Personal and undiluted views
Trades Unions

2908 days ago

String the Striking University Lecturers up with piano wire – greedy bastards

I write as the son of a retired University Lecturer and the husband of a practising one, who is NOT on strike today. But many of her colleagues (some of whom I shall be meeting on bonfire night) are withdrawing their labour today. This is a politically motivated strike by greedy bastards who should be string up with piano wire.

Lecturers have a cushy deal. By your late thirties you can expect to be earning c£40,000 a year. You do not actually have to attend your institution of learning more than two or three days a week but can work from home. “Office hours” are not exactly those we in the private sector are used to. There is no 6 am alarm call and daily grind to hit your desk at work by 7 AM. Or even 9 AM.

Although nominal holidays are 25 days a year during the 20 weeks of vacation (plus reading weeks etc) lecturers do not actually have to er…lecture. They rarely have to pop into the factory and it is quite normal for them to spend the summer “working” from Tuscany.

It is almost impossible to be fired. Being lazy or useless is not enough. You need to be found guilty of gross moral turpitude which means some really heinous offence like reading the Daily Mail or having a picture of Nigel Farage on your wall. This is a job for life at the end of which there is a very generous pension scheme funded by the grateful taxpayer.

And yet the bastards are going on strike

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3024 days ago

So Labour is bankrolled by the Unions…er what’s the news? And who cares?

Am I missing something from afar? I read that the Unite Union gives Labour vast amounts of money and now stands accused of trying to rig selection meetings in safe seats so that crony candidates who believe in thinks like workers’ rights and all those terribly passé concepts of the 1970s get picked. Heck so what is the news?

We always knew that Labour was bankrolled by the Trades Unions. It must have been a bit galling for the Unions to pony up only to see a bunch of Middle Class privileged young men ignore a vast amount of what they were promised. And so the Unions now want to ensure that MPs they bankroll can be relied upon to do the right thing. I.e. the wrong thing.

It is almost amusing to see Ed Milliband reporting his biggest backer to the Old Bill. But these are squabbles among the political classes.  During the past thirty years Union membership has fallen off a cliff – outside the public sector they are pretty irrelevant. Political party membership and voter turnout has fallen off a cliff too.

I spotted the other day a CV of a contemporary of mine from Oxford.

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3264 days ago

Going on Strike soon: Spain, the Guardian, The Tube Drivers – I stand with you comrades.

The Greek General strike has come and gone. A few riots, a few more businesses closed than usual but no real change. Unemployment creeps up. The 4th Reich imposes more austerity and society falls apart. And so as the workers ( or in the case of Greece, non-workers) of the world unite who is next to strike? For a range of reasons I urge some of the lead candidates to go ahead – comrades I stand along side you.

Starting with the poor oppressed editorial team at The Guardian newspaper – average salary no idea but with some highly paid columnists (Polly Toynbee on £300,000) pushing up the mean. My guess is that most of the writers on the Guardian are on £50,000 plus and heck you do not get to live in Islington and Camden if you are on the minimum wage.

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3273 days ago

Greek General Strike Called – Cue Cheap Jokes

The Greek Trades Unions have called a General Strike for 6th and 7th November in porotest against the austerity package imposed by the EU. Where do you start. The country will grind to a halt, businesses will close down and the economy will collapse. So no change then. Will anyone notice? Moreover I wonder?

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3313 days ago

The Friday Caption Contest...Would Sefton Resources want to sponsor this one?

And so the Friday caption contest is back. We still have not quite got around to producing our new line of unethically produced politically incorrect T-shirts and mugs and so the prize for this week remains a “Piss off Argentina” mug which you can of course also buy here.

This week’s caption contest has no sponsor but I would be delighted if AIM listed Sefton Resources (SER) would step up to the plate. I gather that the company (which is yet to contact me about this article) is holding a presentation on 9th October at 6PM in London and I have registered to attend. You can also do so here.

If anyone wishes, I am happy to offer a half price pizza at Real Man Pizza Company at 91-95 Clerkenwell Road at 4.45 PM on the 9th and we can then all troop along together. If you care to join me for the pre-Sefton pizza drop me an e-mail.

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