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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The People Are Revolting

My student Alex is off on a cruise, so today I got together with his other tutor to produce a presentation about our work with him. As I left, I was puzzled by the huge traffic jams in all directions. Overhead there were two police helicopters - I've never seen more than one at a time before. Not until I got to Trafalgar Square and lots of activity going on there did it occur to me that public sector workers were striking and demonstrating today. Not that the structures I saw being erected had anything to do with that. Apparently on Saturday the London Symphony Orhestra is giving a free concert there. Luckily it is supposed to be fine and dry for once. The public sector workers are mainly striking over changes in their pensions. Those on strike today, and teachers, who struck earlier, have to pay more for our pensions, get them mch later, and get less, while having our pay frozen for years on end. The police were strongly in evidence, though they are not very happy either. There are cuts in their numbers, longer working lives, and deterioration of their conditions. Off-duty officers attended, but the police are not allowed to strike.
I'm hoping they will start refusing to treat other workers with their usual contempt and turn a blind eye to demonstrations that are as much to help them as the people to whom they apply their kettling* techniques. They have to learn that they are on the wrong side.

*Kettling - containment or corralling of crowds into small spaces using police cordons.


vikeau said...

Thanks for the definition of kettling. And here on the other side of the pond, I stand in solidarity with your public workers.

ann said...

It's no better in the private sector - pay has also been frozen and pensions now worthless. Employees can't even protest as it would undoubtedly lead to dismissal; their only choice to put up and shut up and be grateful they have a job!
This country's a mess but it could be a lot worse - look at the rest of Europe - not that that is much consolation!

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