 years of growth.

the difference now is taht the cuts under labour would have been been on the better off not the poor.

increase their taxes and cut rich and middle class benefits not money for single parents and pensioners.

Anonymous said...

all independent charities ave said this budget hits poorest hardest

Clegg has had to say that the next budget will be better for the poor

its unfair

its a disgrace

Anonymous said...

.......And the Liberal Democrat back benchers looked from the Lib Dem front bench to the Tory front bench

But they could see no differance

Two legs good four legs bad

Anonymous said...

Activists in Lambeth LG UNISON branch did a re-make of this poster:

John Gray said...

Hi Lambeth Anon

dear, dear they should hat-tip thingy to this blog and I hope the dig at "PO plenty" is not aimed at their beloved branch sec:)

Anonymous said...

Surely you should hap tip Lambeth given they did it before you, back in 2009 (check out the date on the blog).

And no, there are far more PO plenties up the scale than health and safety officers, I'm sure you'll agree :)

The general secretary of our union for one on around 100k a year.

John Gray said...

Hi Lambeth Millie

yes, quite right the post did predate mine - however I cannot hat-tip it because for some strange reason I am not an avid follower of Lambeth Millie and did not actually see the amended cartoon!

Thinking about the PO plenty thingy I suppose you are also having a dig at a number of fellow branch members including many members of your own branch committee:)

(or on professional grades)

Anonymous said...

Wasn't being serious about "hat tip".

I think you are somewhat misguided about what grades people are on. In Lambeth Activists out of about 15 stewards only one is on a PO grade. Indeed some of us are on very low wages, certainly lower than your good self :)

But the point of the poster isn't to have a go at workers wages, but the managers and consultants who earn ridiculous amounts of money, including consultants on £1000 a day and the swathes of managers on 50k+, including directors on over 100K a year and a chief executive on over 250k a year.

If you want to look a high wages you might also want to the look at the 100k salary of Prentis and many of the full-time officials in UNISON who earn a good packet on the back of our subs.

John Gray said...

Hi Lambeth Millie anon

But you are attacking in that cartoon all unison members on a PO plenty grade? Since 1 in 5 public sector workers are graduate teachers you appear to think that such wages are too much?

You refer to Dave Prentis who has just been overwhelmingly re elected by unison members as GS in preference to the two other candidates who promised to only have a "workers wage" rather than the rate for the job?

and since you quote the total add on costs of the GS salary how many of the Lambeth Millie stewards would hit “PO plenty” rates if you included the £10k per year local government add on costs?)

I even understand that the Lambeth Millie “dear leader” is on PO plenty and even a dreaded boss to boot :)

Anonymous said...

Have you looked at the cartoon? It clearly says "Senior Managers, PO Plenty". How on earth can you read in to that that we are talking about all workers on PO grades? There is of course a difference between a senior manager on PO9+ (i.e. PO plenty), and someone on a lower PO grade. Indeed none of the workers on the lower PO grades in our workplaces seem to have any problem with it and seem to know what we mean and that it isn't referring to them, so not sure why you don't. A pedant maybe ;)

Dave Prentis clearly hasn't been overwhelmingly elected by UNISON members, has he, given that only 14% of members voted. In fact less than 10% of UNISON members voted for him, hardly a ringing endorsement. As for left candidates personally I think they will always have problems until a decent rank and file organisation is built up.

I thought Prentis took just less than 100k in his basic wages, isn't it 96k or something? Certainly puts in in the same bracket as directors. How can union leaders complain about directors getting fat cat salaries when they get that amount themselves?

Lambeth Activists don't have a leader lol so I have no idea who you are referring to. As I said only one steward out of around 15 is on PO wages, and most earn less than your good self :)

John Gray said...

Hi Lambeth Millie

“PO plenty” has always been a joke by other “lessor” grades about anyone who is on a “Principle Officer “(PO) grade (a hint why is in the full title name perchance?).

So anyone who is a PO should feel just a little miffed about being attacked by their own union members for being “fat cats”.

Apart of course from your “dear leader” who is a Principle(d) Officer and a member of Permanent revolution. How cute!

Dave of course was re-elected as GS overwhelmingly by members in a secret ballot – but exactly how many of your Lambeth millies had opposed steward elections? A big round figure methinks?

What about the NHS doctors and headmasters in our boroughs who are paid far more than Dave Prentis– are they “fat cats” as well?

Anonymous said...

Not sure why you are refusing to accept a perfectly rational explanation. Very strange. The cartoon was talking about senior managers on high PO grades, everyone else except you seems to realise this, as is clear in the cartoon. However you still don't seem to be able to get it, pedant, or something else, who knows. Of course all the PO grades aren't fat cats lol, but senior managers, on the top of the scale, are.

No-one in Lambeth Activists is in Permanent Revolution. Your stalking doesn't seem to be getting you very good information lol.

As I said less than 10% of the membership is not overwhelming by any stretch of the of the imagination.

As you weren't elected in your position as branch secretary, had 2% of your membership turn up to your AGM and as far as I can see didn't have a single election for any post you aren't really in a position to criticise other branches stewards. However Lambeth Activists were elected to officer positions at our AGM as it happens, with actual elections, as opposed to you getting elected unopposed to various officer positions.

Many headteachers are on huge salaries and routinely attack NUT members. However my point was that union leaders attack directors in the public sector for being fat cats, but like Prentis are often on the same wages as them, which kind of makes their point a tad hypocritical.

John Gray said...

Hi Lambeth Millie anon

The cartoon does not (repeat does not) make it clear that it only attacks “senior managers”. You might have meant that but you did not say it. It attacks all PO grade staff including your “dear leader”. Please try and understand the difference.

So you admit that none of the 15 Lambeth millies (including the “dear leader” boss on principle officer grade) faced any sort of election to be a steward!

Also you support attacks on head teachers and local doctors wages.


Anonymous said...

As I said, no-one but you seems to have had any difficulty understanding what it means, which isn't surprising given the words senior managers are there. Make of that what you will.

Sadly, given the state of the union movement hardly any stewards are elected these days, so only a minority were. But Lambeth Activists were elected to officer positions in their branch, unlike you in your various union positions. Also given there wasn't a single election to an officer position at your branch AGM and only 40 odd people turned up I'd say the phrase glass houses comes to mind.

I support criticisms of union general secretaries who attack fat cat directors for their wages, while taking the same wage themselves. You seem to support fat cat union bosses, hmmm.

John Gray said...

Hi Lambeth Millie anon

I seemed to have upset you a little:)

We must agree to differ about whether or not you were attacking your fellow union members (while at least one of you are on PO plenty and a boss to boot).

So you finally admit that none of you were "elected" as stewards! Which is nothing to be ashamed about personally since you are right there is a wider problem with participation in the union.

A siutation not helped by anon comments attacking our GS for being on the same money as doctors and head teachers. IMO.

Interesting, I have never been challenged for a branch position (so far) in this or my previous branch. Even though there are a number of people in both branches, who...let me say, "disagree" with my politics.

I wonder why?


Anonymous said...

No not upset, just think what you are saying is a little strange.

It's also quite funny that you seem to have an issue with one steward out of 15 being on a PO grade lol (and no, not a "boss"), especially as you have no problem with a union secretary being on nearly 100k a year! Are you saying PO grades shouldn't be in the union?

I didn't say none of the stewards were elected. I said the minority were elected, the rest were elected unopposed by members meeting in their workplaces. Unlike some branches Lambeth requires that to become a steward you have to call a local workplace meeting and be elected by the members, even if unopposed. As you say, with the state of the union movement as it is being elected unopposed is kind of inevitable in some cases.

But for you to bring this up as an issue when you were elected unopposed to all of your branch union positions is slightly hypocritical to say the least. You might also want to look at why the branch you lead only got 40 odd people (2% of members) to it's AGM and why you hold multiple branch officer positions before you criticise other branches stewards.

Anonymous said...

Hi John,

These 'baby trots' in the lambeth Militia will never learn grown up politics will they ? Their anonymous corresspondant above has the cheek to deny any link to the permenant revolution group .
In another anonymous posting on your blog,on 17th January 2009 (17.08) they posted (on 'Pass the sick bag ) Our stewards include those who are " Independent Socialists; the Green Left ;the AWL ; Workers Power ; Permenant Revolution." Typical Trots I suppose ..... just deny things when it suits the purpose .

I really think it is time for " Pass the sick bag no. 3 " to ensure that the bile they spew out is exposed yet again.

Keep up the good work


John Gray said...

Hi Lambeth Millie
You are a sensitive soul! No, I think the union should represent all workers (and bosses - such as your PO plenty who I understand line manages 5-7 staff?! Nothing wrong with that of course)

I am a little confused (and confusing) but did any of your millie stewards face an opposed workplace election or not?

I just don’t understand why you guys love witch-hunting non local authority branches about their turnout at AGMs! You have chosen to work for a (imperfect) Labour Council which offers paid facility time for trade union activities as well as duties and is committed to trade unionism. Most of you work in the same geographical location.

Unlike the problems we face in this sector having to hold meetings in the evening, 130 different employers, Portsmouth to Peterborough - our usual moans...

Why is it none of you “permanent revolution” lot work in the private sector? Where trade unionists are desperately needed and it is really difficult and risky to be an active rep? Why do you only organise in safe public sector workplaces?

I think I know why comrade Wolfie:)

Anonymous said...

That Lambeth millie is simply bonkers. Doesn't he get it that Dave Prentis is our elected representative? That gives him every right to attack fat cat pay packages of people who are not elected.

And bearing in mind that our part-time women, black and disabled members are amongst our lowest paid, I wonder why it is that Dave gets such a fantastic positive reception from them? Could it be that our low-paid members have a more sophisticated understanding of these issues than our toytown wannabe-political-intellectual trots? What a shock!