Smirking From Home

Turning ideas into words.

Under Siege

Finger pointing is generally frowned upon as being socially ignorant and insulting. It rarely accomplishes anything other than raising the hackles of the recipient even further, a sure-fire method of fanning the flames of futility where an argument is concerned. Once the finger is raised the defensive barriers slam shut and progress decides its’ had enough and goes on vacation for 2 weeks. In the meantime, the protagonists in the original debate continue finger-jabbing and the common man loses all hope in ever having a satisfactory outcome achieved.
I used to be a Union Rep whilst I worked in the financial services sector. The union at the time was Amicus which has since merged with other organisations to form the largest collective in the United Kingdom, Unite. Honestly speaking, it was a thankless task. The country was in the throes of an economic boom, one which we now know was a feckin’ great Trojan Horse, generously presented to us by Bank Plc. Unions  and their members were considered a nuisance but were generally accepted as the itch that could be lived with. Times were good so the itch could be controlled easily with a little dab of cream here and there and all of us continued on our merry way. Rarely was there a need to upset the apple cart. Unions were content with the minor issues in the corporate world and the HR departments and Directors across the country were just happy to have their staff under a modicum of control. Who was to know that the Garden of Eden was in fact located in Denmark?
Now it seems the world is falling apart. Unemployment is rising at a rate last seen in the 1980’s. Many people are facing financial hardships, admittedly caused by frivolous over-spending but primarily caused by unscrupulous lending practices by the bankers and their lust for gluttonous bonuses. Amidst the maelstrom, there are people fighting for survival, for their jobs, their homes and their families. I’m not convinced we’re remotely even near the end of the storm but like all economic cycles the boom will once again return some day. For now though we shall struggle on. As a union rep I always believed I was part of something special. Even in the days when everything was carefree and easy, we always had some issue or other to deal with on behalf of our members. The big movement at the time was trying to prevent the outsourcing of our own jobs to India, a fight which has since disappeared into the bigger picture.
I mention the Indian scenario as it has a major relevance in highlighting the blatant hypocrisy on display in certain parts of the media and the political establishment the past few days. The current cause celebre is the impending BA cabin crew strikes planned for the next two weekends. In one corner we have Unite, who have balloted their members on the basis of protecting jobs in the face of extreme cost cutting measures proposed by the company. In the other we have quite an array of scrappers all lining up to have a free potshot at unite and its’ members. Naturally one of these is Willie Walsh, a cut-price Michael O’Leary, only without the witty quotes. He states the strikers have a hidden agenda to destroy British Airways. Now to this untrained eye, that’s akin to turkeys striking for a better quality of birdfood. Yet as a highly-charged soundbite designed to cause Janet and Charles to spit their Earl grey over their copies of the Daily Mail, it’s incredibly clever. What better to provoke popular disgust at the strikers, than to pander to the literate numnuts of middle-England. We’ve all witnessed the power of the “horrified from Henley” brigade whenever their plumes have been ruffled. I can hear the tuttings from here.
Then we have the Government weighing in, calling the strikes “deplorable and unjustified“. The same Government which has decided to obviously pish in its own bed, deciding that they can probably do without the £11+million it gets in donations from Unite. Can this finally be the definitive proof that New Labour is truly divorced from its roots as a party of the people, the working man? Let’s all cosy up to whichever fat cat is in trouble this week and keep the defecting voters onside. Mind you, it’s not terribly surprising as we all sold our souls when the good times flowed.
Whatever side of the fence you might fall on is entirely up to you. That’s your constitutional right to do so living in a “free” society. However, I’d like to point out one thing to those out there who are the rabid, fervent supporters of everything they read in the Daily Heil. The next time you complain about some Indian called Sanjit or Meenu talking to you about the Market Value Reduction on your Bond, you are the architect of your own displeasure. Those bolshie unions, whom you are currently spewing over like fleas round a pile of manure, fought in vain to prevent those jobs moving to the call centres of Mumbai and Bangalore. Even when the circus was rolling in admittance fees, the ringmasters still outsourced their performers. You shrugged your shoulders and returned to your golf clubs and your places in the sun. No over-zealous sense of moral outrage to be seen back then. From that perspective you can keep your whines to yourself and consequently you have no reason for complaint this time either.
Apologies. I’ve wandered off down the road of polemical ranting. I hadn’t intended to but it takes a certain degree of discipline to maintain a focused mind on such a topic which is close to my political mindset. It’s incredibly frustrating to constantly have to contend with right-wing, anti-employee, smug disgust from the cloistered  denizens of suburban and rural comfort. Whilst I firmly believe in dialogue as the natural means to overcome all issues, there comes a time when the ordinary people amongst us have to make the decision to get up, walk away and take the ball with us. If not, then the corporations win again. Just like the banks. I believe the term is riding roughshod.

March 15, 2010 - Posted by | I Am What I Am, Politics | ,

1 Comment »

  1. “…the corporations win again”

    Sadly mate, this is a morbid fact of life. As transparent a fact as ‘fat people should eat less and exercise more’ – bloaters know this, yet they stay fat (and now we wait for the politically correct fascists to descend upon us with the usual ‘it’s a hormone problem’, etc etc, poor excuses for being too fcking greedy)
    Anyway, the political and corporate elite hold power akin to royalty, so no laws will ever touch them. As I said, a sad fact of life. Damn them all to an eternity in Dante’s worst imaginings.

    Comment by Bonz | March 22, 2010 | Reply

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