Sunday, 9 October 2011

There are 'gravy trains' - and there are 'gravy trains'

An article in today's Sunday Telegraph reports that £68million of public money is spent funding the union activities of public employees, with the print edition 'headlining' that MPs want the gravy train halted.

How about halting the Westminster 'gravy train', one costing circa 0.5billion - or halting the Brussels version which costs circa €1.61billion?

I suppose unions will argue that they get something in return for all this expenditure of public money - but what the hell do we get in return for the expenditure of public money on Westminster and Brussels? Just more authoritarianism with the resultant ordering of society and the engineering of same. If those holding ministerial positions in government need 'special advisors' on the public payroll, just what the hell are those ministers doing in the positions they hold?

That we are indeed blind to what is happening in front of our eyes, dumb for not speaking out and deaf to the voices of those attempting to point out the deficiencies in our system of democracy, surely cannot now be ignored.

No doubt the electorate can - and will......!


Adam R. said...

WW, Here is some major brainwashing and authoritarianism in action. Filmed in Atlanta, GA.

PeterCharles said...

This is nothing new. It goes back at least 40 years to my own knowledge. I believe it started in the sixties with Ford Motor Co (so much of our industrial relations and manufacturing troubles started with that company). Certainly I seem to recall that there were reportedly employees at both Ford and BMC who were actually full time union reps. As far as I know paid time off for certain Trades Union duties has been mandatory since the 1992 Employment Act and I believe such provision is also in one of the Employment directives.

Anyway, paid time off for various things, including union work, was one of the carrots often offered in the seventies and eighties to help gain agreement for moderate or low wage settlements. Things like allowing civil servants two paid days off for every public holiday, teachers and others' paid 'training' days had the same genesis as well as the longer breaks, early weekend finishes and so on.

More of the usual conference season garbage to 'prove' they are in control and working for 'us'. They have no intention of actually doing anything meaningful.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

AR: Thanks for the link - off to read.

PC: I know, had exactly the same experience when in the 60s I worked as an overseas telegraphist for the Post Office. Chap named O'Keefe springs to mind..... someone with more facial hair than brains.......!

Edward Spalton said...

The Labour government negotiated something called the "Warwick Agreement" with the trade union movement.

If I remember rightly, part of the deal was that the unions got substantial grants from the taxpayer for "modernisation" - something which every organisation has to do anyway.

This money paid a substantial amount of running expenses and the unions could effectively recycle the money back to Labour as various forms of political support.

In normal life this sort of thing is called "money laundering" or dishonest accounting and governments usually say they are against it.

I cannot recall hearing that the Con-Dems have done anything about this scheme

WitteringsfromWitney said...

ES: Hardly surprising that a dishonest government turns a blind eye to dishonest accounting.

Anonymous said...

Gravy train?

The only train service I know that runs on time and makes a profit.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

DP111: Sad, isn't it?