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)

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Spring of discontent?

The Unions always seem to flex their muscles when Labour's in power. They've been remarkably quiet for the last few years, but it looks as if they're getting twitchy and want to show us who's really in charge of the country.
Britain poised for first national rail strike in 16 years

Easter rail travel is under threat from three industrial disputes which could halt trains in the first national rail strike for 16 years.

Signalmen, maintenance staff and supervisors are all poised to strike in disputes over job losses, pay and changes to working practices.
Knowing the dire state of the motorway network, it'll be interesting to see how quickly the whole country grinds to a halt. Do they care whose holidays they mess up?

Seems not :
Bob Crow, the general secretary of the RMT union, which has balloted thousands of signalmen and maintenance workers for a possible strike, said: “I am not Mystic Meg **, but I would not book any rail travel for the Easter period.”
As Robin Gisby, Network Rail’s director of operations, said
“I can’t live with the RMT holding the whole country to ransom. The union wants a cast-iron guarantee there will not be any compulsory redundancies. I cannot give that guarantee.”
Odd, don't you think, that none of the Union high-ups seem to have any idea what's going on in the country, have no idea what the word 'recession', 'broke' or 'running out of money' mean.

Maybe they think Mr Brown's high tax policies are for their benefit, so the money would land in their pockets, and their pockets alone. Tough luck - it doesn't work that way, not in the real world.

They should try tracking the pennies backwards, and work out where they come from. The money always starts off in the private sector, it only gets into the public sector via taxation , government fees and charges, so if the big boys who pay lots of tax leave the country, as they are, then there won't be anything to pay public sector wages with - it doesn't matter how much tax those in the public sector pay, it's only pushing the cash round in circles, it's an illusion of wealth, an illusion of prosperity.

The unions, and government, can vilify rich people as much as they want - but when they leave Britain they take their money, and their taxes, with them. All they leave behind are empty offices, empty shops and empty houses - no income from communality charges, no income from business rates, no VAT on shopping, no car tax, no fuel duty, no national insurance contributions - nothing,  zilch, zero. But the country they move to gets a little bit richer.

The Unions chaps could also take a peep at the trade figures.
Excluding oil and erratic items, the volume of exports fell by 6.0 per cent and the volume of imports fell by 1.2 per cent, compared with December.
Mrs R doesn't even pretend to be an economist, but even she realises that there's less money coming into the country than for years. Fewer exports, she thinks, means less home-grown money and could also mean that we're importing essentials, rather than making (or growing) them here which, ultimately, increases Britain's dependency on the rest of the world. And, of course, the rest of the world doesn't pay UK tax, even though Mr Brown thinks it should.

Mrs Rigby can't imagine any of the union activists will be giving charts and graphs more than a cursory glance though, they're probably too busy wondering what's happening wrt to Jordan's marital woes, or Lady Gaga's hat.

** Mystic Meg, by the way, is an astrologer from The Sun newspaper

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