Thursday, November 24, 2011

But, Boss, the Prime Minister told me to bring her.......

Yesterday afternoon, I had a text from my daughter's school confirming that they were definitely closing next Wednesday, the day of the massive public sector strike over pensions.

But, that's fine - no problem - because David Cameron and Louise Mensch came up with the perfect solution yesterday at Prime Minister's Questions - Bob should just take her into the office with him.

Mrs Mensch's was I think the third in a series of questions clearly drummed up by Tory whips to give Cameron the chance to have a go at the strikers. This is how it went:

Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that one of most disruptive impacts of next week’s strikes will be on mums and dads with children in school? Will he join me in encouraging employers to allow parents to bring their children to work when it is safe to do so?
The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend makes a good point about the strikes next week. Frankly, the strikes are going to go ahead and everybody should be very clear about where the responsibility lies: it lies with the union leaders and with the Labour party, which is taking their side and backing the strike. She makes the important point that when it is safe for people to take their children to work, organisations should allow them to do so.
Cameron doesn't really care much for health and safety anyway, so I expect he'd consider most workplaces appropriate for children.

Now, I can must imagine what my husband's boss would  say if he turned up with Anna next Wednesday, and it wouldn't be printable on a family blog. I have, of course, suggested to him that he floats the idea today, purely for mischief making purposes.

He's not going to be taking her, obviously, because I'm here to look after her. But if I wasn't I'm sure neither of us would want to subject her to the abuse she'd no doubt get if she walked across a picket line. Adults can (although they shouldn't have to) deal with that sort of thing, but children should not.

It got me thinking, though, what do parents who don't have alternative child care do?

I'm also fairly certain that if my husband put in a day's annual leave to look after her, his employers would simply refuse it and count him as being on strike, despite him never having participated in strike action before or the fact that he is not even a union member. He'd lose a day's pay unjustifiably. We really need to make sure that nobody's penalised in this way for their caring responsibilities - and that includes relatives whose carers are on strike having to go and get elderly parents up, breakfasted, washed and the like.

Last night on Twitter, Purplesun2001 pointed out that most people will have used their annual leave allowance by this time of year so may well have to take unpaid leave to fulfil their caring responsibilities.

I don't agree with this strike - it's tactically stupid. When was the last time a strike actually worked? There are serious issues over pensions which worry me. I'm concerned about the situation in 40 years time when today's young people haven't been able to save up enough to provide for themselves in retirement. Striking will ultimately be counter-productive, though and will only harm the people who take part in it.

I also don't agree with the macho hard ball stuff coming from the Government - with Francis Maude suggesting that the offer could be withdrawn if the strike goes ahead. The Tories who are murmuring about minimum turnouts in union strike ballots might like to look at turnout in particularly local government elections and reflect on that. In the Hillhead by-election last week, just 13% took part - but everyone had the choice and the chance to vote. Even a low strike turnout is more of a mandate than those really scary mass meetings I remember from my childhood. Everyone voted in favour - but what would have happened if they'd tried to defy the union bosses? The potential for intimidation was obvious.

I wonder if we'll see the little Camerons at work with Daddy next Wednesday although I really hope not because it would be pretty exploitative. I'm not sure Cameron really understands the real world of work, though, if that's his solution to schools being closed for strike action.


Liberal Neil said...

Clearly not everyone will have a workplace suitable for children, but many of us do.

I will be taking my youngest to work with me, or me and the missus may have her for half a day each.

Not ideal, but neither of us can afford to take a day's leave at this point.

cynicalHighlander said...

There is a very simple solution which would avoid this strike and causing irreparable harm to the majority of society with all of these unnecessary cuts. The trouble is the Tories, LibDems and Labour are infatuated by the wealthy club and they want to join them for selfish reasons.

Can capitalism survive without tax avoidance?

Don't you think it is very strange how before the election the LibDems said they would sort it and now a wealth of silence.

cynicalHighlander said...

If you can tear yourself away from that 'wonderful' reality tv that we are subjected to in this country could I suggest The Keiser Report 214 where you might learn what your LibDem MPs are party to.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

You do watch some weird stuff, CH. You really shouldn't believe everything you see on You Tube.

cynicalHighlander said...

$3.1 trillion lost to tax evasion globally; cost to Britain: £69.9 billion

Just depends who has been brainwashed Caron. Max is en ex hedge fund manager so has far more creditability than any puppet politician.

Unknown said...

That'll be why the UK Government is implementing Liberal Democrat policy on dealing with tax evasion, then.

cynicalHighlander said...

They are talking about as they have done for decades and sweet damn all has been done because the UK politicians are frightened that might affect their own future directorships on thes companies.

Treasury review proposes a catch-all rule to counter tax avoidance

Why are they cutting from the poorest in society immediately yet delaying any reforms on the wealtiest till tomorrow which will never come.

cynicalHighlander said...

Tackle Tax Havens

Nothing is being done by the UK as they are linked to the majority of them.


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