POLITICS: Workers not represented

In reply to Ronnie Campbell’s column (News Post Leader, July 23), may I point out that, as Ronnie says, Margaret Thatcher did indeed start the demise of the unions in the 1980s, as other unions stood by and watched, as she made war with the working man in Britain, via the miners. However, that’s history now.

What is also history, sadly, is the fact that Tony Blair and his selected cabinet ministers had ten years to right any wrongs that Margaret Thatcher and later Tory leaders had made regarding workers rights, but he didn’t do it, did he?

In the meantime, our ex-Labour leader, and some of his fellow MPs have become very rich men. That seems a contradiction in terms, doesn’t it, ‘rich’ and ‘Labour leader’?

What comes to mind during Blair’s ‘reign’ is the promoting of political correctness – remember increasing the number of women in power, rather than the right person for the job?

Also his cosying up to big business, his cosying up to America, and refusing to believe that famous sentence, “there are no weapons of mass destruction”.

I do not remember Tony Blair making any radical changes to the conditions of the working man.

Ask the office cleaner, ask the shop assistant, ask the call centre workers, and the thousands who cannot afford a house, and those who are struggling to find the money to rent a house.

Yes, of course, the other side of the story is the strong unions who fight the cause of the firemen, policemen, rail workers, government employees, and, of course, we then have the MPs who get inflation-busting rise after rise and big fat pensions when they retire.

And please don’t mention, living wage; that should be re-named existing wage.

So is any government different from another?

And if there is an upper limit to the so-called living wage, why isn’t there an upper limit to company profits and salaries?

Tony Blair did nothing about that and still the scales of monetary justice are not balanced.

So the point of my letter is that neither Labour, nor Tory, or any party in between, can crow about standing up for the workers. I believe they have lost touch with the man and woman in the street.

As far as I can see, since 1974 businesses have influenced governments, and as long as we have government whips telling MPs how to vote, nothing will change. The person in the street, the worker, no longer has representation in this country.

MPs and local councillors need to start listening to the people who voted them in, and not adopt the supercilious attitude that seems to prevail at present.

Revell Cornell (Sr)