Thursday, September 16, 2010

David Cameron vs The Vested Interests

Cameron prepares to fight rhetorical war with labour unions

As British Prime Minister David Cameron prepares to roll out his government's austerity program, Cameron has declared his intent to take on Britain's "vested interests".

Roughly translated: unions.

"They got us into this mess and they haven't got any idea how to clear it up," Cameron insisted.

Across Britain, labour unions are lining up against the coming austerity program. Brendan Barber of the Trades Union Congress has warned of "social unrest" over government cuts.

"We have a duty to reflect the real worries and fears, and real anger that will grow as people see the impact of government policy," Barber insisted. "The Government has invested a lot of effort in trying to persuade people there is no option. That's not the case. The risks of going down this track are enormous and will make the situation worse."

"There is an alternative," he continued. "Don't be fooled by the barrage of propaganda by the Government, that all of this is simply unavoidable and there are no choices. There are real choices. These are not decisions made out of necessity. They are made out of political principle and choice."

Of course, the history of the actions of labour unions during times of fiscal crisis in Britain shouldn't fill anyone with a wealth of confidence in them.

As in almost all western countries, labour unions have proven to be especially ham-fisted when negotiating with governments. In Britain, labour unions have deliberately attempted to destroy governments that don't cave into their demands, no matter how arduous they may be.

For Barber, the "other option" is for government to stay the course, and continue spending itself into a Greek fiscal quagmire.

If anything reminds ordinary Britons that labour unions simply don't have Britain's best interests at heart, it should be this. Rather, British labour unions have their own interests at heart, and no one else's.

David Cameron needs to do more than simply battle these vested interests. He needs to reach into the Margaret Thatcher playbook, and find a way to defeat them.

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