Thursday, 1 December 2011

Public sector strikes

Did you thank Margaret Thatcher and the Tory government of the 1980s and early 90s yesterday?

"Why on Earth would I do that?" you might ask.

Well, we had an across-the-board public sector strike yesterday. You may not have noticed of course. Schools were closed; hospitals reduced to emergency response only; bureaucrats everywhere downed their paperclips and rubber stamps - and quite possibly there was no effect on you whatsoever.

But prior to the 1980s the power stations were in the public sector - the lights would have gone out. The gas companies were public sector - the heating would have gone off. The telephones were public sector - business would have ground to a halt. Even water was public sector - the taps could have run dry. Buses and trains were all public sector - public transport would have stopped running.

None of that worries us anymore. We just assume, with good reason, that the power, gas, water, comms etc will all be there for us. The Tory privatisations of 20 years ago give us this confidence.

So, thanks Maggie, you did at least one thing right. And I do believe this is why you did it, so the unions couldn't hold the country ransom anymore.

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