Each day more coalition MPs in seats outside the South East come out against George Osborne’s regional pay cut plans, and Vince Cable now claims they are dead.
Voting to go on strike is not a decision working people take lightly and is always accompanied by a strong sense of injustice at work. The impact of losing a day’s pay is significant, not least for those in the lowest paid jobs who are already on the tightest budgets.
Would I describe myself as new Labour? I’m Labour, organised Labour. I think labels have a limited use and that’s where you really get into boy stuff sometimes, just sticking on labels.
The implication that women work for pin money and can manage on a worse pension, presumably by relying on husbands, riles. But even more galling for women is that few government ministers seem to even appreciate the value of the work they do.
Washing dishes as a 17-year-old in an Oxford college and seeing the privileged lifestyles of the undergraduates there convinced me that a system that allowed luxury for the few at the expense of the many needed to be challenged.
I cherish the creation of public space and services, especially health, housing and the comprehensive education system which dared to give so many of us ideas ‘above our station.’
I do know what it’s like to worry about bills, I do know what it’s like to worry about even finding a child-minder, never mind paying them.
As long as the number one worry for people, keeping them up at nights, is whether they’re going to have a job in the morning, then they are less likely to resist unfair changes, or unfair treatment, or cuts in real pay at work.
Ordinary people who have lots of good ideas want more than a suggestion box, and they need a union to represent that thinking.
When I look at my daughter, who’s 24, she is much more confident than I ever was and her expectations are higher. But I worry that there is a backlash brewing against progress on equality.