If you’re planning a trip to London any time soon, Wednesday would be a good day to do it. There’s going to be an unofficial bank holiday! You’ll get to see London at its very best: packed with positive people, celebrating our culture on the streets and, for the day at least, stopping all the nasty bits of London from carrying on regardless. Wednesday 30th November 2011 is the day that sees the biggest general strike in a generation. The thieving Tory bastards and their political lovers, the Liberal Democrat Traitors, have discovered that deliberately lying to the population about their plans for our beloved NHS and then engaging in policies which assist only their friends in the 1% to the destruction of the economic prospects everybody else is enormously unpopular. Last week the government admitted that they have lost control of their own deficit reduction plans.
This government has proved to be so unpopular that even the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has voted for strike action on Wednesday. This is the political equivalent of an educational FAIL! Well done, David Cameron, no marks at all for this achievement. He is the first British prime prime minister to provoke the Head Teachers to take strike action. This trades union has been in existence for 114 years without striking. The provocation? Introducing reforms to public sector pensions which slash and burn their prospects in their old age.
If you doubt how the people who run our public services will be affected, have a pop at this pensions calculator to discover the truth. Remember that most public sector workers earn less than £15,000 per annum, working part-time. Unsatisfied with imposing a higher pension contribution on these people (effectively a stealth tax), the government then tells the rest of us by saying that the low paid will be protected. It defines low pay as earning less than £15,000 per annum, working full-time! The hours you can muster or cope with in your working life don’t make any difference to whether you are low paid or not. This is a bare-faced lie. The thieving Tory bastards make such an easy habit of lying that they hardly bother to cover their tracks.
The 1% is hard at work undermining the cries of treason made by the trades union movement. Various other deceits are circulated to advance the attack on our precious public service workers. Aside from the lie about protecting low paid workers, there are three other main myths created to create confusion amongst the general public. These are that the public sector pensions are somehow ‘gold plated’, unreformed and unaffordable. If believe these arguments, please read this pension myth busting page. You might find this public sector pension jargon buster useful too.
I’ve not got a pension. That’s because I am one of Thatcher’s Children and could never really justify paying into a scheme that anyone with half a brain could see was never going to be able to pay out. The pay out is dependent on demographics. There aren’t enough people younger than me paying into these schemes to make it work. Inadvertantly, I have only ever been self-employed, just as Thatcher wished for. I didn’t really plan this approach to my working life, it’s just the way it worked out. After a University education, I was a Showman working the streets – that’s when I did the fire-eating. Then I retrained and became a Barrister. Now I’m a blogger. I didn’t need Thatcher to tell me to become a small businessman. Looking back on my working life so far, I can see that I was probably never going to comfortably fit into the more stable career structures most of my friends have got. Whatever working life we’ve each got, we all need public services. There has been a long standing covenant between the government and the public service workers: they get paid less than the private sector in their working lives but they get treated properly when they come to collect their pension. Until now.
The last government broke the covenant with the army. It sent them into wars without the proper equipment. The age old understanding was that our soldiers, sailors and air force would do whatever we asked of them and in exchange we would see to it that they were properly equipped to do it. This government is now attempting to break the covenant with the public service workers. Without this arrangement, we will not attract staff of the right quality into our public services. Excepting the 1% and the bankers who caused the current crisis, we will all suffer the consequences.
If you can’t make it to London on Wednesday, please show your support for our invaluable public service workers where you are. Here’s a list of all the strike events around the country, for you to join in with, with a handy map to make navigating the extraordinarily long list easier. 23 trades unions are striking on Wednesday and a further 7 have declared support (without having balloted for a strike). Here’s the full list of unions involved.
Assuming that I have recovered from my present illness, I will be heading back to Occupy London’s encampment by the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The biggest trades union in the country (Unite) and many of the smaller ones have declared their support for the Occupation. Occupy London has put out the call to shut down the City on Wednesday. Just as Block the Bridge was a warning shot before the Occupation in London began, so yesterday’s flash mob critical mass on Ludgate Hill has shown our real people power. The police will turn out in very large numbers to prevent people from joining the Occupation. Never mind, we will turn out in larger numbers still. Even without Sukey, we will overcome.
There will be many thousands of protestors all over the square mile, which will cease to function as normal. The electronic money will fly around the world as per usual but we will reclaim the streets. We will march, occupy and teach.