Wednesday, August 20, 2008

0.04% makes all the difference

As you will know, I think that RMT boss Bob Crow is an evil fucking cunt. Still, I was happy to see that the Tube strike had been called off at the last minute but I was just a wee bit puzzled: you see, the papers were reporting that the strike was called off after the pay deal was raised from 4.95% to 4.99%.

Does 0.04% really make so much difference? I mean, I know that there were allegedly problems with "bullying" suchlike, but surely that was a job for TfL managers and not worth holding a strike over?

On an entirely unrelated note, here's Banditry with a tongue-in-cheek (I think) conspiracy theory. [Apologies for quoting in full.]
[phone rings]
BJ: Wot ho, Bozza here.
BC: Hello. I’m Bob Crow, and I’m evil. I’m going to lead the Tube maintenance workers out on strike (a 5% pay rise just isn’t enough, you see) and paralyse the city.
BC: [evil laugh]
BJ: Oh. That’s dashed inconvenient. Is there, erm, anything we can do to appease you?
BC: Hmmm.
BC: [evil laugh]
BC: Well, there is one thing…
BJ: Jolly good, I always say that reasonable chaps can work things out reasonably.
BC: The guy you hired to run TfL—you know, the one with the record in taking over badly run, overmanned companies, cutting costs, improving services, breaking union strangleholds, that kind of thing?
BJ: Oh yes, Timmy. A bit of an oik—his daddy was a squaddie, what, but the only chap on my team who isn’t a completely useless buffoon.
BC: Hmmm.
BC: He goes.
BC: [evil laugh]
BJ: And that way your chaps will take the 5%?
BC: Oh yes…
BJ: Spiffing fun. Timmy goes, strike’s off, let’s all have tea and cakes.
BC: …until next time.
BC: [evil laugh]

I know, I know: it sounds ker-azeeeee, eh? But I wonder...

UPDATE: Guido's thinking along the same (Tube) lines, it appears...
Parker said when he started in June: "Throughout my business career I have been accountable to exacting shareholders. In my new role, my shareholders will be the taxpayers of London." He took a symbolic £1 in pay. 24 hours after he quit TFL and TubeLines caved in to a ludicrous London Underground pay deal. Hence the RMT's Crowe cancelling the strike. Do you think that perhaps Parker, a famous cost cutter, quit for this reason? Can it be a coincidence? Could Boris have hoisted the white flag because he was petrified of "Tory Cuts" rhetoric?



David Gillies said...

I sort of wonder, what if Labour goes down to a Brian Mulroney style defeat and effectively is eradicated at a parliamentary level? The thing about first past the post is that comparatively small increments of swing towards a major party can have highly non-linear effects. If Gordon's cockroach army polls in the low twenties and Cameron's bunch of chinless wonders score in the high 40's, then the Tories are potentially looking at a 350+ seat majority, with half the current Cabinet losing their seats. At that point, there is enough political capital to wage a Sean Gabb level of political war of against the enemy class (by which I mean the Gramscian/ProgCon/Tranzi filth). Of course this won't actually be a real purge, with the likes of Polly Toynbee shot in the back of the neck in a damp basement cellar (I count this as a good thing, no matter how many unkindly things I may have said against the raddled old bag). But you could really stem the tide. An edict from the Cabinet Office that no further Civil Service, local government or QUANGO posts were to be advertised in the Guardian would quite neatly put a foot on her particular windpipe. The first thing of course is to shut down the BBC and cut off the enemy's propaganda wing. The next stage is to immediately call the Boundary Commission into session to reverse the appalling gerrymandering that Labour so unashamedly engineered when they first took power (the psephological see-saw is heavily Labour biased - they can retain power even with a 9% swing to the Tories). Stage 3: go through the nomenklatura like a fat girl in a pancake house. If it's headed by a Labourite crony, it goes. You can free up £100 billion this way to give you a war chest for tax cuts and electoral bribes. Then you do the main thing that Maggie failed to do when she was in power: de-fang the unions. Sure, you could do it by sending in mounted policemen to crack heads with truncheons, as per the miners' strike. While this approach does have its merits, mainly in the haul of socialist cunts suffering subarachnoid hæmatoma, to really cripple them you need to take away their leverage. Simply rush through legislation to the effect that no contributions to political parties are permitted except individual, uncoerced ones. Make it illegal to aggregate union dues into block grants to Labour. J. Random Fatcat wants to shovel X million quid their way: so be it. But mulct some pipefitter in Redcar for 50p a week: no way José. Result: Labour out of power, shut off from its megaphones in the media, bankrupt, unable to field candidates, mocked and pilloried at every turn.

But surely, you ask, will this not lead to a one-party tyranny of reactionary Tory dipshits? I don't think so. Apart from anything, a rejection of Labour on such a level would invigorate the smaller libertarian parties, whether LP or UKIP. It would make them actually competitive on an electoral level with the rump of Labour. Secondly, by effectively eliminating the access of socialists to power, it would free up a big pool of voters who previously were nothing more than rubber stamps.

Of course this is just an idle (but fiercely-wished for) fantasy. But you never know, it could happen. No-one really dreamed in 1979 that Maggie could make the difference she did. Conversely, some of us (including yours truly) did predict the catastrophe that would arise from letting Gordon Brown have anything to do with a trillion dollar economy.

Letters From A Tory said...

You forgot to mention that those going on strike earn between £30,000 and £52,000, in addition to getting 37 days annual leave and travel subsidies.

Tough life, eh?

John B said...

"some of us (including yours truly) did predict the catastrophe that would arise from letting Gordon Brown have anything to do with a trillion dollar economy."

What, you mean "10 years of strong economic growth, a couple of years' stagnation, and maybe a technical recession for two quarters"? Oh, the humanity...

HSLD said...

Mr Gillies, you are a genius. What's more that scenario really cheered me up, for all it's admitted unlikeliness.
And I could do with some cheering up right now...

David Gillies said...

johnb, I once rather unfairly called you a lickspittle of fascists, for which I apologise. But surely not even you can believe that Gordon Brown has had a positive effect on Britain. Taxation is through the roof, great gobs and scads of taxpayers' money might as well have been pissed up against a wall for all the good they did for public services, and his badger-coiffed partner in crime, Alistair Darling, has just ineptly presided over the first run on a bank since Queen Victoria was on the throne. The UK is particularly badly placed to weather the coming storm, and all thanks to that monocular twat, late of No 11 Downing Street. He inherited an economic miracle, and then did everything in his power to murder it. That it has taken so long for the wheels to fall off is not a testament to Brown's farsighted fiscal prudence, but a measure of how strong the economy was when we let the dour, autistic, Black Presbyterian motherfucker stab it stone dead.