UK prison officers staged an unofficial strike yesterday.
Wasn't it actually, technically, an illegal strike? I mean, do they not have to show that all other avenues had been exhausted and that they had held an official ballot?
Today came Brown’s response: keeping public sector pay rises low is essential to keep the lid on inflation.
Erm... This has always been a bit of a lame excuse. After all, inflation is actually considerably higher than the headline figure. Let's face it, the bald truth is that Gordon has run out of money having pissed tens of billions of pounds up the wall.
OK, that applies to the entire public sector, but will that reassure the prison officers?
Why the fuck shouldn't it? They are public sector workers, aren't they.
That might have been an acceptable line while he was Chancellor, but I think the prison officers (and other public sector workers) deserve something a little more conciliatory.
With 81000 prisoners in overcrowded jails life as a prison guard must be even more grim that normal at the moment.
Ooh, diddums. Look at the poor, ickle prison warders. Jon, me ole mucker, they can go and get another job if they don't like their working conditions; that's the beauty of having a flexible labour market.
It wouldn't be difficult to replace those that resign; I mean, fuck me, we have hundreds of fucking meathead thugs roaming the streets. Just pop 'em in a uniform and Bob's yer jailer.
Plus ask yourselves this: is a 2.5% increase for prison workers comparable to a record £14 billion of bonuses paid out in the City of London, or 37% increases in boardroom pay? Both those stories have been in the press in the last week.
OK, this is where it gets really stupid. First, the two are not equivalent because the taxpayer is not forced to pay those bonuses.
Second, those bonuses and pay rises are awarded because the private sector—and the City in particular—has been particularly productive this year (it's worth bearing in mind that Goldman Sachs agents get a percentage of the profits. It's what the Tories call "sharing the proceeds of growth").
Next up is the massive amount of tax that the state takes from these bonuses, etc.
He said that the taxman tended to recoup around 50pc of bonus earnings in taxes and National Insurance, equating to as much as £7bn last year.
So, Jon, do you see what's happening here? That's right: these companies are creating wealth that would not otherwise have existed, and then the Treasury is taking its slice—well, more of a massive great wodge, actually—so that it can afford the prison workers' 2.5% pay rise.
Perhaps Gordon might do something about that? Or dare to raise some concerns about it in public?
Actually, a good way of stopping huge salary increases to bosses would be to bring in a 0% Corporation Tax for reinvested profits, much like Estonia has. I think that you might find that it is worth keeping the cash in the company then, rather than paying it out to directors. But, as it is, the directors pay a lower tax on their rises (paid as dividends) than the company does if that profit remains in the bank, so the company may as well just pay out the money.
Er, but other than that, could you please tell me what, precisely, Gordon should do about it? Are you saying that the state should determine what private companies pay their employees? Are you saying, Jon, that the state should set the rate at which each job should be paid? Well, prepare for a pay cut, sunshine.
Seriously, you're an idiot.
Never mind: Jon is apparently moving to Brussels to "as a freelance website designer and EU politics trainer". EU politics trainer? Why am I not surprised in the slightest? He'll fit right in.
Don't feel the need to come back anytime soon, OK?
UPDATE: John McDonnell MP is horning in on the act too.
This morning as the strike by prison officers forces pay talks with Jack Straw, Gordon Brown has demanded "pay discipline" by public sector workers. At the same time the Guardian earnings survey exposes the huge gap between the income of chief executives and the wages of their workers which has opened up under Brown's supervision of the economy.
Take just a few examples: Giles Thorley, chief executive of Punch Taverns, now has a salary package of £11,276,000 which is 1,148 times the average wages of his workers of £9,821. How about Tesco's chief executive whose salary is £4.6 million which is 415 times his average worker earning £11,000.
And what's your fucking point, John? Tell you what, let's do some more mathematics, shall we?
On top of your fat fucking fee of £60,000 for sitting on your lardy arse as an MP, you claimed £131,427 in expenses which I regard as being part of your salary. This brings your (ostensible) remuneration to £191,427 in 2005/06. This means that you earned over 20 times what I did last year: and what did you do with it? You turned up to 66% of votes, which is below average even for the feckless, lazy bunch of cunts that inhabit the Commons.
Furthermore, you produced not one fucking iota of wealth or value, you useless, weasel-faced parasite, and did nothing but harm by existing.
You are a fucking cunt; fuck off and die.