The Shape of Things to Come

Tomorrow morning over 270,000 civil servants will start a two day strike over the plans of the London Labour Government to slash their entitlements and redundancy payments by a third.

With all London parties signed up to a savage scorched earth public sector cuts programme after the General Election, these proposals are basically paving the way for the next UK Government to pursue their cuts agenda on the cheap. No wonder the PCS union is up in arms. This weeks strike therefore is the beginning of a struggle that will dominate the political agenda at UK level for a number of years.

When I spoke at an Undeb fringe meeting with Mark Serwotka (General Secretary of the PCS Union) at the recent Plaid Spring Conference, he passionately spoke about the dismay of his members about how a Labour Government could preside over the tearing up of contracts of low paid public sector workers – at the same time as saying they were powerless to intervene in the multi million pound bonuses of state owned casino capitalists due to contractual obligations.

The Labour party has lost its way. On assuming power its approach to economic policy was to let the city run riot. Wealth was allowed to polarise at both regional and individual level. It presided over one of the most regressive taxation regimes in the European Union. Its core response to the recession has been to preserve the status and wealth of the super rich and economic elite. The banking bailout will be paid for not by those that caused the collapse of the financial system – but by low paid public sector workers and those vulnerable people dependant upon public services.

The PCS strike therefore is not just about the contracts of civil servants, but part of a wider struggle between ordinary people and the self serving London political and economic elite. I’ll be showing my solidarity by visiting one of the picket lines in Carmarthenshire. And I am delighted that the Plaid group in the National Assembly have said they won’t cross a picket line in the Senedd.

One Response to “The Shape of Things to Come” [latest first]

  1. The next 2 days will be very difficult for Labour, at a time when they are pretending to be the radical party in contrast to the Tories. Of course in reality, they are slightly to the left of a right wing Tory regime that would like Labour, wreak havoc on the public sector after May.
    They must be hoping that none of their core support will notice.
    Plaid will ensure that will not be the case in Wales.

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