Archive for June, 2011
Dear Public Sector, I know the vast majority of you work incredibly hard and perform the most important jobs in our society, but I cannot support your forthcoming strikes.
As a private sector worker I have seen the world of work change since the 2007 global financial crisis. I have seen my customers, colleagues and family made redundant and I have been through the process myself, although I was one of the lucky few. I know of one gentlemen who worked his whole life for the Royal Bank of Scotland and then lost the majority of his private pension value a couple of years before retirement.
We don’t have anything like final salary pensions and we can’t lobby the government when times are tough and things don’t go our way. The state has shielded you from the worst of the financial crash, but now you are being asked to take some of the burden. There isn’t as much money as we imagined there was, sorry.
I know you are angry, but this is what our people voted for. You had your chance to choose our direction last year. Yes I agree that many people are overpaid and the burden is not being shared equally, but there must be reasonable parity between the public and private sector. Not going to work for one or two days isn’t going to change things. Try joining or even starting a political party to build a consensus of thought and action.
Perhaps you think the democratic system is broken and this is an unreasonable premise? Perhaps you think we should operate a fairer form of democracy using proportional representation? Again, we had our say earlier this year and we decided we didn’t want that. (I won’t go into how most public sector workers are affiliated with the unions and the Labour party, and then how the Labour party crucially sat on the fence during the referendum, denying any change towards proportional representation.)
The change is coming regardless. Make the most of your day off to work towards solutions such as forcing the government to abolish tax havens, implement a Tobin-like tax on speculative financial transactions, support a progressive taxation system and move your money to a more ethical and reliable bank. Finally, learn about politics and become a paid-up member of a political party to create change within the electoral system, not bullying the state and dodging your responsibilities.
Mr Private Sector Activist
Did you know? All fuel sold in the UK is already blended with 3.5% biofuel made from crops like palm oil, sugar cane and soy. This is set to rise to 5% by 2013 and potentially to 10% by 2020. Meaning more devastation in producer countries. You have no choice about what you buy and there’s no information available on where your everyday fuel comes from. More than 80% of biofuels sold in the UK are imported from overseas. British companies are leading the biofuel land grab in Africa, exacerbating local food prices and malnutrition.
This is one example of why I have never donated money to Comic Relief. What good can be done by giving until we stop taking first? More biofuel please? Do nothing. Less biofuel thank you? Lobby your MP.