I'm not usually a doom and gloom merchant but while I was sitting in a meeting this morning it kind of crept up on me. Listening to various speakers talk about the dismantling and fragmentation of advice in the Not for Profit sector due to government proposals.
Unsuprisingly, New Labour are getting their ideas from the private sector. Advice will have that supermarket feel about it instead of understanding the complex and specialist nature advice is people will be subjected to the “one size fits all” philosophy ‘cos it is all about “value for money” and “market forces” now.
And talking of cuts in public services, there was a select committee meeting today to discuss how much money will be squandered on the Olympics.
Well, at the end of that meeting I crossed the road and attended the Speak Up for Public Services rally at Methodist Central Hall. I was pleased to see lots of T&G activists (my union) leafleting around Westminster.
The meeting was absolutely packed and I had to wait around for some time before the stewards allowed anyone in (there were lots of stalls). It was refreshing to see so many activists that it raised my spirits and the atmosphere was very good.
I heard Dave Prentis (general secretary, Unison) doing his impersonation of a “left-wing” speech which included a round-up of striking Unison activists, condemning privatisation and bigging up the fight for public services (“We will be uncompromising in the action we take”!) and threatening strike action. Prentis mentioned that the PCS ballot result will be in today (they have voted to strike) which rightly merited rousing applause and that solidarity with other unions was key to the fight. I was tempted to holler, “Yeah, but what you gonna do about the Local Government Pensions Scheme, Dave”?
I wanted to hear Mark Serwotka (who was running late) but I got Dave Prentis instead. Oh well....
Unfortunately, I couldn’t hang around as I had to get back to work.
Anyway, I will big it up for the Trade Unionists 4 John meeting next Tuesday (30th Jan) 7-9 @ Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London.