Monday, 13 September 2010

Neither big nor clever

The Cameron - Osborne cabal undoubtedly comprises highly ideological right wingers who relish demonstrating their robust pragmatism by making the poor poorer. But I don’t think anyone could claim that they’re daft. The Scottish Tories? Well...

Two exhibits for the prosecution. First in today’s Scotsman, Alex Johnstone fulminates against trade unions having the audacity to fight the cuts because...’The economic problems we're facing were caused by the Labour Party and the Labour movement, which Mr Crow is a part of. People needed to be standing together during difficult times like these, rather than making unpleasant threats.’

I know they don’t like trade unions but blaming us for the banking crisis seems a bit rich. And I really can’t remember the ConDems trying in anyway, shape or form to establish the consensus on fiscal consolidation to which his last sentence appears to allude? They just went straight ahead and announced the emergency Budget.

Second exhibit. On GMS today, Murdo Fraser MSP, Scotland’s foremost comedy supply sider, twice claimed that the UK’s ‘public finances’ were the worst in the developed world. Whichever way you look at it, this statement is plain wrong. I know he likes to keep things simple but do you really think Murdo has confused the deficit (which incidentally is not the highest in the developed world) with the public finances as a whole?

The STUC is currently trying to build the already considerable capacity of the trade union movement to engage on economic issues by running a series of workshops and training courses for reps. We’re aiming to tailor courses to the needs of individual affiliates or groups of workers.

Maybe if the Scottish Tories ask nicely we’ll run one for them.

Stephen Boyd

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