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Slartibartfast wrote: »
I'll be 68 too, unless it changes again between now and then - and I have already been working for over 20 years - during that time I have been paying into a pension on an understanding which is now being changed unilaterally. However, that isn't really what I wanted to comment on, it was the "aw diddums" comment.
Instead of envy and arguing that everyone show be dropped down to the lowest level, why not ask yourself how the public sector workers have secured slightly better salaries and pensions. Why not ask why private sector pensions shouldn't be raised to the same level?
This wasn;t achieved through a benevolent Govt offering all sorts of perks. It was because the public sector workers have fought for years to get these rights and then to maintain them They organise and stick together to a greater extent.
As I said early, people bitching about how one sector has it better than another are falling into a trap set by the politicians (who want to put down the public sector) and the media (who want to protect the interests of their well paid editors and barons)... it's about dividing the workers. It seems to be working.
Flashman's Ghost wrote: »
The private sector's pension was changed unilaterally in 1997 (and with even less consultation with the pension holders).
And to be honest it was the benevolence of Government towards the public sector - if you don't think Labour was acting for political advanatage in pesniosn, pays and perks for public sector employees you're in cloud cuckoo land...
Everyone wants to protect their interests, including the public sector and we shouldn't pretend people are acting in some great public interest when they're acting in narrow sectional ones.
When BA went on strike, people grumbled and flew on other airlines, when the Met call handlers go on strike people can't call an alternative. Nor can most people send their kids to a different school, go private, get their benefits from a different provider.
Slartibartfast wrote: »
Well, unless two wrongs now make a right, I'm not sure that's really a defence for what the Govt are trying to do.
Yes it was political. I can only speak for the NHS but the investments that we recieved has transformed it. Whatever Landsley may say publically, the public satisfaction has never been higher. It's also worth noting that it was public clamour which lead to the increased salaries because at the time the sector was grossly underpaid and the was a huge vacancy issue in the skilled staffing.
Was it done without the intention of improving the services though, no. They knew that better terms was what would help. It's also worth noting that Labour also changed our pension rights already once, it has never been just one way.
You think this is just about individuals looking after themselves? Or do you think it's wider than that and about longer term Friedmanism at play?
All you have done there is highlight why it is important to treat the staff reasonably. If you want their services then you pay their prices. That's capitalism at play.
If you believe that privatisation will make things cheaper, then I'm going to start worrying that you have missed the evidence all around us which shows that it actually just leads to higher wages at the top, lower wages at the bottom and huge dividends for the shareholders. I'm sure most users of British Gas, BT and the train network will bear me out on this point...
Namaste wrote: »
Whowhere... On a slight tangent, what are the attitudes of your colleagues to the strikes and the anti-cuts demonstrations (in general)?
I have been on a lot of anti-cuts demos and stalls and actually found the police have been quite alright with us and supportive.
Flashman's Ghost wrote: »
Even the train network is only poor if you ignore British Rail, otherwise it's an improvement (and probably would have been even better if there hadn't been a cack-handed split between trains and track... - I've heard from pretty good sources at least part of the reason for this was deliberate sabotage by civil servants in the DfT, see sectional interests again)
Arctic Roll wrote: »
The train network has not improved one percentage point due to privatisation. As you well know, the private companies in the UK are little more than sub-contractors. The improved frequencies are paid for by the taxpayer, the improved trains are paid for by the taxpayer. Unfortunately the profits are also paid for by the taxpayer and, even more crucially, the losses are also paid for by the taxpayer. Go and ask your colleagues at DfT about their lovely little cap-and-collar arrangements with the Bus Bandits; Stagecoach keep their profits and pass on their losses.
There's no privatised railway industry, there's just profiteering aided and abetted by a corrupt Conservative government in the 1990s.
If you think this just applies in Britain, too, go and ask the residents of Berlin. Deutsche Bahn Regio was privatised and the Berlin S-Bahn ground to a halt two years ago when the privatised company decided to spend its profits on trebles all round rather than repairing the trains and tracks.