Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Some strike action must be made illegal.

For these people at least. (And in Telegraph here)

Let's, first, look at how some Labour MPs have been caught out trying to fill their pockets with lobbyists' cash, in return for favours
- Patricia Hewitt, a former health secretary, who claimed she helped to obtain a key seat on a government advisory group for a client paying her £3,000 a day.

- Geoff Hoon, the former defence secretary, offered to lead delegations to ministers and told the reporter that he was looking to turn his knowledge and contacts into “something that frankly makes money”. He said he charged £3,000 a day.

- Margaret Moran, the Luton MP who was forced to pay back £22,500 in expenses, boasted that she could ring a “girls’ gang” of colleagues on behalf of clients. Among those she named were: Jacqui Smith, the former home secretary; Hazel Blears, the former communities secretary; and Harriet Harman, the deputy leader of the Labour party.
Oh, they're wriggling, of course they are. They're saying they didn't go along with the scam because they thought something was amiss - but none of these three, not one, said, "No!" then and there. They must have thought about it, wondered what they could get out of it, wondered if it might be worth it.

We know Mr Blair has made quite a lot of money, but didn't want anybody to know because it was 'sensitive'. We know that he shredded documents before leaving office. His children have Irish passports, he doesn't stay long in Britain any more - it would be quite interesting to learn where he pays his taxes, especially as he owns a rather nice house, with a tennis court - in England.

But all that's just fine - because he supports the Labour Party, so he doesn't get called rude names by the media.

And now some of the top "public servants" in the land might think it's just fine to go on strike, and walk out of parliament on Budget Day. Instead of doing what they're paid for,
Those MPs taking part will also join union chiefs on a boat trip along the Thames at Westminster
Secondary picketing is illegal in this country.
Secondary picketing
It is unlawful to picket other companies’ premises where workers are not in dispute with your employer. For example, if you are on strike you should not go to the premises of your employer’s customers to encourage their workers not to handle your employer’s goods. This is known as secondary picketing.
But, presumably, it's just fine for union activists to try to prevent Parliament working - maybe because it isn't a "company".

So Mr Serwotka, in [a] letter, dated March 16 and headed 'To all members of the PCS Parliamentary Group' [wrote]:
'Our members will be taking strike action again on Budget Day ...

'There will be picket lines (my bold) at Westminster and we would ask MPs not to cross in solidarity.

'We will also be taking a boat up the Thames past Parliament on the day which will be suitably equipped to generate media interest for our members' case.
Mr Serwotka isn't talking about demonstrating, he isn't talking about bringing something to the notice of Parliament - he's talking about picket lines at the Houses of Parliament, intended to stop MPs getting into their place of work, and as a softener he'll take them for a nice boat trip on the Thames, with reporters and TV cameras in attendance.

Is that a bribe?

Mrs Rigby honestly doesn't know the answer to that, she doesn't know if, "If you refuse to go to work I will take you for a nice boat trip instead," counts as a bribe. Maybe somebody else will know the answer to that one.

Oh, and according to the website
PCS has a highly active all party parliamentary group with over 65 members.
Ordinary people, according to DirectGov,
have the right to try to prevent or stop industrial action if the industrial action is, or is likely to be, unlawful and either:

* is likely to prevent or has prevented you from receiving goods or services
* is likely to reduce or has reduced the quality of the goods or services you get

This is called the 'citizen's right to prevent disruption'.
So we could have the bizarre situation of ordinary people demanding their MPs turn up for work, to ensure government happens!

But don't hold your breath - it won't happen, because these are Labour MPs, and everything Labour MPs do is brushed under the carpet by the media.

If any MP decides to strike on budget day it will be made very clear who they are working for, and it will not be their constituents - who elected them, and whose taxes pay both their salaries and extremely generous personal expenses, and whose taxes will pay these same MPs a 'winding up allowance' on leaving Westminster.

Mrs R wholeheartedly agrees with these MPs opinions:-

Conservative MP Mark Pritchard:
'Not content with closing Britain's airports and railways, union bosses are now colluding with Labour MPs to disrupt democracy itself.

'Any Labour MP who fails to open his or her Commons office on Wednesday should have their pay docked. This bears all the hallmarks of a co-ordinated union spring offensive against the nation.'
Eric Pickles is also right, he said,
'This could only happen in the topsy-turvy world of the Labour Party where your loyalty to the unions takes priority over serving your electorate.'
It's a great pity there are no quotes from Labour MPs who think this possible 'strike' is a disgrace.

Who'd have ever thought to wonder whether or not it is 'legal' for MPs to go on strike and halt the process of government - in Britain, in 2010.

Oh, and where's Mr Brown, the man who is Prime Minister of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland? Is he in hiding, again?

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