Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Left Has Lost Its Way

So the rail unions, in their latest Olympic ransom, have voted against a £500 bribe…sorry…‘offer’ for each member to stay working during the Olympics. Bizarre. In any other walk of life this would be called extortion. I am not being paid more to work during the Olympics, are you?

And this has made me muse back to a recent theory that has been banging around my head for a while:

The Left has completely lost its way.

Why so? Well when the workers were rising up against the aristocracy/mill owners/industrialists, I got their point. Working practices were evil. Humans were being treated in many cases as little more than slaves. Any right thinking man should have demanded change. And for the last 100 years or so, change is what we got. We now have, amongst many changes for the better: human rights, employment legislation, healthcare free at the point of delivery, paid holiday, maternity and paternity rights, state pensions blah, blah, blah. Hard fought for. And mostly, but not exclusively, it was the Left that led the way.

So my mind now turns to last year’s TUC conference. I remember when many thousands of trade unionists annually descended on a seaside town to rail against the Government of the day. What that had become by 2011 was a relatively modest meeting held in TUC headquarters in London by a whole load of be-suited middle England, middle income, middle aged men and women arguing about how fat their massively subsidised and unaffordable pensions should be. How times have changed.

In reality, all the big battles have been long won and so they were left looking for ridiculous fights over pension terms.

And we see this played out again and again. Only last week, did we not witness the forces of the Left screaming loudly that reducing benefits down to the equivalent of a £34k pre-tax salary (ie within the top 25% of incomes in this country) was apparently tantamount to brutal oppression of the poor? And did we not witness The Millipede tying his party in knots by trying to ride the ‘benefits horse’ in two different directions?

The Left has won all its major battles and has lost its ‘raison d’etre’. Time for a re-think.

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