Summer of discontent

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Blogg, Apr 25, 2008.

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  1. Some think the Grangemouth dispute looks ever more like Unions wanting to try their luck with weak Governments

    If I understand correctly, Ineos want to close the existing final salary non contributory pension scheme to new joiners. Nothing new in that, loads of other employers have done the same.

    They also want the existing workers to pay 6% of their salary in pension contributions, to be phased in over 5 years. That is tax deductable so the real cost is reduced. Otherwise, the terms of their existing pension rights remain exactly the same. OK that seems a bit tough but negotiable.

    There is no evidence that £40m has been "stolen" from the pension fund. Indeed, Stewart Ritchie, President of the Faculty of Actuaries, has been asked by the Scottish Government (just typing that I feel soiled) to carry out a study to clarify the issues which are in dispute between INEOS and the Union. That would take all the issues off the table for three months, the true facts become clear and negotiations proceed from there. Hurrah.

    But that has been rejected outright. So what is it?

    (1) Union really wants a strike for darker reasons

    (2) It is a bit of brinksmanship by the Union

    (3) Ineos really are evil capitalist oil company scum cloned from the decaying ringpiece of Robert Maxwell, hellbent on plundering pension schemes and grinding the starving workers into the dust.

    (4) All of the above
  2. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    I think try one and two.

    Three, much over stated as it is :D , is a reflection of real life - there are very few industries using a final salary scheme and the business is only closing it to new members. As to pension contributions. Accept that this will, in real terms reduce the monthly wage but if the firm is planning to contribute in kind then it seems fair enough.

    Folks should remember that all businesses are trying to be sensible in reducing costs. Ineos, from what I've read, is still a pretty good place to work in comparison to many.
  3. Everybody's spoiling for a fight and not just in this dispute. Nobody's satisfied with their lot, everyone feels under pressure and we're all biting and snapping at each other.

    It's been hanging in the air for the last 2 years at least. The shit the banks are causing and inflated food prices are just the spark.
  4. What's more abhorrent, the existence of a Trade Union or a Scottish Government?
  5. old_fat_and_hairy

    old_fat_and_hairy LE Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    I believe you are right. There is a smell of discontent in the air, a tang of rebellion. I've always been the msot moderate of people but now I'm ready to start decoarting the lamp posts, as per Italian style 1944. The far right are growing in influence, and while I find it abhorrent, it is also understandable.
  6. Too many people at the end of their tether?
    I can see a lot more of it to come and to be honest people have more than a little bit of a point.
    There does sem to be an ethos in Whitehall these days that the entire population exists to serve the state (the state being the "Party"), its really starting to bite pretty hard for Mr/Mrs average now. Real inflation in the region of 12-15%, bullshit green policies, food shortage scaremongering, it all adds up and people can only take so much, This fuel potential fuel shortage may just be the catalyst that make people really sit up and take notice
  7. old_fat_and_hairy

    old_fat_and_hairy LE Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Marx said 'History repeats itself. Once as tragedy, then as farce'
    The present climate is reminiscent of pre-war Germany, the Weimar Republic, or Russia pre 1917. There is a palpable feeling in the air, of discontent, of despair and of unfairness.
    The middle class, once the backbone of this country have been marginalised, emsculated and persecuted. The working class are now the middle classes, and what should be the working class are the non-working class,; an underclass of strident feckless benefit claimers. Those who believe 'if there is blame, there is a claim'
    The government have resorted to the tactics that have always been used when internal unrest is strong; start a war. Keep the proletariat focused on something else, appeal to their patriotism. Except now it doesn't work. The proles are far too interested in Jermey Kyle and the freak shows like his. Too bound up with beating their breasts and saying 'it's not my fault. It is somebody else'.
    We have been betrayed by a party that was promoted far beyond it's competence, and by politicians who are at best useless, and at worst dangerous.
  8. The Weimar Republic? You're having a laugh aren't You.

    Are You seriously suggesting that things are as desperate as that period in Germanys history?
  9. old_fat_and_hairy

    old_fat_and_hairy LE Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    No, I said it was reminiscent of it. Which in this instance should be interpreted as being vaguely similar. Rampant inflation, food shortages, fuel prices rising, housing problems,untrustworthy politicians, over zealous officials and a politicised police. All leading to a discontented populace.

    But obviously nothing a Liberal Government couldn't solve?
  10. Not so bloody far off Sven. Been to any of your local community meetings recently? People are complaining about all and sundry. From food prices, to the all-seeing cctv shite, to never seeing a policeman when you need one, crappy public transport, hospitals so dangerous you'd rather die at home thank you very much, water rates, fat useless slags pushing £550 baby walkers, and public toilets you can't go in without having some random perv offering to lick your pee-pee, or an official one with even more cct fuking v looking at you from a spy camera from his 'office'.

    ........ And me lawnmower's broke.

    Bastard of a day.
  11. The veneer of our so called civil society is very thin. Very thin and fragile indeed, perhaps more so now than in recent history.

    There are well informed people fully predicting some form of civil unrest to kick off (or rather be fomented) in the next couple of months.
  12. IMO working people have just about had enougth. The lifestyle of some workers is going downhill. Not massively so but down nevertheless. Meanwhile the tax burden increases and too much of it is used to reward people that contribute nothing to the economy by choice.

    We have millions not working (through choice) while we import labour (real labour not those useless gits in Whitehall) by the shed-load. People (the workers and not the shysters) are getting fed up.

    The government are shamelessly using different inflation %'s depending upon the point they want to make. People get anoyed at that? Not exactly surprising!
  13. That is not what was meant and you know it - he meant that the current situation tends to remind people of the frustration, apathy and distrust of "The System" felt by people at that timesstated above.

    You'll be telling me everything is OK then - its not! It's a crock of sh1t - unless you're a fecking Chav in which case its money for nothing and (Chav) chicks for free. The Gobmint is letting the UK go the dogs and the Chattering Classes (Guardianistas) simply tut-tut at us ignorant Plebs for moaning about the state of things.

    An der Wand :twisted:
  14. If there is widespread civil unrest, count me in! I'm only a soap-dodging stoodent but I can see what Liabour's doing to the country. Viva la revolution.
  15. Sven, you are, I take it, an activist for the Lob Phlegms, aren't you? As such, you tow the party line and are prepared to believe the misinformation they provide. Your masters are well out of touch with us plebs and, from reading your posts over the years, so are you. Regarding Weimar Republic. This analogy is not necessarily far off the mark. Prior to the hyper-inflationary period in the Weimar Republic there was calm before the storm. At the beginning of the hyperinflation there was a even a brief period where ordinary people felt better off. This didn't last long, though. The point being that ordinary people had no idea about what was about to affect them. And we don't know what could be just around the corner. Take nothing for granted.

    Certainly, we are in a period of high inflation. It's possible that hyperinflation could be just around the corner -- that's how bad things are. However, we could be about to experience a deflationary spiral -- in fact, if we consider the credit freeze in the banking sector then it appears that we are at the beginning of a deflationary spiral. However, it's possible that we could experience monetary deflation -- a contraction in the availability of ready cash -- and price inflation, due to population expansion and the rising price of essential goods.

    Yes, Sven. Things are potentially as devastating as Weimar Germany. Maybe they could be even worse than Weimar Germany. Your political masters don't want us to know that, though. Maybe, as part of their apparatus, you don't want us to be aware of the potential severity of the situation either. I doubt that, though, since while you strike me as a misinformed and idealistic individual, you don't strike me as a malicious and dishonest person.

    Do you have a contact number, by any chance?