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Has Sunak misread the public mood on the strikes? – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 11,006
edited January 2023 in General
imageHas Sunak misread the public mood on the strikes? – politicalbetting.com

We have had only had one published voting poll since the Christmas break and that had the Tories slipping even further.

Read the full story here

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    tlg86tlg86 Posts: 25,187
    First like Arsenal.
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    dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 27,940
    Second.
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    Well duh
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    FF43FF43 Posts: 15,692
    edited January 2023
    I wouldn't necessarily bundle those groups of workers together. The Sunak government aims to reduce the fiscal hole that it has created (largely due to Brexit but also the Trussterfuck) by paying public servants less in real terms. Those groups not surprisingly object to, yet again, being the funders of Conservative party mismanagement.
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    Does not bother me that he is a billionaire. Does bother me that he is stupid enough to think with well over 100k vacancies in the NHS it can survive by offering the remaining staff a 15% real terms pay cut over 2 years.

    The delusion may not be as quickly damaging as it was to Truss but it is still really damaging and delusional.

    U-turn incoming before February. What will the botched attempt at pay restraint have achieved? Nothing good and plenty bad.
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    Striking (boom tish) thing about those figures is that even rail workers come out net positive. And they're the ones everyone loves to hate, and frankly they have a weaker case than the others.

    Wonder if they are benefiting from a halo effect of nurses (everyone loves nurses) going on strike?

    Not a good sign for the moderate right's "destroy the train drivers then see the nurses all right" plan. Not that the government has money to see any one all right.
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    GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 20,845
    edited January 2023
    I can’t keep up with the volume of public sector dysfunction, of which the strikes are but one indicator.

    My friend, whose wife is a judge, tells me she’s not busy anymore as the court system has “collapsed” and so trials are not able to be organised.
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    tlg86 said:

    First like Arsenal.

    I'm pondering cashing out my Arsenal bet. Otoh, end-of-season bragging rights must be considered alongside money. I'll probably wait till City are within a point and then panic.
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    Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 32,849
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    JonathanJonathan Posts: 20,901
    His lack of experience definitely coming into play here.
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    Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 32,849
    EXCL: Yet another sign of the pressure in the NHS, as leaked email says from today London Ambulance Service crews will only wait 45 mins at hospitals before handing over patients.

    Will mean more waiting on trolleys in corridors with hospital staff stretched even more thinly. https://twitter.com/PaulBrandITV/status/1610229256373604353/photo/1

    Email has been cascaded down by the NHS to London hospitals. It does make clear that critical patients will still be looked after until a nurse is available, but this is a clear departure from the policy of ambulance crews essentially having to wait as long as it takes.

    All relates of course to the crisis in the ambulance service, with crews stuck waiting to hand over patients because hospitals are full. Means they can’t then answer further 999 calls, leading to long wait times for an ambulance, as we exposed in July.

    https://twitter.com/PaulBrandITV/status/1552325719895719936/video/1
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    DriverDriver Posts: 4,522
    FPT...

    Driver said:

    Classic politician, politicking.

    https://twitter.com/RachelReevesMP/status/1609831360507662336

    Great, laudable aim, the public will I am sure support this.

    BUT - how will this be achieved in practice? Expanding current medical schools? New schools? Who will provide the training?

    Like many a popular opposition facing a very unpopular government I suspect detail will be very, very light, and promises will not have any details.

    I want a labour government, and as soon as possible, but I want more detail.

    (And I know this is a tweet, but does anyone truly expect Reeves would have the answers to my questions?)

    There have been five new medical schools opened already this century so opening some more is surely not beyond imagination.

    My complaints would be that not enough is done to address poor retention but that would take more than a tweet, and I suspect the numbers are being fudged so that 7,500 new medical students should be divided by the four, five or six years they will be in training.
    Five new medical schools? Not sure of the intake, but generously 200 each? That’s a thousand.

    Reeves is suggesting 6,500 more than that. If she is aggregating the training years then that’s as bad a lie as the 40 hospitals. And if it’s not, how the actual F is that to happen? Medical training happens a lot in clinic, not just in uni lecture theatres. Training places will be needed.
    Fudged or aggregated counting of medical students is not a lie, so should not be compared with the 40 new hospitals, which will certainly not be 40 new hospitals. It might be misleading to those who read it as 7,500 more newly-qualified doctors a year.
    So you're saying "training 7500 more doctors" doesn't mean 7500 more doctors qualifying? I wouldn't expect very many to fail, so if "training 7500 more doctors" means "training 1500 more doctors in each of the five years so only 1500 more qualify each year (less a few failures)" then calling it "not a lie" is generous, to say the least.
    I'm saying "We’ll train 7,500 more doctors ... a year" probably means there will be 7,500 more medical students being trained to be doctors. But since medicine is (usually) a five-year course, that only requires admitting 1,500 more students to year one. After a time, there will be 1,500 more first years, 1,500 more second years, ... and 1,500 more fifth years, making 7,500 additional medical students. At least, that is how I read it.

    And I do not think this should be controversial. If it were announced that your daughter's school were to double in size, surely you would expect there to be twice as many pupils at the school, not twice as many in each year which would mean the school being seven times as big.
    I'm saying that if people hear "we'll train 7500 more doctors a year" most people will interpret that as "7500 more doctors a year will qualify", and that Reeves knows this.
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    Scott_xP said:

    EXCL: Yet another sign of the pressure in the NHS, as leaked email says from today London Ambulance Service crews will only wait 45 mins at hospitals before handing over patients.

    Will mean more waiting on trolleys in corridors with hospital staff stretched even more thinly. https://twitter.com/PaulBrandITV/status/1610229256373604353/photo/1

    Email has been cascaded down by the NHS to London hospitals. It does make clear that critical patients will still be looked after until a nurse is available, but this is a clear departure from the policy of ambulance crews essentially having to wait as long as it takes.

    All relates of course to the crisis in the ambulance service, with crews stuck waiting to hand over patients because hospitals are full. Means they can’t then answer further 999 calls, leading to long wait times for an ambulance, as we exposed in July.

    https://twitter.com/PaulBrandITV/status/1552325719895719936/video/1

    As a complete layman that sounds very sensible. Not sure how routinely stacking ambulances and paramedics outside for 10 hours plus a visit can make any sense?
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    mwadamsmwadams Posts: 3,136
    edited January 2023
    In many ways, these "do you support the strikes" are essentially a proxy for "do you support the government" - with a small modifier for "to what extent do you believe you are likely to be affected by the strike" - hence the slightly lower level of support for the rail strikes.
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    Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 32,849

    Scott_xP said:

    EXCL: Yet another sign of the pressure in the NHS, as leaked email says from today London Ambulance Service crews will only wait 45 mins at hospitals before handing over patients.

    Will mean more waiting on trolleys in corridors with hospital staff stretched even more thinly. https://twitter.com/PaulBrandITV/status/1610229256373604353/photo/1

    Email has been cascaded down by the NHS to London hospitals. It does make clear that critical patients will still be looked after until a nurse is available, but this is a clear departure from the policy of ambulance crews essentially having to wait as long as it takes.

    All relates of course to the crisis in the ambulance service, with crews stuck waiting to hand over patients because hospitals are full. Means they can’t then answer further 999 calls, leading to long wait times for an ambulance, as we exposed in July.

    https://twitter.com/PaulBrandITV/status/1552325719895719936/video/1

    As a complete layman that sounds very sensible. Not sure how routinely stacking ambulances and paramedics outside for 10 hours plus a visit can make any sense?
    it comes back to a comment from an earlier thread.

    A queue only works when you can remove people from the front of it.

    The current situation is that ambulances bring patients and wait until they can be seen by the hospital. This suggests they will now bring even more patients meaning the queue will grow even longer
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    solarflaresolarflare Posts: 3,623
    I suspect part of the (relative) lack of anger about the rail strikes is that a lot of the people who would normally have been affected now work from home post-covid, so a lot of the travel is discretionary rather than forced commuting.

    Ironically of course the same strikes just further entrench in these workers that WFH is more essential than ever and so become less likely to travel to the office by train even when there's no strike.
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    I can’t keep up with the volume of public sector dysfunction, of which the strikes are but one indicator.

    My friend, whose wife is a judge, tells me she’s not busy anymore as the court system has “collapsed” and so trials are not able to be organised.

    That's the thing about cracks.

    You can paper over individual cracks, but once you have three or four intercrossing cracks, the whole thing starts to fall apart.

    The British state crossed the line from efficiency to reckless gambling some time ago. It's a miracle that we got away with so much for so long, really.
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    I know this is FPT, but surely this ranks as one of the crassest comments ever from a PB poster, even this poster ?
    malcolmg said:

    Very sad state of affairs.

    MPs are wearing stab vests to constituency surgeries and considering hiring private security as they fear another politician will be killed before their safety is taken seriously.

    Sir David Amess, Conservative MP for Southend West, was murdered at a constituency surgery in October 2021, prompting the promise of stronger security for MPs. Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley & Spen, was murdered in 2016.

    However, more than a year after the death of Amess politicians feel as vulnerable as ever and believe that there will be another murder before change comes.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/mps-stab-vests-security-fears-politician-killed-gg8mrsrtb

    I cannot read the paywalled article but what exactly do MPs want? Security guard or police protection would be expensive and intrusive, and might deter marginalised constituents from seeking help. Metal detectors at MPs' surgeries would not have saved Jo Cox who was murdered in the street.
    They mention stab vests, panic alarms, possibly a hired security guard (who could be in plain clothes and discreet) at surgeries, improved security of MPs' homes. Nothing is perfect, as you say, and if I was still an MP in sleepy Broxtowe I don't think I'd do all that, but it would have prevented the David Amess murder and the near-fatal attack on Stephen Timms. There would be some cost, but in this case I think the taxpayer should be willing to cough up - it's not in the public interest that good people (perhaps especially women) should be scared out of helping to run the country.
    I disagree, I would not waste a penny on the bunch of troughers. They are murdering thousands by wrecking the country with their indifference and stupidity.
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    Andy_CookeAndy_Cooke Posts: 4,814
    So some people are suggesting that high levels of immunity are fueling immune evasion in SARS-CoV-2?

    What would they suggest as an alternative? Permanent lockdown?

    After all, if we simply let it infect people unvaccinated, they'd still develop immunity (well, apart from those poor souls who die), so we'd be in the same position, but with a considerably higher impact on healthcare - both at the time and with the disease sequelae (such as significantly elevated cardiac, kidney, and liver disease and damage).

    If high levels of immunity are going to fuel immune evasion, then either we get high levels of immunity and take the hit (as those with immunity are going to be shielded significantly from serious illness, anyway), or we somehow avoid anyone getting infected without getting high immunity levels. Can't really see an alternative (other than those who fetishize disease-generated immunity as being special)
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    Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 32,849
    Conservative ministers, taking a page out of Margaret Thatcher’s strategy on industrial relations, have maintained a confrontational stance with unions, threatening to lengthen the strikes http://trib.al/1JfdllP https://twitter.com/BloombergUK/status/1610231760658305027/photo/1
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    malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 41,811

    I know this is FPT, but surely this ranks as one of the crassest comments ever from a PB poster, even this poster ?

    malcolmg said:

    Very sad state of affairs.

    MPs are wearing stab vests to constituency surgeries and considering hiring private security as they fear another politician will be killed before their safety is taken seriously.

    Sir David Amess, Conservative MP for Southend West, was murdered at a constituency surgery in October 2021, prompting the promise of stronger security for MPs. Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley & Spen, was murdered in 2016.

    However, more than a year after the death of Amess politicians feel as vulnerable as ever and believe that there will be another murder before change comes.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/mps-stab-vests-security-fears-politician-killed-gg8mrsrtb

    I cannot read the paywalled article but what exactly do MPs want? Security guard or police protection would be expensive and intrusive, and might deter marginalised constituents from seeking help. Metal detectors at MPs' surgeries would not have saved Jo Cox who was murdered in the street.
    They mention stab vests, panic alarms, possibly a hired security guard (who could be in plain clothes and discreet) at surgeries, improved security of MPs' homes. Nothing is perfect, as you say, and if I was still an MP in sleepy Broxtowe I don't think I'd do all that, but it would have prevented the David Amess murder and the near-fatal attack on Stephen Timms. There would be some cost, but in this case I think the taxpayer should be willing to cough up - it's not in the public interest that good people (perhaps especially women) should be scared out of helping to run the country.
    I disagree, I would not waste a penny on the bunch of troughers. They are murdering thousands by wrecking the country with their indifference and stupidity.
    Says an invisible arsehole. Back under your rock where you belong.
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    LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 15,083
    I suspect that Sunak is comparing his unpopularity now during the strikes with his expected unpopularity later when he has to increase taxes to pay for higher pay.

    Cutting public sector pay with below-inflation pay awards, along with fiscal drag on tax thresholds, is the way in which the deficit is being cut. I don't see any other spending cuts that will be less unpopular, or tax rises, likewise.

    I can give you a list* of ways in which you can make the numbers add up by cutting spending or increasing taxes, but I'm pretty sure all the alternatives will be a lot less popular than cutting other people's pay.

    And we've seen with Truss that we can't simply borrow the money now and work out how to pay it back later.

    There simply isn't a way out of this situation where the incumbent PM and Chancellor are popular with the public.

    * Something like:
    - End the pensions triple lock.
    - Tax housing wealth.
    - Merge income tax and national insurance so that tax rates rise for pensioners and non-employment income.
    These might all be sensible changes to make, but without a lot of political leadership invested in explaining to the public why they're sensible, they will be wildly, ruinously, unpopular.
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    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,937
    Note that only nurses have more than 50% of voters backing their strike.

    Plus with the national average payrise only 6%, also below inflation at 10%, the average voter might be sympathetic to a 6% rise for nurses and rail workers and postal workers and teachers but not a rise more than they are getting and especially not the 19% payrise the RCN want which they would have to pay for out of their taxes.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/averageweeklyearningsingreatbritain/october2022

    Disappointed in OGH for attacking Rishi for being son in law of a billionaire, it smacks of class war from Labour and the LDs
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    eekeek Posts: 24,932

    This, oldish (2020) long read is good on NHS funding and capacity.

    TLDR, we spend almost nothing on capital infrastructure, and if there is a single metric managed for in the NHS it is maximum throughput with the lowest amount of beds.

    Treasury to blame as per.

    Over the 40 new hospitals that Bozo promised I believe work has started on only 7 of them. And in some of the other cases no site has even been found let alone purchased for the hospital.

    So when the next election comes along that's another easy Labour attack point.
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    solarflaresolarflare Posts: 3,623
    eek said:

    This, oldish (2020) long read is good on NHS funding and capacity.

    TLDR, we spend almost nothing on capital infrastructure, and if there is a single metric managed for in the NHS it is maximum throughput with the lowest amount of beds.

    Treasury to blame as per.

    Over the 40 new hospitals that Bozo promised I believe work has started on only 7 of them. And in some of the other cases no site has even been found let alone purchased for the hospital.

    So when the next election comes along that's another easy Labour attack point.
    Maybe we can make 33 of them new "virtual hospitals" entirely staffed and run by ChatGPT bots.
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    So some people are suggesting that high levels of immunity are fueling immune evasion in SARS-CoV-2?

    What would they suggest as an alternative? Permanent lockdown?

    After all, if we simply let it infect people unvaccinated, they'd still develop immunity (well, apart from those poor souls who die), so we'd be in the same position, but with a considerably higher impact on healthcare - both at the time and with the disease sequelae (such as significantly elevated cardiac, kidney, and liver disease and damage).

    If high levels of immunity are going to fuel immune evasion, then either we get high levels of immunity and take the hit (as those with immunity are going to be shielded significantly from serious illness, anyway), or we somehow avoid anyone getting infected without getting high immunity levels. Can't really see an alternative (other than those who fetishize disease-generated immunity as being special)

    I can't escape the feeling that this government is operating on the basis of "I don't want X to happen, therefore it won't happen". Governmental wanting is enough.

    See problems with public sector pay, problems with Covid.
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    PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 75,899
    I think the conversation with the homeless man in the shelter has done for Sunak tbh - it wasn't as direct as Romney's 47% or Clinton's 'deplorables' but the wilful blindness in his response was off the charts.
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    OldBasingOldBasing Posts: 168
    The RMT are literally saving me money. I work from home more, so they have my support as I rack up savings from train fares. Probably not helping their members long term employment prospects though if rail use declines as a result.
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    DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,235
    edited January 2023

    I suspect that Sunak is comparing his unpopularity now during the strikes with his expected unpopularity later when he has to increase taxes to pay for higher pay.

    Cutting public sector pay with below-inflation pay awards, along with fiscal drag on tax thresholds, is the way in which the deficit is being cut. I don't see any other spending cuts that will be less unpopular, or tax rises, likewise.

    I can give you a list* of ways in which you can make the numbers add up by cutting spending or increasing taxes, but I'm pretty sure all the alternatives will be a lot less popular than cutting other people's pay.

    And we've seen with Truss that we can't simply borrow the money now and work out how to pay it back later.

    There simply isn't a way out of this situation where the incumbent PM and Chancellor are popular with the public.

    * Something like:
    - End the pensions triple lock.
    - Tax housing wealth.
    - Merge income tax and national insurance so that tax rates rise for pensioners and non-employment income.
    These might all be sensible changes to make, but without a lot of political leadership invested in explaining to the public why they're sensible, they will be wildly, ruinously, unpopular.

    What is this PB-wide obsession with the triple lock? The only part that matters currently is the single lock to inflation (except when suspended by Rishi). Abolishing the other two locks will save no money at all. What Liz Truss was right about is needing to boost economic growth.
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    DriverDriver Posts: 4,522

    I suspect part of the (relative) lack of anger about the rail strikes is that a lot of the people who would normally have been affected now work from home post-covid, so a lot of the travel is discretionary rather than forced commuting.

    Ironically of course the same strikes just further entrench in these workers that WFH is more essential than ever and so become less likely to travel to the office by train even when there's no strike.

    That, and anyone who has used the trains for any length of time has got used to train strikes on grounds of varing dubiousness over the years.
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    The government needs to get back to the negotiating table with ALL of these various sectors. It is ideologically opposed to people being paid and thus being able to consume and grow the economy, we get that. It is also ideologically opposed to unions organising people to stop their spiv friends treating them like disposable labour, we get that as well.

    Here though is the problem. A country can't function when the trains don't run, the hospitals overflow with corpses at worst and needless suffering at best, when kids don't get taught and criminals get away with it because trials are years into the future.

    Worse still, the people they picked a fight with and have started to blame are the very same people who in very recent memory were lauded as almost saintly in their sacrifices and heroism to the nation.

    If the nurses weren't on strike, or teachers, then perhaps the government could have a go at pitching this as us (the workers) against them (communistical unions). But they appear uninterested and indifferent to trying to resolve those strikes either.

    One of three things happen now:
    The government reframes the debate, picks off striking saints and tries to fix broken things like justice and transport
    The government keeps playing hardball until it is forced into a humiliating climbdown where they have to concede most of the ground to most of the striking groups.
    The government keeps playing hardball and the nothing works crisis forces the collapse of their government as the same did in 1974 and 1979.

    The middle option is most likely. They are too stupid to do the first option. And I can hear people asking how a government with a decent working majority could collapse due to strikes? Well have a look at Ted Heath. You cannot stay in office when everything has ground to a halt, no matter how much the flared trouser predecessor of HYUFD insisted the government had a working majority so there.
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    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,937
    edited January 2023

    The government needs to get back to the negotiating table with ALL of these various sectors. It is ideologically opposed to people being paid and thus being able to consume and grow the economy, we get that. It is also ideologically opposed to unions organising people to stop their spiv friends treating them like disposable labour, we get that as well.

    Here though is the problem. A country can't function when the trains don't run, the hospitals overflow with corpses at worst and needless suffering at best, when kids don't get taught and criminals get away with it because trials are years into the future.

    Worse still, the people they picked a fight with and have started to blame are the very same people who in very recent memory were lauded as almost saintly in their sacrifices and heroism to the nation.

    If the nurses weren't on strike, or teachers, then perhaps the government could have a go at pitching this as us (the workers) against them (communistical unions). But they appear uninterested and indifferent to trying to resolve those strikes either.

    One of three things happen now:
    The government reframes the debate, picks off striking saints and tries to fix broken things like justice and transport
    The government keeps playing hardball until it is forced into a humiliating climbdown where they have to concede most of the ground to most of the striking groups.
    The government keeps playing hardball and the nothing works crisis forces the collapse of their government as the same did in 1974 and 1979.

    The middle option is most likely. They are too stupid to do the first option. And I can hear people asking how a government with a decent working majority could collapse due to strikes? Well have a look at Ted Heath. You cannot stay in office when everything has ground to a halt, no matter how much the flared trouser predecessor of HYUFD insisted the government had a working majority so there.

    Heath and Wilson and Callaghan all saw their governments fall to Union strikers.

    Thatcher stood her ground and did not
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,217

    I suspect that Sunak is comparing his unpopularity now during the strikes with his expected unpopularity later when he has to increase taxes to pay for higher pay.

    Cutting public sector pay with below-inflation pay awards, along with fiscal drag on tax thresholds, is the way in which the deficit is being cut. I don't see any other spending cuts that will be less unpopular, or tax rises, likewise.

    I can give you a list* of ways in which you can make the numbers add up by cutting spending or increasing taxes, but I'm pretty sure all the alternatives will be a lot less popular than cutting other people's pay.

    And we've seen with Truss that we can't simply borrow the money now and work out how to pay it back later.

    There simply isn't a way out of this situation where the incumbent PM and Chancellor are popular with the public.

    * Something like:
    - End the pensions triple lock.
    - Tax housing wealth.
    - Merge income tax and national insurance so that tax rates rise for pensioners and non-employment income.
    These might all be sensible changes to make, but without a lot of political leadership invested in explaining to the public why they're sensible, they will be wildly, ruinously, unpopular.

    What is this PB-wide obsession with the triple lock? The only part that matters currently is the single lock to inflation (except when suspended by Rishi). Abolishing the other two locks will save no money at all. What Liz Truss was right about is needing to boost economic growth.
    The obsession is to do with everyone on benefits being hardcore Ultra Tories. Who luxuriate in their vast piles of cash rather than working for living, through shear indolence.
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    PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 75,899

    I suspect that Sunak is comparing his unpopularity now during the strikes with his expected unpopularity later when he has to increase taxes to pay for higher pay.

    Cutting public sector pay with below-inflation pay awards, along with fiscal drag on tax thresholds, is the way in which the deficit is being cut. I don't see any other spending cuts that will be less unpopular, or tax rises, likewise.

    I can give you a list* of ways in which you can make the numbers add up by cutting spending or increasing taxes, but I'm pretty sure all the alternatives will be a lot less popular than cutting other people's pay.

    And we've seen with Truss that we can't simply borrow the money now and work out how to pay it back later.

    There simply isn't a way out of this situation where the incumbent PM and Chancellor are popular with the public.

    * Something like:
    - End the pensions triple lock.
    - Tax housing wealth.
    - Merge income tax and national insurance so that tax rates rise for pensioners and non-employment income.
    These might all be sensible changes to make, but without a lot of political leadership invested in explaining to the public why they're sensible, they will be wildly, ruinously, unpopular.

    What is this PB-wide obsession with the triple lock? The only part that matters currently is the single lock to inflation (except when suspended by Rishi). Abolishing the other two locks will save no money at all. What Liz Truss was right about is needing to boost economic growth.
    It has to go at some point or pensioners could be receiving more than the value of total UK GDP individually by the time the sun swallows up the earth. Obviously that's a way off, but if we get a period of deflation (Which doesn't seem entirely unlikely to me judging by recent pump prices) then will pensioners still get 2.5% ?
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    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,937
    Pulpstar said:

    I think the conversation with the homeless man in the shelter has done for Sunak tbh - it wasn't as direct as Romney's 47% or Clinton's 'deplorables' but the wilful blindness in his response was off the charts.

    No, the man in question asked him about the economy, it was a reasonable response
  • Options

    The government needs to get back to the negotiating table with ALL of these various sectors. It is ideologically opposed to people being paid and thus being able to consume and grow the economy, we get that. It is also ideologically opposed to unions organising people to stop their spiv friends treating them like disposable labour, we get that as well.

    Here though is the problem. A country can't function when the trains don't run, the hospitals overflow with corpses at worst and needless suffering at best, when kids don't get taught and criminals get away with it because trials are years into the future.

    Worse still, the people they picked a fight with and have started to blame are the very same people who in very recent memory were lauded as almost saintly in their sacrifices and heroism to the nation.

    If the nurses weren't on strike, or teachers, then perhaps the government could have a go at pitching this as us (the workers) against them (communistical unions). But they appear uninterested and indifferent to trying to resolve those strikes either.

    One of three things happen now:
    The government reframes the debate, picks off striking saints and tries to fix broken things like justice and transport
    The government keeps playing hardball until it is forced into a humiliating climbdown where they have to concede most of the ground to most of the striking groups.
    The government keeps playing hardball and the nothing works crisis forces the collapse of their government as the same did in 1974 and 1979.

    The middle option is most likely. They are too stupid to do the first option. And I can hear people asking how a government with a decent working majority could collapse due to strikes? Well have a look at Ted Heath. You cannot stay in office when everything has ground to a halt, no matter how much the flared trouser predecessor of HYUFD insisted the government had a working majority so there.

    Oh dear. Let's get this straight. The NHS has a lot of good fine people working in it, juts the same as any large organisation does. Are they universally *saints*? Duh!
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    I suspect that Sunak is comparing his unpopularity now during the strikes with his expected unpopularity later when he has to increase taxes to pay for higher pay.

    Cutting public sector pay with below-inflation pay awards, along with fiscal drag on tax thresholds, is the way in which the deficit is being cut. I don't see any other spending cuts that will be less unpopular, or tax rises, likewise.

    I can give you a list* of ways in which you can make the numbers add up by cutting spending or increasing taxes, but I'm pretty sure all the alternatives will be a lot less popular than cutting other people's pay.

    And we've seen with Truss that we can't simply borrow the money now and work out how to pay it back later.

    There simply isn't a way out of this situation where the incumbent PM and Chancellor are popular with the public.

    * Something like:
    - End the pensions triple lock.
    - Tax housing wealth.
    - Merge income tax and national insurance so that tax rates rise for pensioners and non-employment income.
    These might all be sensible changes to make, but without a lot of political leadership invested in explaining to the public why they're sensible, they will be wildly, ruinously, unpopular.

    And Bozo will be telling everyone who will listen (half the over 65s, the naive under 65s and a third of Tory MPs) that it can all be solved by sunny optimism and believing harder in ourselves.
  • Options
    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,937

    I suspect that Sunak is comparing his unpopularity now during the strikes with his expected unpopularity later when he has to increase taxes to pay for higher pay.

    Cutting public sector pay with below-inflation pay awards, along with fiscal drag on tax thresholds, is the way in which the deficit is being cut. I don't see any other spending cuts that will be less unpopular, or tax rises, likewise.

    I can give you a list* of ways in which you can make the numbers add up by cutting spending or increasing taxes, but I'm pretty sure all the alternatives will be a lot less popular than cutting other people's pay.

    And we've seen with Truss that we can't simply borrow the money now and work out how to pay it back later.

    There simply isn't a way out of this situation where the incumbent PM and Chancellor are popular with the public.

    * Something like:
    - End the pensions triple lock.
    - Tax housing wealth.
    - Merge income tax and national insurance so that tax rates rise for pensioners and non-employment income.
    These might all be sensible changes to make, but without a lot of political leadership invested in explaining to the public why they're sensible, they will be wildly, ruinously, unpopular.

    Given pensioners and home owners are the Tory core vote why on earth would they do that?

    We also need to return National insurance to its original purpose ie funding contributory unemployment
    benefit, the state pension and healthcare only not merging it into income tax
  • Options
    ThomasNasheThomasNashe Posts: 4,964
    edited January 2023
    Completely off topic, but really struck by this headline from the BBC: ‘Is Taylor Swift our greatest living poet? ‘It’s the clearest QTWTAIN I’ve ever seen.
  • Options
    Scott_xP said:

    Conservative ministers, taking a page out of Margaret Thatcher’s strategy on industrial relations, have maintained a confrontational stance with unions, threatening to lengthen the strikes http://trib.al/1JfdllP https://twitter.com/BloombergUK/status/1610231760658305027/photo/1

    Cargo cult Thatcherism wasn’t just the creed of the Trussites, obviously a much wider fetish in whatever the Tory party has mutated into.
  • Options
    turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 15,116

    So some people are suggesting that high levels of immunity are fueling immune evasion in SARS-CoV-2?

    What would they suggest as an alternative? Permanent lockdown?

    After all, if we simply let it infect people unvaccinated, they'd still develop immunity (well, apart from those poor souls who die), so we'd be in the same position, but with a considerably higher impact on healthcare - both at the time and with the disease sequelae (such as significantly elevated cardiac, kidney, and liver disease and damage).

    If high levels of immunity are going to fuel immune evasion, then either we get high levels of immunity and take the hit (as those with immunity are going to be shielded significantly from serious illness, anyway), or we somehow avoid anyone getting infected without getting high immunity levels. Can't really see an alternative (other than those who fetishize disease-generated immunity as being special)

    I think it’s mainly the confusion re neutralising antibodies. Yes the variants evolve to evade this, but usually at a cost. No one has seriously suggested immune evasion against the whole immune system, in fact the opposite.

    As usual, thick media types getting confused, as we saw with omicron (and indeed on here).
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,348

    Completely off topic, but really struck by this headline from the BBC: ‘Is Taylor Swift our Greatest Living Poet?’ It’s the clearest QTWTAIN I’ve ever seen.

    Similar to Barty's views on our greatest living Brexit.
  • Options
    Pulpstar said:

    I suspect that Sunak is comparing his unpopularity now during the strikes with his expected unpopularity later when he has to increase taxes to pay for higher pay.

    Cutting public sector pay with below-inflation pay awards, along with fiscal drag on tax thresholds, is the way in which the deficit is being cut. I don't see any other spending cuts that will be less unpopular, or tax rises, likewise.

    I can give you a list* of ways in which you can make the numbers add up by cutting spending or increasing taxes, but I'm pretty sure all the alternatives will be a lot less popular than cutting other people's pay.

    And we've seen with Truss that we can't simply borrow the money now and work out how to pay it back later.

    There simply isn't a way out of this situation where the incumbent PM and Chancellor are popular with the public.

    * Something like:
    - End the pensions triple lock.
    - Tax housing wealth.
    - Merge income tax and national insurance so that tax rates rise for pensioners and non-employment income.
    These might all be sensible changes to make, but without a lot of political leadership invested in explaining to the public why they're sensible, they will be wildly, ruinously, unpopular.

    What is this PB-wide obsession with the triple lock? The only part that matters currently is the single lock to inflation (except when suspended by Rishi). Abolishing the other two locks will save no money at all. What Liz Truss was right about is needing to boost economic growth.
    It has to go at some point or pensioners could be receiving more than the value of total UK GDP individually by the time the sun swallows up the earth. Obviously that's a way off, but if we get a period of deflation (Which doesn't seem entirely unlikely to me judging by recent pump prices) then will pensioners still get 2.5% ?
    It is not that far off - within the lifetimes of younger voters maintaining the triple lock would probably ensure the whole govt budget has to be spent on pensioners.
  • Options
    Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 32,849
    Health chiefs plead: ‘Don’t get sick if you can avoid it’ as NHS faces major crisis - @RachaelBurford on the startling appeal https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/nhs-crisis-covid-scarlet-fever-flu-face-masks-hospitals-matthew-taylor-ukhsa-b1050423.html
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    HYUFD said:

    Note that only nurses have more than 50% of voters backing their strike.

    Plus with the national average payrise only 6%, also below inflation at 10%, the average voter might be sympathetic to a 6% rise for nurses and rail workers and postal workers and teachers but not a rise more than they are getting and especially not the 19% payrise the RCN want which they would have to pay for out of their taxes.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/averageweeklyearningsingreatbritain/october2022

    Disappointed in OGH for attacking Rishi for being son in law of a billionaire, it smacks of class war from Labour and the LDs

    That's what's so hard to understand (unless there really is no money); the government could lock in a decent real-terms pay cut by offering six or seven percent and quite a lot of public sector workers would grumble and resign themselves to it.

    Going hardball when they haven't done the prep... It's a helluva gamble.

    As for Rishi... His personal and family wealth don't disqualify him from office, sure. But "lack of money" messages would have been heard a lot better coming from Major or even Maggie, wouldn't they?
  • Options
    Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 32,849

    And Bozo will be telling everyone who will listen (half the over 65s, the naive under 65s and a third of Tory MPs) that it can all be solved by sunny optimism and believing harder in ourselves.

    Was asked to pick a politician who’ll keep making headlines this year for our mag. I went for… Boris Johnson. Get ready for endless leadership push speculation. Here’s why.👇 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/12/27/boris-johnson-will-make-political-comeback-2023/ https://twitter.com/benrileysmith/status/1610232043752898561/photo/1
  • Options
    HYUFD said:

    The government needs to get back to the negotiating table with ALL of these various sectors. It is ideologically opposed to people being paid and thus being able to consume and grow the economy, we get that. It is also ideologically opposed to unions organising people to stop their spiv friends treating them like disposable labour, we get that as well.

    Here though is the problem. A country can't function when the trains don't run, the hospitals overflow with corpses at worst and needless suffering at best, when kids don't get taught and criminals get away with it because trials are years into the future.

    Worse still, the people they picked a fight with and have started to blame are the very same people who in very recent memory were lauded as almost saintly in their sacrifices and heroism to the nation.

    If the nurses weren't on strike, or teachers, then perhaps the government could have a go at pitching this as us (the workers) against them (communistical unions). But they appear uninterested and indifferent to trying to resolve those strikes either.

    One of three things happen now:
    The government reframes the debate, picks off striking saints and tries to fix broken things like justice and transport
    The government keeps playing hardball until it is forced into a humiliating climbdown where they have to concede most of the ground to most of the striking groups.
    The government keeps playing hardball and the nothing works crisis forces the collapse of their government as the same did in 1974 and 1979.

    The middle option is most likely. They are too stupid to do the first option. And I can hear people asking how a government with a decent working majority could collapse due to strikes? Well have a look at Ted Heath. You cannot stay in office when everything has ground to a halt, no matter how much the flared trouser predecessor of HYUFD insisted the government had a working majority so there.

    Heath and Wilson and Callaghan all saw their governments fall to Union strikers.

    Thatcher stood her ground and did not
    Good. So how do you propose that Rishi holds his ground against the striking NHS Heroes? Attempts to paint them as greedy aren't working. Same with the teachers who retain support from parents who are disrupted by the strikes.
  • Options
    Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 32,849
  • Options
    TimSTimS Posts: 9,454
    The big thing that jumps out at me reading Mike's header is that Sunak's role in all this seems almost irrelevant.

    He is a practically invisible caretaker PM who can only rule by consensus, has seen backbenchers and testy cabinets take down the last 3 Tory leaders and knows the Bring Back Boris brigade are waiting in the wings. He is incapable of leading.

    Under Johnson and Truss is was all about the leader. Since as long as I can remember the Labour Party's personality and reputation has been all about the leader too, for good or ill. Suddenly that's no more. The Tories under Sunak are like the Tories under Major or the Lib Dems under Ming or Ed.
  • Options

    I suspect that Sunak is comparing his unpopularity now during the strikes with his expected unpopularity later when he has to increase taxes to pay for higher pay.

    Cutting public sector pay with below-inflation pay awards, along with fiscal drag on tax thresholds, is the way in which the deficit is being cut. I don't see any other spending cuts that will be less unpopular, or tax rises, likewise.

    I can give you a list* of ways in which you can make the numbers add up by cutting spending or increasing taxes, but I'm pretty sure all the alternatives will be a lot less popular than cutting other people's pay.

    And we've seen with Truss that we can't simply borrow the money now and work out how to pay it back later.

    There simply isn't a way out of this situation where the incumbent PM and Chancellor are popular with the public.

    * Something like:
    - End the pensions triple lock.
    - Tax housing wealth.
    - Merge income tax and national insurance so that tax rates rise for pensioners and non-employment income.
    These might all be sensible changes to make, but without a lot of political leadership invested in explaining to the public why they're sensible, they will be wildly, ruinously, unpopular.

    What is this PB-wide obsession with the triple lock? The only part that matters currently is the single lock to inflation (except when suspended by Rishi). Abolishing the other two locks will save no money at all. What Liz Truss was right about is needing to boost economic growth.
    The obsession is to do with everyone on benefits being hardcore Ultra Tories. Who luxuriate in their vast piles of cash rather than working for living, through shear indolence.
    I think you will find there are quite a few non-Tories who luxuriate in tax-payer paid public sector final salary pension scheme laziness
  • Options
    ThomasNasheThomasNashe Posts: 4,964
    Scott_xP said:

    Health chiefs plead: ‘Don’t get sick if you can avoid it’ as NHS faces major crisis - @RachaelBurford on the startling appeal https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/nhs-crisis-covid-scarlet-fever-flu-face-masks-hospitals-matthew-taylor-ukhsa-b1050423.html

    Channeling Neil Kinnock, c. 1983.
  • Options

    The government needs to get back to the negotiating table with ALL of these various sectors. It is ideologically opposed to people being paid and thus being able to consume and grow the economy, we get that. It is also ideologically opposed to unions organising people to stop their spiv friends treating them like disposable labour, we get that as well.

    Here though is the problem. A country can't function when the trains don't run, the hospitals overflow with corpses at worst and needless suffering at best, when kids don't get taught and criminals get away with it because trials are years into the future.

    Worse still, the people they picked a fight with and have started to blame are the very same people who in very recent memory were lauded as almost saintly in their sacrifices and heroism to the nation.

    If the nurses weren't on strike, or teachers, then perhaps the government could have a go at pitching this as us (the workers) against them (communistical unions). But they appear uninterested and indifferent to trying to resolve those strikes either.

    One of three things happen now:
    The government reframes the debate, picks off striking saints and tries to fix broken things like justice and transport
    The government keeps playing hardball until it is forced into a humiliating climbdown where they have to concede most of the ground to most of the striking groups.
    The government keeps playing hardball and the nothing works crisis forces the collapse of their government as the same did in 1974 and 1979.

    The middle option is most likely. They are too stupid to do the first option. And I can hear people asking how a government with a decent working majority could collapse due to strikes? Well have a look at Ted Heath. You cannot stay in office when everything has ground to a halt, no matter how much the flared trouser predecessor of HYUFD insisted the government had a working majority so there.

    Oh dear. Let's get this straight. The NHS has a lot of good fine people working in it, juts the same as any large organisation does. Are they universally *saints*? Duh!
    Its the Nurses on strike. Not the whole of the NHS. And yes, they have a public image that isn't far off saints. Months of people being compelled to clap for them every week did that. There are still Thank You NHS signs up and painted on roads. And yet we're now being asked to believe they are greedy and irresponsible.
  • Options
    HYUFD said:

    The government needs to get back to the negotiating table with ALL of these various sectors. It is ideologically opposed to people being paid and thus being able to consume and grow the economy, we get that. It is also ideologically opposed to unions organising people to stop their spiv friends treating them like disposable labour, we get that as well.

    Here though is the problem. A country can't function when the trains don't run, the hospitals overflow with corpses at worst and needless suffering at best, when kids don't get taught and criminals get away with it because trials are years into the future.

    Worse still, the people they picked a fight with and have started to blame are the very same people who in very recent memory were lauded as almost saintly in their sacrifices and heroism to the nation.

    If the nurses weren't on strike, or teachers, then perhaps the government could have a go at pitching this as us (the workers) against them (communistical unions). But they appear uninterested and indifferent to trying to resolve those strikes either.

    One of three things happen now:
    The government reframes the debate, picks off striking saints and tries to fix broken things like justice and transport
    The government keeps playing hardball until it is forced into a humiliating climbdown where they have to concede most of the ground to most of the striking groups.
    The government keeps playing hardball and the nothing works crisis forces the collapse of their government as the same did in 1974 and 1979.

    The middle option is most likely. They are too stupid to do the first option. And I can hear people asking how a government with a decent working majority could collapse due to strikes? Well have a look at Ted Heath. You cannot stay in office when everything has ground to a halt, no matter how much the flared trouser predecessor of HYUFD insisted the government had a working majority so there.

    Heath and Wilson and Callaghan all saw their governments fall to Union strikers.

    Thatcher stood her ground and did not
    Thatch & co prepared for it, it was a war on more-or-less one front and your tabloid cheerleaders had a lot more clout then. To butcher a metaphor, you’re now surrounded by enemies within.
  • Options
    dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 27,940
    Scott_xP said:

    Health chiefs plead: ‘Don’t get sick if you can avoid it’ as NHS faces major crisis - @RachaelBurford on the startling appeal https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/nhs-crisis-covid-scarlet-fever-flu-face-masks-hospitals-matthew-taylor-ukhsa-b1050423.html

    That's the kind of solid public health advice I try to follow.
  • Options
    Pulpstar said:

    I suspect that Sunak is comparing his unpopularity now during the strikes with his expected unpopularity later when he has to increase taxes to pay for higher pay.

    Cutting public sector pay with below-inflation pay awards, along with fiscal drag on tax thresholds, is the way in which the deficit is being cut. I don't see any other spending cuts that will be less unpopular, or tax rises, likewise.

    I can give you a list* of ways in which you can make the numbers add up by cutting spending or increasing taxes, but I'm pretty sure all the alternatives will be a lot less popular than cutting other people's pay.

    And we've seen with Truss that we can't simply borrow the money now and work out how to pay it back later.

    There simply isn't a way out of this situation where the incumbent PM and Chancellor are popular with the public.

    * Something like:
    - End the pensions triple lock.
    - Tax housing wealth.
    - Merge income tax and national insurance so that tax rates rise for pensioners and non-employment income.
    These might all be sensible changes to make, but without a lot of political leadership invested in explaining to the public why they're sensible, they will be wildly, ruinously, unpopular.

    What is this PB-wide obsession with the triple lock? The only part that matters currently is the single lock to inflation (except when suspended by Rishi). Abolishing the other two locks will save no money at all. What Liz Truss was right about is needing to boost economic growth.
    It has to go at some point or pensioners could be receiving more than the value of total UK GDP individually by the time the sun swallows up the earth. Obviously that's a way off, but if we get a period of deflation (Which doesn't seem entirely unlikely to me judging by recent pump prices) then will pensioners still get 2.5% ?
    The minimum rise is there to avoid a repeat of Gordon Brown being laughed at when pensions rose by 75p.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/1999/oct/13/welfarereform.society
  • Options
    PhilPhil Posts: 1,928

    So some people are suggesting that high levels of immunity are fueling immune evasion in SARS-CoV-2?

    What would they suggest as an alternative? Permanent lockdown?

    How about:

    Immunisations with new vaccines that cover the new variants (it should be possible to generate new mRNA vaccines far more quickly than older types. Safety testing is obviously still important & just as with flu we’re going to have to guess which variants are going to be a problem each winter & hope we get it right.)

    Get serious about indoor air quality in places where infection spreads like wildfire. Schools in particular are spreading winter flu, covid, RSV and a bunch of other infections everywhere. UV air purification & simple filtering can make a massive difference & is cheap relative to the cost to the economy imposed by the current infection rate.

    Encourage people to wear masks when they have a cold.

    Normalise working at home when ill, where possible. (This one may have been cracked for much of the professional classes?)

    There’s no “magic bullet” to this, but we can reduce the impact & the government appears to have it’s collective head in the sand due to a refusal to budge from pur hopium “Covid is over!” messaging. Hope doesn’t solve problems, action does.
  • Options
    LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 15,083

    I suspect that Sunak is comparing his unpopularity now during the strikes with his expected unpopularity later when he has to increase taxes to pay for higher pay.

    Cutting public sector pay with below-inflation pay awards, along with fiscal drag on tax thresholds, is the way in which the deficit is being cut. I don't see any other spending cuts that will be less unpopular, or tax rises, likewise.

    I can give you a list* of ways in which you can make the numbers add up by cutting spending or increasing taxes, but I'm pretty sure all the alternatives will be a lot less popular than cutting other people's pay.

    And we've seen with Truss that we can't simply borrow the money now and work out how to pay it back later.

    There simply isn't a way out of this situation where the incumbent PM and Chancellor are popular with the public.

    * Something like:
    - End the pensions triple lock.
    - Tax housing wealth.
    - Merge income tax and national insurance so that tax rates rise for pensioners and non-employment income.
    These might all be sensible changes to make, but without a lot of political leadership invested in explaining to the public why they're sensible, they will be wildly, ruinously, unpopular.

    What is this PB-wide obsession with the triple lock? The only part that matters currently is the single lock to inflation (except when suspended by Rishi). Abolishing the other two locks will save no money at all. What Liz Truss was right about is needing to boost economic growth.
    The state pension is one of the biggest items in the budget and the triple lock ensures that it will always grow more quickly than tax receipts, at the same time as the demographic transition increases the proportion of the population who are paid it.

    Maybe it's the right policy to have, but it makes balancing the budget a lot harder, so it would be rather weird if it didn't come up in such discussions.
  • Options
    boulayboulay Posts: 3,859
    Pulpstar said:

    I think the conversation with the homeless man in the shelter has done for Sunak tbh - it wasn't as direct as Romney's 47% or Clinton's 'deplorables' but the wilful blindness in his response was off the charts.

    Weirdly the guardian would seem to disagree,

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/dec/27/critics-mocked-rishi-sunak-homeless-man-business

    And those who can be bothered to write letters to them too,

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/jan/02/criticism-of-sunak-at-homeless-shelter-exposes-our-own-prejudices
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,348
    edited January 2023
    Scott_xP said:

    And Bozo will be telling everyone who will listen (half the over 65s, the naive under 65s and a third of Tory MPs) that it can all be solved by sunny optimism and believing harder in ourselves.

    Was asked to pick a politician who’ll keep making headlines this year for our mag. I went for… Boris Johnson. Get ready for endless leadership push speculation. Here’s why.👇 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/12/27/boris-johnson-will-make-political-comeback-2023/ https://twitter.com/benrileysmith/status/1610232043752898561/photo/1
    Is the Telegraph article written by their former EU correspondent ?
  • Options
    Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 55,266
    Pulpstar said:

    I think the conversation with the homeless man in the shelter has done for Sunak tbh - it wasn't as direct as Romney's 47% or Clinton's 'deplorables' but the wilful blindness in his response was off the charts.

    I thought that was a lot of fuss about nothing.
  • Options
    TimSTimS Posts: 9,454

    Pulpstar said:

    I suspect that Sunak is comparing his unpopularity now during the strikes with his expected unpopularity later when he has to increase taxes to pay for higher pay.

    Cutting public sector pay with below-inflation pay awards, along with fiscal drag on tax thresholds, is the way in which the deficit is being cut. I don't see any other spending cuts that will be less unpopular, or tax rises, likewise.

    I can give you a list* of ways in which you can make the numbers add up by cutting spending or increasing taxes, but I'm pretty sure all the alternatives will be a lot less popular than cutting other people's pay.

    And we've seen with Truss that we can't simply borrow the money now and work out how to pay it back later.

    There simply isn't a way out of this situation where the incumbent PM and Chancellor are popular with the public.

    * Something like:
    - End the pensions triple lock.
    - Tax housing wealth.
    - Merge income tax and national insurance so that tax rates rise for pensioners and non-employment income.
    These might all be sensible changes to make, but without a lot of political leadership invested in explaining to the public why they're sensible, they will be wildly, ruinously, unpopular.

    What is this PB-wide obsession with the triple lock? The only part that matters currently is the single lock to inflation (except when suspended by Rishi). Abolishing the other two locks will save no money at all. What Liz Truss was right about is needing to boost economic growth.
    It has to go at some point or pensioners could be receiving more than the value of total UK GDP individually by the time the sun swallows up the earth. Obviously that's a way off, but if we get a period of deflation (Which doesn't seem entirely unlikely to me judging by recent pump prices) then will pensioners still get 2.5% ?
    It is not that far off - within the lifetimes of younger voters maintaining the triple lock would probably ensure the whole govt budget has to be spent on pensioners.
    The Gordian knot will need to be cut, but not without difficulty. A few options present themselves, none of them without issues:

    - A large one-off hike in the state pension equivalent to about 3 years of inflationary rises, accompanied by an ending to the triple lock and relinking the pension with average earnings.
    - Maintaining the triple lock but increasing state pension age to 70 (just buys time though)
    - Significantly increase the state pension on a long term basis, and at the same time reform and vastly increase employer and employee NI so that it is a proper social insurance payment along continental lines.
    - Do it now knowing the next election is lost anyway
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,217

    I suspect that Sunak is comparing his unpopularity now during the strikes with his expected unpopularity later when he has to increase taxes to pay for higher pay.

    Cutting public sector pay with below-inflation pay awards, along with fiscal drag on tax thresholds, is the way in which the deficit is being cut. I don't see any other spending cuts that will be less unpopular, or tax rises, likewise.

    I can give you a list* of ways in which you can make the numbers add up by cutting spending or increasing taxes, but I'm pretty sure all the alternatives will be a lot less popular than cutting other people's pay.

    And we've seen with Truss that we can't simply borrow the money now and work out how to pay it back later.

    There simply isn't a way out of this situation where the incumbent PM and Chancellor are popular with the public.

    * Something like:
    - End the pensions triple lock.
    - Tax housing wealth.
    - Merge income tax and national insurance so that tax rates rise for pensioners and non-employment income.
    These might all be sensible changes to make, but without a lot of political leadership invested in explaining to the public why they're sensible, they will be wildly, ruinously, unpopular.

    What is this PB-wide obsession with the triple lock? The only part that matters currently is the single lock to inflation (except when suspended by Rishi). Abolishing the other two locks will save no money at all. What Liz Truss was right about is needing to boost economic growth.
    The obsession is to do with everyone on benefits being hardcore Ultra Tories. Who luxuriate in their vast piles of cash rather than working for living, through shear indolence.
    I think you will find there are quite a few non-Tories who luxuriate in tax-payer paid public sector final salary pension scheme laziness
    1) We are too that only those who support the government get largesse
    2) The unemployed are getting the same rises
    3) Therefore the unemployed are all Tories.

    Note that the "a few non-Tories who luxuriate in tax-payer paid public sector final salary pension scheme laziness " are not getting inflation indexed rises.

    QED
  • Options
    solarflaresolarflare Posts: 3,623
    dixiedean said:

    Scott_xP said:

    Health chiefs plead: ‘Don’t get sick if you can avoid it’ as NHS faces major crisis - @RachaelBurford on the startling appeal https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/nhs-crisis-covid-scarlet-fever-flu-face-masks-hospitals-matthew-taylor-ukhsa-b1050423.html

    That's the kind of solid public health advice I try to follow.
    I like to put on my sickness detection glasses and then neatly sidestep the floating clouds of sick when out walking along the street.
  • Options

    HYUFD said:

    Note that only nurses have more than 50% of voters backing their strike.

    Plus with the national average payrise only 6%, also below inflation at 10%, the average voter might be sympathetic to a 6% rise for nurses and rail workers and postal workers and teachers but not a rise more than they are getting and especially not the 19% payrise the RCN want which they would have to pay for out of their taxes.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/averageweeklyearningsingreatbritain/october2022

    Disappointed in OGH for attacking Rishi for being son in law of a billionaire, it smacks of class war from Labour and the LDs

    That's what's so hard to understand (unless there really is no money); the government could lock in a decent real-terms pay cut by offering six or seven percent and quite a lot of public sector workers would grumble and resign themselves to it.

    Going hardball when they haven't done the prep... It's a helluva gamble.

    As for Rishi... His personal and family wealth don't disqualify him from office, sure. But "lack of money" messages would have been heard a lot better coming from Major or even Maggie, wouldn't they?
    Mrs Thatcher married a millionaire back when that meant something. Some of her government colleagues used to complain that foregoing MPs' pay rises was all right for her but they needed the money. (Similar complaints were made about Cameron, and last night's first episode of Stonehouse was a reminder of how painful loss of office, or rather official salary, can be.)
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,348

    Pulpstar said:

    I think the conversation with the homeless man in the shelter has done for Sunak tbh - it wasn't as direct as Romney's 47% or Clinton's 'deplorables' but the wilful blindness in his response was off the charts.

    I thought that was a lot of fuss about nothing.
    Agreed.
    (See TimS's 11.36 comment up thread.)
  • Options
    dixiedean said:

    Scott_xP said:

    Health chiefs plead: ‘Don’t get sick if you can avoid it’ as NHS faces major crisis - @RachaelBurford on the startling appeal https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/nhs-crisis-covid-scarlet-fever-flu-face-masks-hospitals-matthew-taylor-ukhsa-b1050423.html

    That's the kind of solid public health advice I try to follow.
    I'm off to Kenya for 2 weeks. It has just occurred to me that with solid travel insurance my healthcare cover will be 10x as good there as it is here.
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,217
    boulay said:

    Pulpstar said:

    I think the conversation with the homeless man in the shelter has done for Sunak tbh - it wasn't as direct as Romney's 47% or Clinton's 'deplorables' but the wilful blindness in his response was off the charts.

    Weirdly the guardian would seem to disagree,

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/dec/27/critics-mocked-rishi-sunak-homeless-man-business

    And those who can be bothered to write letters to them too,

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/jan/02/criticism-of-sunak-at-homeless-shelter-exposes-our-own-prejudices
    It's the "let them eat cake" thing writ large. It's not that he said "let them eat cake" (nor did Maire A. , either).

    But the perception of it has entered the public consciousness in a way that will not dissipate.
  • Options
    LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 15,083
    HYUFD said:

    I suspect that Sunak is comparing his unpopularity now during the strikes with his expected unpopularity later when he has to increase taxes to pay for higher pay.

    Cutting public sector pay with below-inflation pay awards, along with fiscal drag on tax thresholds, is the way in which the deficit is being cut. I don't see any other spending cuts that will be less unpopular, or tax rises, likewise.

    I can give you a list* of ways in which you can make the numbers add up by cutting spending or increasing taxes, but I'm pretty sure all the alternatives will be a lot less popular than cutting other people's pay.

    And we've seen with Truss that we can't simply borrow the money now and work out how to pay it back later.

    There simply isn't a way out of this situation where the incumbent PM and Chancellor are popular with the public.

    * Something like:
    - End the pensions triple lock.
    - Tax housing wealth.
    - Merge income tax and national insurance so that tax rates rise for pensioners and non-employment income.
    These might all be sensible changes to make, but without a lot of political leadership invested in explaining to the public why they're sensible, they will be wildly, ruinously, unpopular.

    Given pensioners and home owners are the Tory core vote why on earth would they do that?

    We also need to return National insurance to its original purpose ie funding contributory unemployment
    benefit, the state pension and healthcare only not merging it into income tax
    Well exactly.

    They could tax the people who vote Labour more, as was the policy under Johnson with the super-NI, but either way it would be another major change of fiscal policy forced onto the government. Rudderless would seem rather understated as a description.
  • Options

    The government needs to get back to the negotiating table with ALL of these various sectors. It is ideologically opposed to people being paid and thus being able to consume and grow the economy, we get that. It is also ideologically opposed to unions organising people to stop their spiv friends treating them like disposable labour, we get that as well.

    Here though is the problem. A country can't function when the trains don't run, the hospitals overflow with corpses at worst and needless suffering at best, when kids don't get taught and criminals get away with it because trials are years into the future.

    Worse still, the people they picked a fight with and have started to blame are the very same people who in very recent memory were lauded as almost saintly in their sacrifices and heroism to the nation.

    If the nurses weren't on strike, or teachers, then perhaps the government could have a go at pitching this as us (the workers) against them (communistical unions). But they appear uninterested and indifferent to trying to resolve those strikes either.

    One of three things happen now:
    The government reframes the debate, picks off striking saints and tries to fix broken things like justice and transport
    The government keeps playing hardball until it is forced into a humiliating climbdown where they have to concede most of the ground to most of the striking groups.
    The government keeps playing hardball and the nothing works crisis forces the collapse of their government as the same did in 1974 and 1979.

    The middle option is most likely. They are too stupid to do the first option. And I can hear people asking how a government with a decent working majority could collapse due to strikes? Well have a look at Ted Heath. You cannot stay in office when everything has ground to a halt, no matter how much the flared trouser predecessor of HYUFD insisted the government had a working majority so there.

    Oh dear. Let's get this straight. The NHS has a lot of good fine people working in it, juts the same as any large organisation does. Are they universally *saints*? Duh!
    Its the Nurses on strike. Not the whole of the NHS. And yes, they have a public image that isn't far off saints. Months of people being compelled to clap for them every week did that. There are still Thank You NHS signs up and painted on roads. And yet we're now being asked to believe they are greedy and irresponsible.
    I have worked with nurses. I would say there are probably a slightly higher number of people who have a genuine belief in working for a greater good, but on the whole they are human beings that are a long way from being saints, and the majority of them that are willing to strike demonstrates this. It is unlikely that specifically nurses will be given a pay award that is not also reflected across the NHS, including many of those on very high salaries in the safest jobs in the universe.

    I suspect that a lot of the sympathy is driven by those who wish to give the government a kicking, along with those who are gullible enough to think the doctorsannurses are all saints, and this is being exploited to the max by trade union leaders who are enjoying every minute of it.
  • Options
    dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 27,940
    Phil said:

    So some people are suggesting that high levels of immunity are fueling immune evasion in SARS-CoV-2?

    What would they suggest as an alternative? Permanent lockdown?

    How about:

    Immunisations with new vaccines that cover the new variants (it should be possible to generate new mRNA vaccines far more quickly than older types. Safety testing is obviously still important & just as with flu we’re going to have to guess which variants are going to be a problem each winter & hope we get it right.)

    Get serious about indoor air quality in places where infection spreads like wildfire. Schools in particular are spreading winter flu, covid, RSV and a bunch of other infections everywhere. UV air purification & simple filtering can make a massive difference & is cheap relative to the cost to the economy imposed by the current infection rate.

    Encourage people to wear masks when they have a cold.

    Normalise working at home when ill, where possible. (This one may have been cracked for much of the professional classes?)

    There’s no “magic bullet” to this, but we can reduce the impact & the government appears to have it’s collective head in the sand due to a refusal to budge from pur hopium “Covid is over!” messaging. Hope doesn’t solve problems, action does.
    Keep hearing this about schools.
    Where is the budget for this? We can't afford doors, printers, nor even welcome packs for new supply. Let alone supply.
    How do we propose to source filtration systems even if they are cheap? There are a hundred other things which are also not costly we need. And who would install them?
  • Options
    StuartinromfordStuartinromford Posts: 14,358
    edited January 2023
    HYUFD said:

    The government needs to get back to the negotiating table with ALL of these various sectors. It is ideologically opposed to people being paid and thus being able to consume and grow the economy, we get that. It is also ideologically opposed to unions organising people to stop their spiv friends treating them like disposable labour, we get that as well.

    Here though is the problem. A country can't function when the trains don't run, the hospitals overflow with corpses at worst and needless suffering at best, when kids don't get taught and criminals get away with it because trials are years into the future.

    Worse still, the people they picked a fight with and have started to blame are the very same people who in very recent memory were lauded as almost saintly in their sacrifices and heroism to the nation.

    If the nurses weren't on strike, or teachers, then perhaps the government could have a go at pitching this as us (the workers) against them (communistical unions). But they appear uninterested and indifferent to trying to resolve those strikes either.

    One of three things happen now:
    The government reframes the debate, picks off striking saints and tries to fix broken things like justice and transport
    The government keeps playing hardball until it is forced into a humiliating climbdown where they have to concede most of the ground to most of the striking groups.
    The government keeps playing hardball and the nothing works crisis forces the collapse of their government as the same did in 1974 and 1979.

    The middle option is most likely. They are too stupid to do the first option. And I can hear people asking how a government with a decent working majority could collapse due to strikes? Well have a look at Ted Heath. You cannot stay in office when everything has ground to a halt, no matter how much the flared trouser predecessor of HYUFD insisted the government had a working majority so there.

    Heath and Wilson and Callaghan all saw their governments fall to Union strikers.

    Thatcher stood her ground and did not
    Look up the story of the national miner's strike of 1981. Or rather don't bother because it didn't happen. Maggie (real Maggie, not cartoon Maggie) backed down because she knew she would lose.

    You know about the Church. Remember (as Maggie did) Luke 14:31-32.
  • Options
    PhilPhil Posts: 1,928
    edited January 2023
    dixiedean said:

    Phil said:

    So some people are suggesting that high levels of immunity are fueling immune evasion in SARS-CoV-2?

    What would they suggest as an alternative? Permanent lockdown?

    How about:

    Immunisations with new vaccines that cover the new variants (it should be possible to generate new mRNA vaccines far more quickly than older types. Safety testing is obviously still important & just as with flu we’re going to have to guess which variants are going to be a problem each winter & hope we get it right.)

    Get serious about indoor air quality in places where infection spreads like wildfire. Schools in particular are spreading winter flu, covid, RSV and a bunch of other infections everywhere. UV air purification & simple filtering can make a massive difference & is cheap relative to the cost to the economy imposed by the current infection rate.

    Encourage people to wear masks when they have a cold.

    Normalise working at home when ill, where possible. (This one may have been cracked for much of the professional classes?)

    There’s no “magic bullet” to this, but we can reduce the impact & the government appears to have it’s collective head in the sand due to a refusal to budge from pur hopium “Covid is over!” messaging. Hope doesn’t solve problems, action does.
    Keep hearing this about schools.
    Where is the budget for this? We can't afford doors, printers, nor even welcome packs for new supply. Let alone supply.
    How do we propose to source filtration systems even if they are cheap? There are a hundred other things which are also not costly we need. And who would install them?
    Obviously it cannot come out of existing school budgets - it would have to come from a government grant to schools to implement given current constraints on school budgets. But the cost would (from my bote calculations) be worth spending in returns to UK economic output.
  • Options
    TimSTimS Posts: 9,454
    boulay said:

    Pulpstar said:

    I think the conversation with the homeless man in the shelter has done for Sunak tbh - it wasn't as direct as Romney's 47% or Clinton's 'deplorables' but the wilful blindness in his response was off the charts.

    Weirdly the guardian would seem to disagree,

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/dec/27/critics-mocked-rishi-sunak-homeless-man-business

    And those who can be bothered to write letters to them too,

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/jan/02/criticism-of-sunak-at-homeless-shelter-exposes-our-own-prejudices
    I agree with the Guardian on this. The ridicule is based on the premise that the poor will always be poor, and aspiration is class treason. It's Labour client-group thinking, the mirror image of Tory client-group thinking towards home owning pensioners.
  • Options

    Completely off topic, but really struck by this headline from the BBC: ‘Is Taylor Swift our greatest living poet? ‘It’s the clearest QTWTAIN I’ve ever seen.

    Rubbish.
    It is of course Ed Sheeran as any patriotic Brit fule kno.

  • Options
    ohnotnowohnotnow Posts: 2,909

    dixiedean said:

    Scott_xP said:

    Health chiefs plead: ‘Don’t get sick if you can avoid it’ as NHS faces major crisis - @RachaelBurford on the startling appeal https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/nhs-crisis-covid-scarlet-fever-flu-face-masks-hospitals-matthew-taylor-ukhsa-b1050423.html

    That's the kind of solid public health advice I try to follow.
    I like to put on my sickness detection glasses and then neatly sidestep the floating clouds of sick when out walking along the street.
    You go to Cardiff that often?
  • Options
    On topic.

    Yeah, screwing over nurses and NHS employees is never a good look, then you have to remember the pandemic and the money pissed up against a wall with the PPE and it looks horrific.

    As Thatcher's go to man, Ken Clarke said the NHS unions were the most militant trade unions he had ever dealt with.

    As for the rail strikers, crush the fuckers, make them bankrupt, don't back down Rishi, the more strikes we get the more WFH I get.

    As for the Royal Mail, they are signing their own death warrant.
  • Options

    The government needs to get back to the negotiating table with ALL of these various sectors. It is ideologically opposed to people being paid and thus being able to consume and grow the economy, we get that. It is also ideologically opposed to unions organising people to stop their spiv friends treating them like disposable labour, we get that as well.

    Here though is the problem. A country can't function when the trains don't run, the hospitals overflow with corpses at worst and needless suffering at best, when kids don't get taught and criminals get away with it because trials are years into the future.

    Worse still, the people they picked a fight with and have started to blame are the very same people who in very recent memory were lauded as almost saintly in their sacrifices and heroism to the nation.

    If the nurses weren't on strike, or teachers, then perhaps the government could have a go at pitching this as us (the workers) against them (communistical unions). But they appear uninterested and indifferent to trying to resolve those strikes either.

    One of three things happen now:
    The government reframes the debate, picks off striking saints and tries to fix broken things like justice and transport
    The government keeps playing hardball until it is forced into a humiliating climbdown where they have to concede most of the ground to most of the striking groups.
    The government keeps playing hardball and the nothing works crisis forces the collapse of their government as the same did in 1974 and 1979.

    The middle option is most likely. They are too stupid to do the first option. And I can hear people asking how a government with a decent working majority could collapse due to strikes? Well have a look at Ted Heath. You cannot stay in office when everything has ground to a halt, no matter how much the flared trouser predecessor of HYUFD insisted the government had a working majority so there.

    Oh dear. Let's get this straight. The NHS has a lot of good fine people working in it, juts the same as any large organisation does. Are they universally *saints*? Duh!
    Its the Nurses on strike. Not the whole of the NHS. And yes, they have a public image that isn't far off saints. Months of people being compelled to clap for them every week did that. There are still Thank You NHS signs up and painted on roads. And yet we're now being asked to believe they are greedy and irresponsible.
    I have worked with nurses. I would say there are probably a slightly higher number of people who have a genuine belief in working for a greater good, but on the whole they are human beings that are a long way from being saints, and the majority of them that are willing to strike demonstrates this. It is unlikely that specifically nurses will be given a pay award that is not also reflected across the NHS, including many of those on very high salaries in the safest jobs in the universe.

    I suspect that a lot of the sympathy is driven by those who wish to give the government a kicking, along with those who are gullible enough to think the doctorsannurses are all saints, and this is being exploited to the max by trade union leaders who are enjoying every minute of it.
    I agree with you that much of the sympathy will overlap with the people set on hurting the Tories. But as recent threads and the polling demonstrates, that is most people in the UK.

    Again, the Tories couldn't have chosen a worse group at a worse time to pick a fight with. They cannot win a hardline "we will not negotiate, take the independent pay review proposal" battle with Nurses. Not now.
  • Options

    I suspect that Sunak is comparing his unpopularity now during the strikes with his expected unpopularity later when he has to increase taxes to pay for higher pay.

    Cutting public sector pay with below-inflation pay awards, along with fiscal drag on tax thresholds, is the way in which the deficit is being cut. I don't see any other spending cuts that will be less unpopular, or tax rises, likewise.

    I can give you a list* of ways in which you can make the numbers add up by cutting spending or increasing taxes, but I'm pretty sure all the alternatives will be a lot less popular than cutting other people's pay.

    And we've seen with Truss that we can't simply borrow the money now and work out how to pay it back later.

    There simply isn't a way out of this situation where the incumbent PM and Chancellor are popular with the public.

    * Something like:
    - End the pensions triple lock.
    - Tax housing wealth.
    - Merge income tax and national insurance so that tax rates rise for pensioners and non-employment income.
    These might all be sensible changes to make, but without a lot of political leadership invested in explaining to the public why they're sensible, they will be wildly, ruinously, unpopular.

    What is this PB-wide obsession with the triple lock? The only part that matters currently is the single lock to inflation (except when suspended by Rishi). Abolishing the other two locks will save no money at all. What Liz Truss was right about is needing to boost economic growth.
    The obsession is to do with everyone on benefits being hardcore Ultra Tories. Who luxuriate in their vast piles of cash rather than working for living, through shear indolence.
    I think you will find there are quite a few non-Tories who luxuriate in tax-payer paid public sector final salary pension scheme laziness
    Um, different point. You have turned over 2 pages at once in the Gospel according to St IDS. State pension is a benefit, public sector pension is a contractual right. I assume, if you own gilts, that you don't see yourself as luxuriating in taxpayer funded laziness by taking the interest? That's exactly what you are doing.
  • Options
    TimSTimS Posts: 9,454

    HYUFD said:

    Note that only nurses have more than 50% of voters backing their strike.

    Plus with the national average payrise only 6%, also below inflation at 10%, the average voter might be sympathetic to a 6% rise for nurses and rail workers and postal workers and teachers but not a rise more than they are getting and especially not the 19% payrise the RCN want which they would have to pay for out of their taxes.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/averageweeklyearningsingreatbritain/october2022

    Disappointed in OGH for attacking Rishi for being son in law of a billionaire, it smacks of class war from Labour and the LDs

    That's what's so hard to understand (unless there really is no money); the government could lock in a decent real-terms pay cut by offering six or seven percent and quite a lot of public sector workers would grumble and resign themselves to it.

    Going hardball when they haven't done the prep... It's a helluva gamble.

    As for Rishi... His personal and family wealth don't disqualify him from office, sure. But "lack of money" messages would have been heard a lot better coming from Major or even Maggie, wouldn't they?
    Mrs Thatcher married a millionaire back when that meant something. Some of her government colleagues used to complain that foregoing MPs' pay rises was all right for her but they needed the money. (Similar complaints were made about Cameron, and last night's first episode of Stonehouse was a reminder of how painful loss of office, or rather official salary, can be.)
    Remember too the (possibly apocryphal) John Prescott complaint to Tony Blair when they were discussing freezing MP and ministerial pay: "It's all right for you Tony, your wife earns 800 grand a year. My wife spends 800 grand a year."
  • Options

    Completely off topic, but really struck by this headline from the BBC: ‘Is Taylor Swift our greatest living poet? ‘It’s the clearest QTWTAIN I’ve ever seen.

    Rubbish.
    It is of course Ed Sheeran as any patriotic Brit fule kno.

    Nah, it is Tom Odell.
  • Options
    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,937

    HYUFD said:

    The government needs to get back to the negotiating table with ALL of these various sectors. It is ideologically opposed to people being paid and thus being able to consume and grow the economy, we get that. It is also ideologically opposed to unions organising people to stop their spiv friends treating them like disposable labour, we get that as well.

    Here though is the problem. A country can't function when the trains don't run, the hospitals overflow with corpses at worst and needless suffering at best, when kids don't get taught and criminals get away with it because trials are years into the future.

    Worse still, the people they picked a fight with and have started to blame are the very same people who in very recent memory were lauded as almost saintly in their sacrifices and heroism to the nation.

    If the nurses weren't on strike, or teachers, then perhaps the government could have a go at pitching this as us (the workers) against them (communistical unions). But they appear uninterested and indifferent to trying to resolve those strikes either.

    One of three things happen now:
    The government reframes the debate, picks off striking saints and tries to fix broken things like justice and transport
    The government keeps playing hardball until it is forced into a humiliating climbdown where they have to concede most of the ground to most of the striking groups.
    The government keeps playing hardball and the nothing works crisis forces the collapse of their government as the same did in 1974 and 1979.

    The middle option is most likely. They are too stupid to do the first option. And I can hear people asking how a government with a decent working majority could collapse due to strikes? Well have a look at Ted Heath. You cannot stay in office when everything has ground to a halt, no matter how much the flared trouser predecessor of HYUFD insisted the government had a working majority so there.

    Heath and Wilson and Callaghan all saw their governments fall to Union strikers.

    Thatcher stood her ground and did not
    Look up the story of the national miner's strike of 1981. Or rather don't bother because it didn't happen. Maggie (real Maggie, not cartoon Maggie) backed down because she knew she would lose.

    You know about the Church. Remember (as Maggie did) Luke 14:31-32.
    Thatcher didn't give in to Scargill's unrealistic demands and built up enough coal reserves to beat him
  • Options
    dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 27,940

    On topic.

    Yeah, screwing over nurses and NHS employees is never a good look, then you have to remember the pandemic and the money pissed up against a wall with the PPE and it looks horrific.

    As Thatcher's go to man, Ken Clarke said the NHS unions were the most militant trade unions he had ever dealt with.

    As for the rail strikers, crush the fuckers, make them bankrupt, don't back down Rishi, the more strikes we get the more WFH I get.

    As for the Royal Mail, they are signing their own death warrant.

    Fortunately for them the death warrant won't be delivered any time soon.
  • Options
    solarflaresolarflare Posts: 3,623
    Weirdly it might have been easier for the government if the NHS had collapsed during covid. At least explaining that in soundbite form would have been straightforward - look, a black swan event!

    As it is what we've got is everyone stayed home to protect the NHS and it just about limped through that, but the accumulated damage resulting from that plus damage accrued from then until now has basically finished it off anyway, tipped it over the edge and it's now doomed anyway - except now it looks much more clearly like a massive political failure.
  • Options
    squareroot2squareroot2 Posts: 6,330
    Don't think Mrs Sunak is a billionaire...
  • Options
    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    The government needs to get back to the negotiating table with ALL of these various sectors. It is ideologically opposed to people being paid and thus being able to consume and grow the economy, we get that. It is also ideologically opposed to unions organising people to stop their spiv friends treating them like disposable labour, we get that as well.

    Here though is the problem. A country can't function when the trains don't run, the hospitals overflow with corpses at worst and needless suffering at best, when kids don't get taught and criminals get away with it because trials are years into the future.

    Worse still, the people they picked a fight with and have started to blame are the very same people who in very recent memory were lauded as almost saintly in their sacrifices and heroism to the nation.

    If the nurses weren't on strike, or teachers, then perhaps the government could have a go at pitching this as us (the workers) against them (communistical unions). But they appear uninterested and indifferent to trying to resolve those strikes either.

    One of three things happen now:
    The government reframes the debate, picks off striking saints and tries to fix broken things like justice and transport
    The government keeps playing hardball until it is forced into a humiliating climbdown where they have to concede most of the ground to most of the striking groups.
    The government keeps playing hardball and the nothing works crisis forces the collapse of their government as the same did in 1974 and 1979.

    The middle option is most likely. They are too stupid to do the first option. And I can hear people asking how a government with a decent working majority could collapse due to strikes? Well have a look at Ted Heath. You cannot stay in office when everything has ground to a halt, no matter how much the flared trouser predecessor of HYUFD insisted the government had a working majority so there.

    Heath and Wilson and Callaghan all saw their governments fall to Union strikers.

    Thatcher stood her ground and did not
    Look up the story of the national miner's strike of 1981. Or rather don't bother because it didn't happen. Maggie (real Maggie, not cartoon Maggie) backed down because she knew she would lose.

    You know about the Church. Remember (as Maggie did) Luke 14:31-32.
    Thatcher didn't give in to Scargill's unrealistic demands and built up enough coal reserves to beat him
    She gave into the NUM in 1981.
  • Options

    boulay said:

    Pulpstar said:

    I think the conversation with the homeless man in the shelter has done for Sunak tbh - it wasn't as direct as Romney's 47% or Clinton's 'deplorables' but the wilful blindness in his response was off the charts.

    Weirdly the guardian would seem to disagree,

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/dec/27/critics-mocked-rishi-sunak-homeless-man-business

    And those who can be bothered to write letters to them too,

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/jan/02/criticism-of-sunak-at-homeless-shelter-exposes-our-own-prejudices
    It's the "let them eat cake" thing writ large. It's not that he said "let them eat cake" (nor did Maire A. , either).

    But the perception of it has entered the public consciousness in a way that will not dissipate.
    Not mine, it hasn't, took an effort of memory to think what this was all about.
  • Options
    Peter_the_PunterPeter_the_Punter Posts: 13,288
    edited January 2023

    The government needs to get back to the negotiating table with ALL of these various sectors. It is ideologically opposed to people being paid and thus being able to consume and grow the economy, we get that. It is also ideologically opposed to unions organising people to stop their spiv friends treating them like disposable labour, we get that as well.

    Here though is the problem. A country can't function when the trains don't run, the hospitals overflow with corpses at worst and needless suffering at best, when kids don't get taught and criminals get away with it because trials are years into the future.

    Worse still, the people they picked a fight with and have started to blame are the very same people who in very recent memory were lauded as almost saintly in their sacrifices and heroism to the nation.

    If the nurses weren't on strike, or teachers, then perhaps the government could have a go at pitching this as us (the workers) against them (communistical unions). But they appear uninterested and indifferent to trying to resolve those strikes either.

    One of three things happen now:
    The government reframes the debate, picks off striking saints and tries to fix broken things like justice and transport
    The government keeps playing hardball until it is forced into a humiliating climbdown where they have to concede most of the ground to most of the striking groups.
    The government keeps playing hardball and the nothing works crisis forces the collapse of their government as the same did in 1974 and 1979.

    The middle option is most likely. They are too stupid to do the first option. And I can hear people asking how a government with a decent working majority could collapse due to strikes? Well have a look at Ted Heath. You cannot stay in office when everything has ground to a halt, no matter how much the flared trouser predecessor of HYUFD insisted the government had a working majority so there.

    Oh dear. Let's get this straight. The NHS has a lot of good fine people working in it, juts the same as any large organisation does. Are they universally *saints*? Duh!
    Its the Nurses on strike. Not the whole of the NHS. And yes, they have a public image that isn't far off saints. Months of people being compelled to clap for them every week did that. There are still Thank You NHS signs up and painted on roads. And yet we're now being asked to believe they are greedy and irresponsible.
    I have worked with nurses. I would say there are probably a slightly higher number of people who have a genuine belief in working for a greater good, but on the whole they are human beings that are a long way from being saints, and the majority of them that are willing to strike demonstrates this. It is unlikely that specifically nurses will be given a pay award that is not also reflected across the NHS, including many of those on very high salaries in the safest jobs in the universe.

    I suspect that a lot of the sympathy is driven by those who wish to give the government a kicking, along with those who are gullible enough to think the doctorsannurses are all saints, and this is being exploited to the max by trade union leaders who are enjoying every minute of it.
    A very good friend who has been an NHS doctor for many years gave me her sane, blanced, and slightly amusing take on this recently.

    Some nurses are brilliant and should be paid the same as consultants. Others appear to have been on strike since they day they started and are already paid far too much. Most are somewhere in the middle.

    I'm not sure how you would frame a policy based on this observation but it struck me as all too likely to be accurate, and made me smile.
  • Options
    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,937

    HYUFD said:

    The government needs to get back to the negotiating table with ALL of these various sectors. It is ideologically opposed to people being paid and thus being able to consume and grow the economy, we get that. It is also ideologically opposed to unions organising people to stop their spiv friends treating them like disposable labour, we get that as well.

    Here though is the problem. A country can't function when the trains don't run, the hospitals overflow with corpses at worst and needless suffering at best, when kids don't get taught and criminals get away with it because trials are years into the future.

    Worse still, the people they picked a fight with and have started to blame are the very same people who in very recent memory were lauded as almost saintly in their sacrifices and heroism to the nation.

    If the nurses weren't on strike, or teachers, then perhaps the government could have a go at pitching this as us (the workers) against them (communistical unions). But they appear uninterested and indifferent to trying to resolve those strikes either.

    One of three things happen now:
    The government reframes the debate, picks off striking saints and tries to fix broken things like justice and transport
    The government keeps playing hardball until it is forced into a humiliating climbdown where they have to concede most of the ground to most of the striking groups.
    The government keeps playing hardball and the nothing works crisis forces the collapse of their government as the same did in 1974 and 1979.

    The middle option is most likely. They are too stupid to do the first option. And I can hear people asking how a government with a decent working majority could collapse due to strikes? Well have a look at Ted Heath. You cannot stay in office when everything has ground to a halt, no matter how much the flared trouser predecessor of HYUFD insisted the government had a working majority so there.

    Heath and Wilson and Callaghan all saw their governments fall to Union strikers.

    Thatcher stood her ground and did not
    Good. So how do you propose that Rishi holds his ground against the striking NHS Heroes? Attempts to paint them as greedy aren't working. Same with the teachers who retain support from parents who are disrupted by the strikes.
    A one off £2000 payment for all earning under £40k.

    Not a 19% payrise ad the RCN wants which taxpayers would have to pay higher taxes to fund when they are getting just a 6% average payrise
  • Options
    dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 27,940
    Phil said:

    dixiedean said:

    Phil said:

    So some people are suggesting that high levels of immunity are fueling immune evasion in SARS-CoV-2?

    What would they suggest as an alternative? Permanent lockdown?

    How about:

    Immunisations with new vaccines that cover the new variants (it should be possible to generate new mRNA vaccines far more quickly than older types. Safety testing is obviously still important & just as with flu we’re going to have to guess which variants are going to be a problem each winter & hope we get it right.)

    Get serious about indoor air quality in places where infection spreads like wildfire. Schools in particular are spreading winter flu, covid, RSV and a bunch of other infections everywhere. UV air purification & simple filtering can make a massive difference & is cheap relative to the cost to the economy imposed by the current infection rate.

    Encourage people to wear masks when they have a cold.

    Normalise working at home when ill, where possible. (This one may have been cracked for much of the professional classes?)

    There’s no “magic bullet” to this, but we can reduce the impact & the government appears to have it’s collective head in the sand due to a refusal to budge from pur hopium “Covid is over!” messaging. Hope doesn’t solve problems, action does.
    Keep hearing this about schools.
    Where is the budget for this? We can't afford doors, printers, nor even welcome packs for new supply. Let alone supply.
    How do we propose to source filtration systems even if they are cheap? There are a hundred other things which are also not costly we need. And who would install them?
    Obviously it cannot come out of existing school budgets - it would have to come from a government grant to schools to implement given current constraints on school budgets. But the cost would (from my bote calculations) be worth spending in returns to UK economic output.
    Think I've spotted the flaw in your plan then.
  • Options

    On topic.

    Yeah, screwing over nurses and NHS employees is never a good look, then you have to remember the pandemic and the money pissed up against a wall with the PPE and it looks horrific.

    As Thatcher's go to man, Ken Clarke said the NHS unions were the most militant trade unions he had ever dealt with.

    As for the rail strikers, crush the fuckers, make them bankrupt, don't back down Rishi, the more strikes we get the more WFH I get.

    As for the Royal Mail, they are signing their own death warrant.

    How much of the stuff we receive through the post do we actually need to receive? Letters etc are better sent on email. Takeaway catalogues etc I do not need. Parcels have a choice of bastard companies to screw up deliveries. I like my postie, but his time is short.

    On the train strikers, the problem is that they aren't thinking it through. If we don't need the trains because more people will work from home, why have they made such a fuss to get people back into the office? If we're going to use alternate transport why aren't they investing in roads like in the 80s?

    We're going to contract our economy further because you won't reliably be able to travel by train, bus operations will go pop as the new £2 fare will require subsidy they won't get, and road projects are all way off into the future. I am a loud advocate from hybrid working and full WFH. But we can't all do it, and the government have no plan to get people travelling.
  • Options
    mwadamsmwadams Posts: 3,136
    HYUFD said:

    Pulpstar said:

    I think the conversation with the homeless man in the shelter has done for Sunak tbh - it wasn't as direct as Romney's 47% or Clinton's 'deplorables' but the wilful blindness in his response was off the charts.

    No, the man in question asked him about the economy, it was a reasonable response
    You cannot believe that "Do you have … do you work in business?" is a reasonable response to a homeless person if you are remotely tuned in to the context in which you are doing your photo-op, surely?
  • Options
    PhilPhil Posts: 1,928
    edited January 2023

    Don't think Mrs Sunak is a billionaire...

    The Times thinks she’s 7 tenths of a billionaire in £ terms.
  • Options
    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    The government needs to get back to the negotiating table with ALL of these various sectors. It is ideologically opposed to people being paid and thus being able to consume and grow the economy, we get that. It is also ideologically opposed to unions organising people to stop their spiv friends treating them like disposable labour, we get that as well.

    Here though is the problem. A country can't function when the trains don't run, the hospitals overflow with corpses at worst and needless suffering at best, when kids don't get taught and criminals get away with it because trials are years into the future.

    Worse still, the people they picked a fight with and have started to blame are the very same people who in very recent memory were lauded as almost saintly in their sacrifices and heroism to the nation.

    If the nurses weren't on strike, or teachers, then perhaps the government could have a go at pitching this as us (the workers) against them (communistical unions). But they appear uninterested and indifferent to trying to resolve those strikes either.

    One of three things happen now:
    The government reframes the debate, picks off striking saints and tries to fix broken things like justice and transport
    The government keeps playing hardball until it is forced into a humiliating climbdown where they have to concede most of the ground to most of the striking groups.
    The government keeps playing hardball and the nothing works crisis forces the collapse of their government as the same did in 1974 and 1979.

    The middle option is most likely. They are too stupid to do the first option. And I can hear people asking how a government with a decent working majority could collapse due to strikes? Well have a look at Ted Heath. You cannot stay in office when everything has ground to a halt, no matter how much the flared trouser predecessor of HYUFD insisted the government had a working majority so there.

    Heath and Wilson and Callaghan all saw their governments fall to Union strikers.

    Thatcher stood her ground and did not
    Good. So how do you propose that Rishi holds his ground against the striking NHS Heroes? Attempts to paint them as greedy aren't working. Same with the teachers who retain support from parents who are disrupted by the strikes.
    A one off £2000 payment for all earning under £40k.

    Not a 19% payrise ad the RCN wants which taxpayers would have to pay higher taxes to fund when they are getting just a 6% average payrise
    Good, a proposal for a negotiated settlement.

    Now explain why your wazzocks refuse to negotiate - where even announcing they will do so would call off the strikes. And why they hide behind an "independent" pay review which they have just publicly instructed to come to a low figure next time.
  • Options
    mwadamsmwadams Posts: 3,136

    Completely off topic, but really struck by this headline from the BBC: ‘Is Taylor Swift our greatest living poet? ‘It’s the clearest QTWTAIN I’ve ever seen.

    Rubbish.
    It is of course Ed Sheeran as any patriotic Brit fule kno.

    Nah, it is Tom Odell.
    You're just making up names now.
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,217

    On topic.

    Yeah, screwing over nurses and NHS employees is never a good look, then you have to remember the pandemic and the money pissed up against a wall with the PPE and it looks horrific.

    As Thatcher's go to man, Ken Clarke said the NHS unions were the most militant trade unions he had ever dealt with.

    As for the rail strikers, crush the fuckers, make them bankrupt, don't back down Rishi, the more strikes we get the more WFH I get.

    As for the Royal Mail, they are signing their own death warrant.

    How much of the stuff we receive through the post do we actually need to receive? Letters etc are better sent on email. Takeaway catalogues etc I do not need. Parcels have a choice of bastard companies to screw up deliveries. I like my postie, but his time is short.

    On the train strikers, the problem is that they aren't thinking it through. If we don't need the trains because more people will work from home, why have they made such a fuss to get people back into the office? If we're going to use alternate transport why aren't they investing in roads like in the 80s?

    We're going to contract our economy further because you won't reliably be able to travel by train, bus operations will go pop as the new £2 fare will require subsidy they won't get, and road projects are all way off into the future. I am a loud advocate from hybrid working and full WFH. But we can't all do it, and the government have no plan to get people travelling.
    Letters are essentially doomed.

    Parcels are a growing area, if anything.

    A sensible operation would be thinking in terms of pivoting to be a parcel service with a small side of letters.

  • Options

    On topic.

    Yeah, screwing over nurses and NHS employees is never a good look, then you have to remember the pandemic and the money pissed up against a wall with the PPE and it looks horrific.

    As Thatcher's go to man, Ken Clarke said the NHS unions were the most militant trade unions he had ever dealt with.

    As for the rail strikers, crush the fuckers, make them bankrupt, don't back down Rishi, the more strikes we get the more WFH I get.

    As for the Royal Mail, they are signing their own death warrant.

    How much of the stuff we receive through the post do we actually need to receive? Letters etc are better sent on email. Takeaway catalogues etc I do not need. Parcels have a choice of bastard companies to screw up deliveries. I like my postie, but his time is short.

    On the train strikers, the problem is that they aren't thinking it through. If we don't need the trains because more people will work from home, why have they made such a fuss to get people back into the office? If we're going to use alternate transport why aren't they investing in roads like in the 80s?

    We're going to contract our economy further because you won't reliably be able to travel by train, bus operations will go pop as the new £2 fare will require subsidy they won't get, and road projects are all way off into the future. I am a loud advocate from hybrid working and full WFH. But we can't all do it, and the government have no plan to get people travelling.
    In the last month Royal Mail have lost a parcel I have sent.

    Still no update on my claim other than we're very busy and the next update will be on the 18th of January.

    DPD also lost a package, my claim was processed within a week.
  • Options
    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,937

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    The government needs to get back to the negotiating table with ALL of these various sectors. It is ideologically opposed to people being paid and thus being able to consume and grow the economy, we get that. It is also ideologically opposed to unions organising people to stop their spiv friends treating them like disposable labour, we get that as well.

    Here though is the problem. A country can't function when the trains don't run, the hospitals overflow with corpses at worst and needless suffering at best, when kids don't get taught and criminals get away with it because trials are years into the future.

    Worse still, the people they picked a fight with and have started to blame are the very same people who in very recent memory were lauded as almost saintly in their sacrifices and heroism to the nation.

    If the nurses weren't on strike, or teachers, then perhaps the government could have a go at pitching this as us (the workers) against them (communistical unions). But they appear uninterested and indifferent to trying to resolve those strikes either.

    One of three things happen now:
    The government reframes the debate, picks off striking saints and tries to fix broken things like justice and transport
    The government keeps playing hardball until it is forced into a humiliating climbdown where they have to concede most of the ground to most of the striking groups.
    The government keeps playing hardball and the nothing works crisis forces the collapse of their government as the same did in 1974 and 1979.

    The middle option is most likely. They are too stupid to do the first option. And I can hear people asking how a government with a decent working majority could collapse due to strikes? Well have a look at Ted Heath. You cannot stay in office when everything has ground to a halt, no matter how much the flared trouser predecessor of HYUFD insisted the government had a working majority so there.

    Heath and Wilson and Callaghan all saw their governments fall to Union strikers.

    Thatcher stood her ground and did not
    Look up the story of the national miner's strike of 1981. Or rather don't bother because it didn't happen. Maggie (real Maggie, not cartoon Maggie) backed down because she knew she would lose.

    You know about the Church. Remember (as Maggie did) Luke 14:31-32.
    Thatcher didn't give in to Scargill's unrealistic demands and built up enough coal reserves to beat him
    She gave into the NUM in 1981.
    She didn't give them big payrises, just postponed closing mines
  • Options

    I suspect that Sunak is comparing his unpopularity now during the strikes with his expected unpopularity later when he has to increase taxes to pay for higher pay.

    Cutting public sector pay with below-inflation pay awards, along with fiscal drag on tax thresholds, is the way in which the deficit is being cut. I don't see any other spending cuts that will be less unpopular, or tax rises, likewise.

    I can give you a list* of ways in which you can make the numbers add up by cutting spending or increasing taxes, but I'm pretty sure all the alternatives will be a lot less popular than cutting other people's pay.

    And we've seen with Truss that we can't simply borrow the money now and work out how to pay it back later.

    There simply isn't a way out of this situation where the incumbent PM and Chancellor are popular with the public.

    * Something like:
    - End the pensions triple lock.
    - Tax housing wealth.
    - Merge income tax and national insurance so that tax rates rise for pensioners and non-employment income.
    These might all be sensible changes to make, but without a lot of political leadership invested in explaining to the public why they're sensible, they will be wildly, ruinously, unpopular.

    What is this PB-wide obsession with the triple lock? The only part that matters currently is the single lock to inflation (except when suspended by Rishi). Abolishing the other two locks will save no money at all. What Liz Truss was right about is needing to boost economic growth.
    The obsession is to do with everyone on benefits being hardcore Ultra Tories. Who luxuriate in their vast piles of cash rather than working for living, through shear indolence.
    I think you will find there are quite a few non-Tories who luxuriate in tax-payer paid public sector final salary pension scheme laziness
    Um, different point. You have turned over 2 pages at once in the Gospel according to St IDS. State pension is a benefit, public sector pension is a contractual right. I assume, if you own gilts, that you don't see yourself as luxuriating in taxpayer funded laziness by taking the interest? That's exactly what you are doing.
    I assume you are a beneficiary of such a scheme? If public sector workers think they should have equivalence with private sector they should first surrender these unaffordable anachronisms. They might have been a "contractual right" to those in the past, but that doesn't mean they should be in the future. The reality is that a large proportion of public sector jobs, particularly in the NHS are jobs for life with levels of security even for the most incompetent that have no equivalence in any private organisation (save some of the large privatised ones).

    Nothing will be done about the public sector pension greed because MPs also benefit from it.
  • Options
    RogerRoger Posts: 18,891
    TimS said:

    boulay said:

    Pulpstar said:

    I think the conversation with the homeless man in the shelter has done for Sunak tbh - it wasn't as direct as Romney's 47% or Clinton's 'deplorables' but the wilful blindness in his response was off the charts.

    Weirdly the guardian would seem to disagree,

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/dec/27/critics-mocked-rishi-sunak-homeless-man-business

    And those who can be bothered to write letters to them too,

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/jan/02/criticism-of-sunak-at-homeless-shelter-exposes-our-own-prejudices
    I agree with the Guardian on this. The ridicule is based on the premise that the poor will always be poor, and aspiration is class treason. It's Labour client-group thinking, the mirror image of Tory client-group thinking towards home owning pensioners.
    The ridicule was well deserved. He was not having a chat with a homeless person but using the homeless person as an extra in his PR organised film. A film which was extraordinarily poorly judged. His PR company don't seem to understand the perametres of what PR can be expected to achieve.
  • Options
    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,937
    edited January 2023

    On topic.

    Yeah, screwing over nurses and NHS employees is never a good look, then you have to remember the pandemic and the money pissed up against a wall with the PPE and it looks horrific.

    As Thatcher's go to man, Ken Clarke said the NHS unions were the most militant trade unions he had ever dealt with.

    As for the rail strikers, crush the fuckers, make them bankrupt, don't back down Rishi, the more strikes we get the more WFH I get.

    As for the Royal Mail, they are signing their own death warrant.

    It is the CWU striking, Royal Mail management refusing to give into them and will just make more of them redundant. We still need RM infrastructure, especially in rural areas where even Amazon use them for final mile parcel deliveries
This discussion has been closed.