June 2011 Archives
I got a bit of stick on Twitter today for suggesting that a claim by the ATL teaching union that they wouldn't be on strike if there was an alternative wasn't entirely truthful.
The North West office the TUC suggested that I 'have no idea.' If that's the standard of debate within the TUC these days, then it's no wonder the negotitiatons with the government over pensions aren't going that well.
Someone else asked me to 'cough up my alternative then.' So here it is.
I'm not against teachers or members of the public sector going on strike. I'm not saying I agree with the government plans on pension reforms. What I do think, however, is that the unions who went on strike today have increased the chances that they'll be defeated.
Strikes should be the last resort for one simple reason: They need public support to work.
The more I see Ed Miliband during Prime Ministers Questions, the more I begin to see parallels with William Hague when he was Tory leader as the Conservatives struggled to cope with life on the opposition benches.
Hague was, and still is, brilliant in the House of Commons. He could run rings around Tony Blair. But his impact outside of Parliament was minimal. He just didn't connect with the public.
While it can't yet be said that Miliband is brilliant - or anything close - during PMQs, he has found a way of irritating prime minister David Cameron. He's spotted a Cameron weakness and exploited it. Rather than going for a scatter gun approach with his questions, he drills into one issue and tries to find that nugget of information Cameron isn't sure of, and then tries to exploit it.
ED BALLS returned the political spotlight this weekend after an unusually long period in the shadows following his move to become shadow chancellor.
Labour has sorely missed his vocal presence in the last few months. Prior to taking over as shadow chancellor, Balls had been one of the few effective opponents to coalition policy.