Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/689/12963
Portrait of a pension pilferer
Maggie Thatcher was Maggie the Milk Snatcher - a byword for Tory penny-pinching cruelty. Francis Maude will go down in history as Maude the Pension Pilferer - if we let him get away with it.
The government has already reneged on a 'solemn and binding' undertaking (and such things are two a penny with politicians) to link pensions to cost of living increases. By sleight of hand they invented a brand new measure of the cost of living and (surprise!) it comes up with a lower figure than the retail price index. Far from sympathising with the pensioners, the privileged, pampered politicians are pinching their pennies.
The government has refused to negotiate in good faith with the public sector unions. They behave as though attacking the unions is more important than making a grown-up decision over public sector pensions.
All the teacher unions are acting together to lobby parliament on 26 October. This is where Maude's union-bashing has got him. Firstly the ATL, most inoffensive and moderate of unions, has taken strike action for the first time. Now the secondary head's union ASCL is on the march. And if the Tory Party cannot depend on the ASCL they cannot depend on anybody!
Maude should stop pretending to be a reincarnation of the blessed Margaret and remember her ignominious defeat over the poll tax. It is a pity the Labour leaders are so weak and willing because the Con-Dems wouldn't last five minutes against a half-decent opposition.
Instead we have Ed the strike-breaker and a load of Balls about supporting cuts from the shadowy chancellor. Trade unions deserve better representation than Labour can provide - we need a new workers' party.
In The Socialist 12 October 2011:
Socialist Party youth and students
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party fundraising
The Socialist - readers' comments