By John Millington
THE PCS union has called for a further round of strike action alongside other unions in June in a bid to defeat the government’s public sector pension assault.
Delegates voted overwhelmingly in favour to join up with other public sector unions to take coordinated action next month.
The hotly debated motion saw members from all over the union all agree on the need to take industrial action but differ over specific tactics on how to win the dispute.
More to follow….
By John Millington
A leading economist has described the austerity drive against working people in Britain as an “act of class war,” today.
Speaking at the PCS Austerity Isn’t Working fringe meeting, Ann Pettifor from Prime Economics urged the trade union movement to “go on the offensive” against the “infantile economics” of the IMF.
“We have to teach them that the government can’t cut the deficit,” she told the packed meeting.
“It is not a crisis of public sector debt. It is a crisis of private sector debt.”
“Private sector debt is 500 percent of GDP. That is worse than Japan.”
Fellow speaker and author Owen Jones heaped praise on the PCS for taking a “principled stand against austerity.”
Taking a pot shot at the political elite, Mr Jones criticised both Labour and the Liberal democrats for their weak stand on the economy.
“Labour have failed to put forward a coherent alternative.
“And for Vince Cable to be called a socialist taints to the good name of socialism.”
By John Millington
INTERNATIONAL financial powerhouses have sent a mixed message to Britain today to use quantitative easing, increase spending on infrastructure and temporary tax cuts.
The International Monetary Fund along with the OECD urged the government to move to Plan B on the economy featuring temporary tax cuts and increased infrastructure spending to support the economy in case of a collapse in the Eurozone.
In a sideswipe at the Tory led coalition’s addiction to spending cuts, the IMF’s managing director, Christine Lagarde said: “If the economy turns out to be significantly weaker than forecast, fiscal easing should be considered… measures should be focused on supporting growth and employment.”
But reflecting the confusion gripping the voices of international finance capital at the moment, Ms Lagarde then praised Britain for it’s deficit reduction plan, which has seen a huge rise in unemployment.
“Substantial progress” has been made, she added, in balancing Britain’s books.
Fears of an all out collapse of the Eurozone political project were further increased today with OECD representatives stating officially that the area was close to “severe recession” which would have crippling effects on the rest of the world.
But economic experts have slammed the IMF proposals as failing to deal with the heart of the matter – the crisis of capitalism.
Speaking exclusively to the Dreadnought, Professor Roger Seifert said: “By 2012 all was revealed: the crisis was one of the capitalist system and no amount of post hoc regulation, hand wringing, low interest rates, quantitative easing, demands for belt tightening, and massive finger pointing and blame deflection could mask the grim realities that the Euro was built on heroic assumptions about growth and German trading might, that monetarist-style solutions had failed, and that voters were turning against smug elites and their myopic vision of restructuring and austerity.”
In a rallying call to trade unionists, he added: “The labour movement needs to fight for a jobs and growth programme in which unemployed building workers are paid to use the skills to build houses for the homeless; unemployed graduates are employed in state sector jobs as teachers and civil servants, nurses and social workers, and managers; and immediate investment is needed in education, skills and research, exporting industries, and infrastructure improvements.”
Hello dear readers.
I am hoping to make the Sunday Review a regular feature. Every week the Dreadnought will cast it’s beady industrial eye over any reports within the Sunday papers that concern workers and wider employment relations in Britain and Europe.
Comments and suggestions as always are very welcome.
THE SUNDAY REVIEW
By John Millington
Amongst the guff about Justin Bieber (yeah, I don’t know who he is either) and the Prime Minister’s apparent gaff at the G8, potentially endangering the racism case against England footballer John Terry, multi-millionaire Tory donor Adrian Beecroft unsurprisingly called for workers to effectively go back to the workhouse and starve and suffer in the name of productivity and growth.
He has just released his long await report which – yep you’ve guessed it, was commissioned by the government.
Apart from a few critical noises emanating from the Liberal Democrats, Mr Beecroft has told the government what it wants to hear – workers rights are to blame for Britain’s lack of economic growth so cut that “red tape’ David.
Now I had not heard of Mr Beecroft before today but I was reliably informed by Unite Assistant general secretary Tony Burke that he was a “Right wing nutter who has a stake in http://Wonga.com and gave Tories 600 grand.”
In an exclusive Sunday Telegraph front page,
Mr Beecroft takes aim at equality legislation and wants to make it easier for businesses to hire and fire making the dubious connection that the current state of industrial relations in the country stifles growth.
Maybe Mr Beecroft is unaware of the Eurozone crisis engulfing the continent or the deficit caused by bailing out the banks. The fact those same banks are not lending to businesses and the general stupidity of many captains of industry who couldn’t innovate a snail to produce slime at the moment.
Take Clinton cards for example which was forced to bring the administrators in last week – paid low wages and cut back on staff to the bare bone, yet still ran up debts of around £30bn and nosed dived into an oblivion.
No second guesses as to who the carries the can – the soon-to-be moneyless unemployed 12,000 strong workforce or the incompetent directors who have their previous profits tucked away in tidy escapes abroad.
Even if Mr Beecroft has been living under a very expensive rock for the last 3 years, the rest of the press went heavy on the Eurozone fallout, with the Sunday Times, Observer and Sunday Mirror carrying major articles on the subject.
In the Sunday Mirror former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling tears into the Coalition’s economic policies of austerity with his usual efficient robust style.
However he warns that Greece’s exit from the Euro would precipitate nothing less than an apocalypse – warning workers in Britain it would cost “millions of jobs” in this country alone.
The rhetoric of both mainstream parties is rebuked by progressive anti European Union pressure group N02EU spokesman Brian Denny.
Speaking exclusively to the Dreadnought, Mr Denny accused the former chancellor of in effect calling for “a centralised government around the eurozone.”
“Darling is doing what Cameron is doing – it is the logic of creating a centralised government for the eurozone,” he said.
“The recently agreed fiscal pact and euro stability mechanism remove all economic powers from member states.”
Explaining the economic arrangements around the EU and the eurozone, Mr Denny went on to say: “The Euro is a political project, designed to defend the German economic power house. Everyone is locked into it and must fit in around that.
“Therefore you have to privatise all the industries.”
“And the European Central Bank decides all economic policies not members states and that is all in support of monopoly capital.”
Greece leaving the Eurozone was Mr Denny added: “the least worst option.”
by John Millington
Conference season is in full swing and what better place for the Dreadnought to begin than at the PCS conference.
One of the most militant trade unions which has led the fight against public sector pension reform is having it’s AGM in Brighton next week.
There will be full coverage of key motions passed, hard hitting comments from key activists and insider information on the future activity by the union.
Tune in from Wednesday morning!
Welcome to the Dreadnought.
Over the coming weeks and months, I hope to create an easily accessible blog that brings readers first class industrial journalism as well as new opportunities for these stories to be told in the mainstream national press.
In these times of austerity there are extreme pressures been heaped on workers, the unemployed and ordinary families all over Britain, Europe and the rest of the world.
It is vital that the resulting social consequences are documented, given publicity and that the highest standards of journalism are maintained.
There will be news, analysis and opinion all showcased here on the site. Breaking news that no one else will dare publish will also be a key feature.
This is what the Dreadnought with it’s limited resources (ie me – a struggling freelance) seeks to do whilst at the same time evolving into a pathway for greater coverage in the national press.
Please leave comments and all constructive suggestions are welcome. My details can be found in the about section.
Editor, Daily Dreadnought