30th June 2011 – all change or more of the same
Starting my blog today is a matter of serendipity. A happy accident if you will.
It will go unnoticed (vanity on the second line) because the Inverclyde By election took place today and so did the first of what will be a great many strikes about public sector pay and conditions.
my question today is this: Is today a day of change or a day that will be largely missed in the passage of history?
Well it depends on the outcomes. If the By election is an SNP win then the whole political landscape in Scotland has taken a tilt and we are in for one hell of a bumpy ride. The Nationalists (already cock-a-hoop) will go to bed dreaming of seperation from the union and believing they speak for ‘all of scotland’. They don’t. They are at the moment providing a least worst option for many voters, a situation that needs changing. However, if they win history will point at 30th June and say this was their confirmation. Afterall the victor writes the history.
If Iain MacKenzie holds the seat for Labour then the Nationalists will have been slowed in their march towards Independence for a while. They will of course claim a victory regardless of the outcome. If Labour hold well then the ship will have steadied and the panic currently engulfing Labour supporters will subside a bit. Even if we win, I am a Labour party member, it will not be a sign that all is well. We must not allow this byelection to paper over the problems we face in Scotland.
Polls will close in about 10 minutes.
As for the Public sector pension strikes, this is the day that the unions began to oppose the cuts agenda of the coalition government. Over 500 000 union members on strike today because the attacks on their pensions were one pill too many to swallow.
If the Government rides over them (and more will strike later in the autumn) then it will be a repeat of Mrs T and her breaking the unions. Workers rights, the minimum wage and other improvements for the working classes will be eroded very quickly.
If, however, the government is dissuaded and pulls another U’ey then it will be the day that the unions made the govenment listen and their resurgance was confirmed.
It doesn’t help, though, that the Labour Leader Ed Milliband is not supporting their action. This I feel is a mistake. It does give DC and the sunshine band some ammo but it is the right thing to do if you have a fair bone in your body.
So there we have it; 3 major events today. Inverclyde Byelection, Public sector strikes and I launched my blog.
Twitter is so much easier.