Happy New Year – Or is it?

Warren Town: “It will work says Osborne – just give it time!”

It’s been an interesting New Year so far and certainly far from dull.  One snippet of news that came and went was the headline that MPs (some at least) believed they are worth more. A lot more it would seem. In fact 32% more; the YouGov survey for Ipsa concluded that some members of parliament were of the view that they deserved salaries on average of about £86,250; up from the current £65,738.

 

Most interesting it was the Tory MP’s who were firmly of the view that they we underpaid and we assume, undervalued and unloved. It did not end here though as there were some that took the view that £86k was still not enough and salary of the order of £96k was more in keeping with, we assume, their overinflated opinion of their importance.

 

It was cold comfort that Labour MP’s were more conservative in their opinion of themselves and thought that a figure of £77k was more realistic. Well that makes it OK then!

 

Meanwhile back in the real world that the rest of us inhabit, the New Year heralded more plans for austerity (it will work says Osborne – just give it time!) with cuts in benefits, public sector pay, pension entitlement and a debacle over what remains of the European community. Read More…

What next? Come 2013 the answer will be self evident

Warren Town: “Maybe there is truth in the joke that if this Xmas you are having a party, do not ask Nick Clegg to organise it”

HAVING marched through London in good weather, if a little chilly (or is this me being old) we have had members ask in our union –what now?

 

It’s a good question and one where the answer does not flow easily, especially when you consider the extraordinary events that we have seen since we traipsed through London.

 

We have had the election of police commissioners. With all the hype and hullabaloo it appears that the public either did not understand the relevance of the elections or just could not be bothered. (My money is on the latter) Never mind we only spent 100 million on this exercise. Obviously money well spent when hospitals are failing and local services are under threat of closure. Read More…

So now we are all OK?

Today we will take to the streets [again] to raise the roof and to show support for a future that works and not a future of uncertainty.

 

But in my more lucid moments I begin to wonder what is that we can say is a future that works and what does this future look like? Read More…

If Voting Changed Anything They’d Abolish It

Manchester Central conference venuw

The Labour Party Conference begins today in Manchester

‘If voting changed anything they would abolish it’ was the title of a book by Ken Livingston in 1987. It is a quote that has often comes to mind when I traipse to the local scout hut, cold and badly lit, make my way past the interrogation desk to a badly constructed wooden booth and scrutinize a list of prospective victims. I then with purpose pick up the fag end of a pencil and make my mark.

 

I leave feeling that once again I have contributed to that great institution that is democracy.

 

But then reality hits and the person I voted for is not elected and we end up with a coalition which none of us voted for but are stuck with. So if the democratic process for electing our leaders in government is seen by some as a distorted reality then is it any wonder that the democratic process is in danger of floundering.

Read More…

Warren Town

Currently the Director of Industrial Strategy for the Society of Radiographers who has held a variety of national trade union positions in Health. A New Zealander, who arrived in the UK in 1979 and became a full time officer for the SOR in 1981 having worked in NZ in industry and as a Radiographer.

 

As a keen motorcyclist, activist and conservationist [he says they are compatible] he considers that the development of the young by small unions and the TUC to develop an understanding of why it is important to belong and work together, is paramount for trade unions survival in the future.

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