Socialist Worker

The Troublemaker

Issue No. 2436

Protests at the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, who introduced anti-union laws

Protests at the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, who introduced anti-union laws (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Tories threaten to make anti-union laws even worse

The Tories want to make it more difficult for teachers, nurses and other workers to strike if they win the general election in May.

They are not satisfied with a raft of already existing anti-union laws.

Unions would need the support of at least 40 percent of all those allowed to take part in strike ballots should David Cameron’s party get its way.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said, “It is wrong that politicised union leaders can hold the 

country to ransom with demands that only a small percentage of their members voted for.

“These serious reforms will help increase the legitimacy of any strikes unions do hold. 

“And they will put our labour laws back where they should be—on the side of hardworking people going about their daily lives.”

This government sneaked into office after winning only 23.5 percent of the popular vote in 2010.

But that doesn’t bother the toffs. As usual it’s one rule for them and another for us. 

The Tories also said that if elected they would end the ban on the use of agency staff to replace striking workers.

There would also be a study of introducing minimum service levels to ensure core services did not shut completely during a strike.

The anti-union laws were brought in by the Tories under Margaret Thatcher and maintained and defended by Labour.

They were designed to stifle unions’ ability to resist, and to give union leaders a way to persuade their members not to strike.

They are a magnet for employers who want to use technicalities to halt strikes.

The right to strike is the most fundamental and basic right that workers have—and we have to defend it.

The best way to beat the law is for a union to say that it is not going to back down, and that it will strike regardless.

Cameron grabs some 'green crap' cash

David Cameron’s father-in-law has coined it with public subsidies for wind farms.

Samantha’s dad Sir Reginald Sheffield split the cash with RidgeWind, developer of the wind farm on his estate. 

Cameron’s parliamentary office confirmed he has received a £5,000 donation over Christmas from Marjorie Glasgow, who runs that exact same company. 

Troublemaker supposes that is what they mean by “Green crap”.

Meanwhile consumer minister Jo Swinson revealed her department spent nearly £80,000 last year on “business class taxis”. Whatever they are.

Controversial pair together again

Liam Fox’s career as defence secretary ended due to his friendship with controversial arms lobbyist Adam Werritty.

Happily the pair reunited in the House of Commons’ Strangers’ Bar last week.

Fox was accused of giving Werritty inappropriate access to Parliament and the Ministry of Defence.

Two Hillsborough slurs from football boss

Convicted rapists have a tough time don’t they? That’s according to Professional Footballers Association boss Gordon Taylor anyway.

He compared the plight of convicted rapist Ched Evans to that of victims of the 1989 Hillsborough football disaster last week.

A furious response forced him to apologise. Unfortunately his “apology” made the comparison again.

“Ched Evans is a totally different case but he has the same belief of his innocence,” declared Taylor.

Worringly, Taylor also said he may ring relatives of the victims to explain that he supports them.

Some 96 Liverpool football fans died as a result of the Hillsborough disaster. Inquests into the deaths are ongoing.

For latest news on the inquests go to

United in making cuts

Political unity is a wonderful thing. In Edinburgh the Labour Party and Scottish Nationalists work together to run the council.  

They have come up with a bold plan, literally.  Better Outcomes Through Leaner Delivery is council boss Sue Bruce’s “transformation” programme.Translated that means 1,200 jobs slashed and £138 million in cuts. Better together?

New landlord grab

Landlords have made £177 billion profit over the past five years because of rising house prices. That doesn’t include the money they get from tenants.

The total value of privately rented housing in Britain has grown 57 percent since the financial crisis, topping £1 trillion this year for the first time.

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The Troublemaker
Tue 13 Jan 2015, 17:47 GMT
Issue No. 2436
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