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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Thursday, June 30, 2011

This may be the start of a series of bad moves by our Unions..
But nevertheless, today's the day hundreds of thousands of teachers, civil servants, job center workers, court workers, will hit the bricks ib a mass protest against pension reforms and age of retirement..
Now as has been written before, these are hard times, and while the British man on the street may well be as outraged as another on the cuts the government's making.. But a significant number of them, including those who will today be out on strike, realize the necessity of austerity.. They understand the dangers of falling into the same spiral as Greece, and are fully aware nobody's come up with a better plan to avoid that situation..
But it hurts. And above all, the Unions must give the impression of being proactive for their memberships.. even if it means rabble rousing, and the masses taking to the streets.. even though those at the top realize whatever they may gain in the way of concessions, will be eaten up by the commensurate rise in inflation.. doing their membership no good, and making it even harder on those without their ranks..
Public opinion is not going to be with those on strike today.. Those who must scramble to find a carer for a child, or an elderly relative for the day.. those who find their normal traffic routes clogged with crowds waving placards.. those who still must appear at their jobs.. those who make less than those on strike and wonder where they get their cheek.. they'll make their voice known..
Perhaps even more so those among all of the above, who realize, just as their grandparents had to after the Second World War, that they must bite the bullet, and ride this out 'til the debt's paid..
And to insult to injury, the Teachers union has stood up, puffed out it's chest, and said we'd best get ready for further strike action when the Fall term starts as well..
This action today comes just days before Summer break begins.. it's a mere inconvenience..
But to display the hubris to threaten further action..
One has to shake one's head..
And as an update, while thousands were on the streets protesting.. Labour leader Ed Miliband has gone against the Unions, saying the demonstrations were well premature, that talks were still going on..
Now, the Unions, longtime stalwart Labour supporters and in fact the faction that shoved Ed into the leadership role over his brother.. have said Ed's refusal to back this action as a 'disgrace'..
Ed told the Local Government Association annual conference in Birmingham that he understood "the anger of workers who feel they are being singled out by a reckless and provocative government"..
But he said: "I also believe this action is wrong".
The Labour leader's stance sparked an angry response from Mary Bousted, leader of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, when she addressed an audience of striking workers in Westminster Central Hall..
"I am pleased we are not affiliated to Labour.."
Not what a Labour leader wants to hear.. at all..

Back to the E-coli outbreak for a moment.. Scientists now say there could be a tie with seeds imported from Egypt.. Now the report does say there is 'much uncertainty'.. but certain seeds from Egypt have been linked to two farms which produced tainted vegetables..
44 died in the recent outbreak.. hundreds hospitalised.. but one must wonder hos many more countries will be loosely tied to this disease, before they simply throw up their collective hands and say "We don't know.."

Bring the point home that the worst is yet to come, the Bank of England published it's report today, indicating that High Street Banks will be looking at record numbers of loan defaults.. mortgages are expected to be the hardest hit..
Surprisingly, the pressure on unsecured loans has eased.. but that trend could well reverse as those on fixed incomes, who are already robbing Peter to pay Paul, find themselves overwhelmed with what were formerly budgetable items, now stretching them to the limit.
The case could be made, that the Bank of England's biggest problem, is inflation. And while keeping the Bank Rate consistently low, they are fueling a trend that will eventually drive a significant proportion of those in this country, to poverty.

In Greece, George's government has passed a severe austerity program in spite of public protest.. It's a five-year austerity package that includes tax increases, cost cuts.. plus a host of privatisations and sales of state assets..
Now this will free up the next €12 billion tranche of last year’s €110 billion emergency bailout loan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.. It is due next month and will help the debt-stricken country avoid default and avert crisis in the wider Eurozone..
This plan come to €28 billion in higher taxes and cost-cutting over four years, as well as the creation of an agency to oversee €50 billion worth of privatisations and asset sales in coming years..
Just whether this will be enough to keep the country from defaulting on the next tranche has yet to be seen.. The problem with these bailouts, is eventually they must be repaid.. and not from further borrowed funds..
Greece's intrinsic problem is it's lack of viable industry.. That will not change within the timeframe for this new legislation..
Where the machinery of the world is still motoring away.. it's much like a ten year old Cortina.. rusted.. patched, and held together with gaffer tape..

More to come..

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