Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html en-gb 30 Sat 01 Aug 2015 06:25:56 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html dennisjunior1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=98#comment83 Brian:People strike for many reasons and more money in their paychecks....--Dennis Junior-- Sun 28 Dec 2008 06:43:25 GMT+1 bingowings87 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=97#comment82 Good grief #182, you really are spectacularly misinformed.If you really think I am going to post lists of names on the net, you are more barking that your posts suggest.As for TUPE.....if you had ANY inkling of what was going on you would realise 2 salient points:1. TUPE does not cover pension agreements. Therefore, companies are free to make their own proposals.2. In this case, the TUPE transfer was done in 2004 WITHIN BP....ie from BP to a company called Innovene Manufacturing Scotland Ltd (wholly owned by BP). When INEOS rolled up, they bought the IMSL business lock, stock and barrel, therefore TUPE did not apply. Sat 23 Aug 2008 23:55:27 GMT+1 U11769947 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=96#comment81 I say again, none lost their jod through that strike.Could you break down your contract? listOn balance move on. TUPE, bp to ineos there is nothing to negotiate. Sat 23 Aug 2008 17:50:33 GMT+1 bingowings87 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=95#comment80 #80 I suspect you are not in posession of the facts. I work there, and during the strike I was instructed to supply a list of names of contractors in my area. If your name was on the list, you got in to work the day after the strike. If not, your site access was cancelled and you couldn't work. All non essential work and capital investment was stopped after the strike, hundreds were laid off as the company counted the cost of the strike. That cost came to about £80m, all of it to be paid for by Grangemouth. Another strike will most likely see half the site close for ever. So don't try to dress up a strike as some sort of victory for the workers.And may I add for the sake of balance, the company were always willing to negotiate on the Pensions issue - the strike happened because of union intransigence and a refusal to even discuss any of the company's proposals. Sat 23 Aug 2008 00:02:52 GMT+1 U11769947 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=94#comment79 It is my belief that the strike of 2008 over pension rights did not involve one single job loss over that said action. It is also my belief that the company withdrew its proposed immediate sanction on the workers pension rights in favour of negotiations. (winner)If ineos does withdraw from negotiation and again tries too impose an non negotiated act on the said pension.Then i'm quite sure the union unite will take further action and of course seek secondary action from there brothers.No its not an ideal position(LOCK OUT PAY)in difficult times is an additive stress,its is a last resort but if they tolerate this abuse then all future hope is gone.... I support the workers rights. Fri 22 Aug 2008 20:20:18 GMT+1 bingowings87 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=92#comment78 derekbarker, #42,I feel I have to correct some mis-representations you are putting about re the Grangemouth Pensions dispute ...There has been a strike, how does this equate to the Unions "winning the day"? There are no winners only losers, especially the hundreds of people who have lost their jobs at Grangemouth as a result of the strike. The dispute is still very much on the go, another strike would lead to catastrophic closures and job losses at one of the country's largest private employers.I will only consider it a victory for the Unions if they manage to resolve the dispute without further action. Fri 22 Aug 2008 11:52:07 GMT+1 brigadierjohn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=91#comment77 #35 iamrightok: Good comments on collective bargaining. I grew up with it, and was always enraged that workshy wasters got the same increase as the hard-working and ambitious. The next phase was "house agreements" - still collective, but relevant to the prosperity of the private sector company involved. Inevitably, and rightly - although it was bitterly opposed by unions - came personal contracts, by which an individual got a job on ability, and could be sacked, or demoted for poor performance or behaviour. Subject to all other "rights" of course.I believe that significantly more than half the Scottish workforce is now in some form of "government" employment in the public sector. I don't wish to argue whether that's good or bad. But it creates a perfect environment for big union conglomerates to hold employers (i.e., us) to ransom. It is also an excellent situation for individuals to build little empires, make themselves "indispensable" and create more form-filling, more "responsibilities" to push pay upwards. Anything but work, usually.A very senior Glasgow Corporation boss once told me, in despair, that most of his staff had either been sacked from the private sector, or were so hopeless as to have no chance of working there. It was many years ago, but.....Of course, we still have some brilliant people at all levels in the public sector. But they might get a better deal on personal contracts. Thu 21 Aug 2008 13:24:24 GMT+1 bighullabaloo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=90#comment76 #75 wheredowegofromhereIt would be best if Jake identified exactly what mistake he's talking about so I can correct it if necessary. Thu 21 Aug 2008 13:16:53 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=89#comment75 Wheredowegofromhere (48),[purring sound] ;-)Nezavisimost (71), Thanks for that! An evidence-based rebuttal.Slainte!edP.S. I, too second the Brigadier's final sentence. Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist. --Kenneth Boulding Thu 21 Aug 2008 13:10:43 GMT+1 wheredowegofromhere http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=88#comment74 Alleged mistake:Perhaps Jake-the-saltire in his #64 and moderator-removed #60 was referring to the inversion of the figures £11 and £4 in bighullabaloo's #539 (previous thread), which he himself corrected immediately in his #541 six minutes later.Just guessing. Thu 21 Aug 2008 13:04:10 GMT+1 Barbazenzero http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=86#comment73 #71 NezavisimostMany thanks for taking the trouble to research and post this. We can now see for ourselves how much supporting data Reluctant-Expat has for #23's: "And don't forget that polls repeatedly show the majority of Scots are in favour of keeping Trident."Not a lot would have to be the answer, I think. Thu 21 Aug 2008 12:44:15 GMT+1 Barbazenzero http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=85#comment72 #64 Jake-the-saltireMany will be interested so please re-post without any links on the new thread. Thu 21 Aug 2008 12:32:31 GMT+1 bighullabaloo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=84#comment71 #64 Jake-the-saltireUnless you were abusive when you pointed out the alleged mistake then I can't think of any reason why they'd block it.Try just saying what you believe the mistake is without any attribution of blame and if there's a mistake I'll correct it. If I may, I'd like to point out a mistake in your #64:I'm not a bookmaker and never have been, or claimed to be. I'm an ex- journalist.Of course, I realise it's probably just you trying to be sarcastic. Thu 21 Aug 2008 12:24:19 GMT+1 Nezavisimost http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=83#comment70 YOUGOV SURVEY : March 12-15, 2007 Sample Size: 1144Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? 'If a majority of Scottish MPs vote in parliament against the replacement of Britain's Trident nuclear missiles, that replacement nuclear missile system should not be sited in Scotland'Agree 65Disagree 23Don't know 12ICM on 26-29 January 2007 The government has begun considering plans to replace Britain's nuclear weapon system, Trident, which is nearing the end of its lifetime. If the government goes ahead with the plans, nuclear weapons would be based in Scotland for the next 50 years. Would you support or oppose nuclear weapons being based in Scotland for this period of time?Oppose 64Support 30Don't know 6ICM on 26-29 January 2007The cost of replacing Trident is estimated by the government to be around £20 billion, with running costs estimated by others to take the amount spent in total to around £50 billion over the lifetime of the new weapons system. Do you think it is right or wrong to spend around £50 billion in total on new nuclear weapons ?Wrong 73Right 21Don't know 6YOUGOV SURVEY FOR SNP: RESULTS Fieldwork: February 13-19, 2007; sample 1,191I would rather see the £25 billion capital cost for a new generation of nuclear missiles spent on public services such as local schools, hospitals and policeAgree 76Disagree 12Not sure 12The UK government is due to make a decision on the purchase of a new generation nuclear missile system to replace Trident, at a capital cost of around £25 billion. Would you support or oppose the government buying a new nuclear missile system to replace Trident?Support purchase of system to replace Trident 18Oppose purchase of system to replace Trident 66Don't know 16YOUGOV SURVEY Fieldwork: March 12-15, 2007 Sample Size: 1144The latest estimate for the life-time cost of a replacement for the Trident nuclear missile system is between £76 billion and £100 billion pounds. Do you think this is a good or bad use of public money? Good use 15Bad use 72Don't know 13 Thu 21 Aug 2008 12:15:32 GMT+1 Barbazenzero http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=82#comment69 #67 brigadierjohnA good post, and I agree 100% with your last sentence, but would add that every party needs to recognise that if they are to lead a true recovery. Thu 21 Aug 2008 12:08:45 GMT+1 U11769947 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=80#comment68 I can remember a debate about wage increases and "claw backs" the employer would give a wage rise,then ask for every penny to be clawed back through higher production and waste control,of course they never did get the claw back they desired,so they started to attack the employees break times and cut maintenance cost.At this point I would like to point out that the plastic's factory explosion in Glasgow was down to poor maintenance.This debate is about a change in the economic climate,its not an outrage to ask for a wage rise,that is, in line with the rising cost of living.going fishing Brigadier......LOL Thu 21 Aug 2008 11:44:14 GMT+1 brigadierjohn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=79#comment67 #66 Jake: Oh, you are awful! My wife has suggested it, mind you. Thu 21 Aug 2008 11:10:40 GMT+1 brigadierjohn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=78#comment66 Very good debate on the dispute. I have sat on both sides of the negotiating table in my time, so recognise all the arguments and rhetoric. I'm a life member of my union, but my outstanding memory of wage talks is a comment by a director: Yes, you can have as much as you like. Just give me the names of the staff who are leaving to free up the money.Ability to pay is not just an argument for taxation issues. But does the taxpayer, the ultimate employer, have the ability today to fund further wage increases in the public sector?Emotive calls to "put bread in kids mouths" cut no ice with people on fixed incomes, who have been finding that difficult on half the income of local government workers.All that said, a sub-inflation pay offer IS a wage cut. And those facing it naturally look around at others who were paid before the axe fell. From that perspective it looks very unfair.Labour have always gone down the route of controlling unemployment by tolerating over-staffing and inefficiency. I believe they must come round to the idea of better wages for fewer peole. Thu 21 Aug 2008 11:05:43 GMT+1 Jake-the-S http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=77#comment65 #63 Didn't know you wore a bra brigadier?The things people do for attention. Thu 21 Aug 2008 11:02:28 GMT+1 Barbazenzero http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=76#comment64 #55 forfar-loonsang-froid: As in Paddy Robert's "The Englishman is noted for his sang-froid, which translated means his usual bloody cold"? Thu 21 Aug 2008 11:01:27 GMT+1 Jake-the-S http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=75#comment63 Looks like my 60 has been blocked when all I wanted to do was suggest that bookie bighullabaloo made a mistake in his odds in last blog Thu 21 Aug 2008 11:01:13 GMT+1 brigadierjohn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=73#comment62 #48 wheredowegofromhere: Terrific! Thank goodness it's "I'd jog her brain" and not "I'd jog her in bra." Different type of chap altogether! Thu 21 Aug 2008 10:48:34 GMT+1 U11769947 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=72#comment61 Measure and balance, council workers measure their wages against the cost of living and things dont balance up.Everyone in Zimbabwe is a millionaire.Yet! most of them can't afford a loaf of bread.Are people suggesting that our inflation rate is at that critical point?The streamline efficiency of the private sector,"like boom and bust" really makes you want a protective policy like clause 4.London olympics capt at 9.3 Bn(aye right) Thu 21 Aug 2008 10:46:37 GMT+1 Barbazenzero http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=71#comment60 Correction to my #57The BBC link is the wrong way round and should be to: Labour will win election - BrownI'll check the poll sites later today and hope to be back tonight. Thu 21 Aug 2008 10:40:39 GMT+1 Jake-the-S http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=70#comment59 This post has been Removed Thu 21 Aug 2008 10:28:56 GMT+1 forfar-loon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=69#comment58 #54: whoops, looks like some rather mild and light-hearted anagrams didn't make it past the mods. Oh well, in case they are never resurrected the non-anagram bits were something like...#48: Excellent, love it! :oDHowever, measure and balance go right out the window when I watch football/rugby! Forlorn oaf pretty much sums me up on such occasions!#52: my brother is a teacher and is in a similar position to your wife. He basically has double the workload since a colleague is never there. Said colleague does the bare minimum to avoid the heave-ho but fortunately is due to take early retirement in a year or two. Thu 21 Aug 2008 10:00:01 GMT+1 Barbazenzero http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=67#comment57 #50 Jake-the-saltireExtremely well put.#51 northhighlanderAgain all good stuff, but perhaps a little OTT to call it a reply to Jake-the-saltire's #50. A different take on the same data, more like.Glass half-full vs half-empty? Thu 21 Aug 2008 09:47:16 GMT+1 Barbazenzero http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=66#comment56 #48 wheredowegofromhereFYI, my dad (d. July '79) was lifelong old Labour and my mum is a lifelong Tory. I "caught" Liberalism at school around the '64 election and it survived bouts with Trots, NF and everything in between at Uni.#46 oldnatIpsos MORI's Political Monitor is carried out for the Press Association, and most of the articles are based on their Tories register record poll lead, including this website's http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7573432.stm.The details should be available soon at Ipsos MORI's Political trends.Along the way looking for more detail, I spotted some delightful quotes from Tory Eric Pickles in Tuesday's Pink Un's at Labour's mission impossible at next poll, especially: "The analysis is that it is now impossible for [Labour] to win the election, but it's perfectly possible for us to lose it." and "One of the things drilled into you from early age if you're ambitious in politics is never make an analogy about your own side that involves the Titanic, General Custer or Marie Antoinette because it's all going to end in tragedy."#47 oldnatReluctant-Expat's user profile does indeed show many stats quoted without supporting references. I'm certainly not about to do much exploring until we see some evidence. Thu 21 Aug 2008 09:38:22 GMT+1 Jake-the-S http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=65#comment55 #51 northighlanderIndependence will come. We have come a long way since the first referendum on devolution when the Scottish people were duped. They endorsed the second referendum on devolution and be sure the next one will be a yes vote on independence.#52 BangingonaboutMy daughter is a teacher in one of the more deprived areas of Glasgow and I believe she is good too but says the same as your wife so on that I would agree with your comments.As to the private sector being harder on their employees I am not so sure. HR departments in the private sector, ie those who interview and employ people and know little about the jobs they are employing the people to do, will do anything to keep the most lazy and useless in work.As for paying for the services we get I pay a lot simply because I live in a modest 2 bedroom farmhouse off the beaten track. The only services I get are a bin lorry every fortnight, which I don't use as we recycle all, and water. I agree that the whole system needs a complete overhaul and that we should pay for what we get not what we don't get.One of my neighbours have 2 bins, because they have children, which they use so in my mind they should pay more. They are subsidised through child benefit so why should they not pay more? Thu 21 Aug 2008 09:34:52 GMT+1 forfar-loon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=64#comment54 PS I'd like to second the last sentence of #50, provided a smidgen more sang-froid is forthcoming. Thu 21 Aug 2008 09:33:11 GMT+1 forfar-loon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=63#comment53 #52: yep, my brother is a teacher and is in a similar position. He basically has double the workload covering a colleague who is never there but who does the bare minimum to avoid the heave-ho. Fortunately said colleague is taking early retirement in a year or two.Re the Times article you mention. I read a while back (but don't remember where I'm afraid) that on average private sector workers pay around 3 pounds into public sector pensions for every pound that goes into their own. Ouch.#48: Excellent, love it! :oDHowever, you should see me watch football/rugby - measure and balance go right out the window! Forlorn oaf pretty much sums me up on such occasions!Might I also proffer: ALOHA I BLOG BUL (oh for another L!) or perhaps IOU GLOBAL BLAH.And why not put your anagram skills to use as chat up lines. Then you certainly won't be HE WHO ROGERED FEW MORE ;o) (hope that's not too risque for the mods!) Thu 21 Aug 2008 09:25:06 GMT+1 BrianSH http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=61#comment52 #52 I think you may have a hit a nail on the head.Public sector unions are not willing to accept less employees and higher wages.They think that wages and the number of employees should be high, a somewhat delusional situation.It always troubles me to view statistics of public vs private sector employees in Scotland vs. England/Wales and how the ratio is against Scotland; but people often ignore that UKgov dealt with this problem by subtly outsourcing it to private companies with worse working conditions, lower wages and reduced job stability. I think the unions need to be very careful that the same does not happen to our valued public workers in Scotland. Thu 21 Aug 2008 09:18:49 GMT+1 Bangingonabout http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=60#comment51 Jake-the-Saltire:In general I think you're right and I think most people are prepared to pay more for services if it is required - provided that they are efficient and done "properly".I'm sure your partner isn't lazy or overcompensated but for every story saying that we seem to get another one saying the opposite. For instance, my wife is a teacher (and a good one) but she points out there are other teachers at her school who are not good and are lazy (eg throw sickies at the drop of a hat). In the private sector these people would eventually be weeded out but my wife says that, due to union involvement, it is virtually impossible to discipline these people.I read an article on Times Online the other day where a former Government advisor calculated that the average private sector employee pays more in taxes to support public sector pensions than they can afford to put into their own pension - that can't be right and in the long term is unsustainable.#13 raises an important point - which I agree is a crude representation - but if we want to renegotiate pay levels we need to renegotiate the whole public sector "package". At a very basic level, do we want a stream-lined, efficient, public sector - which would probably result in unemployment for a lot of people - or are we prepared to fund a more bloated one in order to keep unemployment down? Thu 21 Aug 2008 08:59:32 GMT+1 northhighlander http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=59#comment50 Re 50The results of the last holyrood election could never by any stretch of the imagination be seen as a ringing endorsement of independece by the Scottish people. A cry for help maybe, but not for complete independence.It is easy to be popular when the main opposition party is in complete disarray and you have introduced none of the more controversial elements of your manifesto. President Eck? We are along debate and many blogs away from this becoming a reality. Re council workers, I don't agree with the rationale that they all could work harder and get paid less, the debate should be focussing on those who profit from the current situation, starting with the energy companies. Take from them and give to the lowest paid. It is easy to pick on the most vulnerable in our society, but we should be looking at ways of helping them, they do jobs we couldn't live without. Thu 21 Aug 2008 08:44:40 GMT+1 Jake-the-S http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=58#comment49 There are either some very young or very forgetful people contributing to this blog.The last time Labour were in power for more than one term we saw high inflation, strikes by council workers and a country where there was no focus. they were soundly thrashed in the 1979 election by a charasmatic, if somewhat unpopular, leader in Margaret Thatcher. It seems we are repeating the same thing again.Labour are in much the same position again only this time in Scotland as well. We have a charasmatic and this time popular leader in Alex Salmond who may just become the country's first actual leader in more than 300 years.But lets go back to the current strike. Most seem to think that council workers are lazy and over compensated for what they do. My partner works for the council and the one thing she is not is lazy or over compensated for what she does. Like many council workers she tries to clear up the mess that we as a society leave behind us, be that rubbish or the people who have no hope in life.I for one would be willing to pay a little bit more in tax if it was used to make Scotland a fairer, better place to live. If some of this money is used to fund reasonable pay rises, ie. around the rate of inflation, then thats fine.We all want the services but are we willing to pay for them?By the way bighullabaloo keep going the blog would be less without you! Thu 21 Aug 2008 08:11:53 GMT+1 Dick-Whittington http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=57#comment48 First of all some general comments regarding this thread.Councils when sending out their Council Tax bills for the year include a booklet telling you exactly how the money is spent. Whether you choose to read the booklet or not is up to you.Trident is a capital funded project paid for years ago, cancelling it will not save a single penny. Where savings can be made would be in terminating maintenance on the nuclear submarines and the weapons, closing the base and making naval and support personnel redundant. I do not think leaving nuclear reactors or nuclear weapons to rot is very sensible, nor is making several thousand people redundant in an employment blackspot going to help anyone.This year the Scottish Government, Cosla and Councils agreed to set neutral budgets and to do so next year. This is part of a three year rolling programme in preparation for the introduction of LIT. In accord with this programme the Unions were offered a three year deal of 2.5 per cent rises for the next three years in order that cash movements would be reasonably predictable. At the same time. the management side have to initiate a transformation agenda and value chain analysis to prevent any violent economic movements before the introduction of LIT.As you know, it has since been suggested that the Scottish Government will be short by 400 million due to LIT. The actual figure is around 290 million, but this money could have been found if management and Unions stuck to the formula with little or no effect on services and few, if any, redundancies. Please note - all of this was before the credit crunch. Since then headline inflation has risen to around 5 per cent, underlying inflation which is the real killer has yet to feed through. But, this inflation has been created by international factors, one of the major problems in an increasingly globalised economy. Wage demands lead to internal inflation as a headline and will then fuel underlying inflation the effects of which only kick in about 18 months later.The net effect of wage rises above formula together with the fiscal drag created by underlying inflation means that whilst Council workers may get a bigger than 2.5 per cent rise this year, in two years time a lot of them are going to lose their jobs if the Scottish Government is to stay on target for LIT. You heard it here first. Thu 21 Aug 2008 06:50:32 GMT+1 wheredowegofromhere http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=55#comment47 cynicalHighlander laid down the challenge with his anagrammatical #523 on the Sympathy and Sensitivity thread, but as that fizzled out without much sign of either one or the other quality, I'm posting here for greater exposure and vainglory.Some observations on 7 of our regular contributors:Brownedov: with his detailed analyses, was obviously BORN VOWED to the cause he espouses.Forfar-loon: measured and well-balanced, is clearly no FORLORN OAF.brigadierjohn: placed no blame at the door of Nicola Sturgeon for the recent dead-bodies-in-beds crisis but must have thought I'D JOG HER BRAIN.Also, as a provocative, if often light-hearted, proponent of opinions, he's one to call on if you need to HIRE A GRIND-JOB.bighullabaloo: another forthright and formidable debater, even if sometimes a tad vehement. If he makes A BOOB, I'LL LAUGH.oldnat: down-to-earth common sense in bringing people back TO LAND.derekbarker: an unknown quantity who suddenly started making sense, so obviously not that E'ER DARK BERK people took him for.Ed Iglehart: seems always to be EITHER GLAD or A LIGHTER ED than a lot of folk, A DELIGHTER with his cool-headed observations.Please, no offence meant to any of you. I have to go now; my brain hurts.Have a nice day all.P.S. thank you bighullabaloo for your lucid account of betting odds in #539 on the said thread. Much appreciated. Thu 21 Aug 2008 06:15:00 GMT+1 oldnat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=54#comment46 On 02 May 2008, Reluctant-Expat wrote: The honeymoon is certainly not yet over. Repeated polls have shown that the SNP's once hefty lead over Labour has been steadily chipped away over the past 5-6 months, from 11%+ last year to just 5% now. Since I haven't debated with you before, I thought I'd check on your previous. The actual poll situation in May 2008 (which you misrepresented) was as follows -"A new opinion poll analysis shows that the SNP has built up a 7 point lead over Labour for the Westminster general election.The study – based on the four UK opinion polls conducted in May which have separate Scottish samples – gives the following ratings (change from 2005 election in brackets):SNP: 33% (+15)Labour: 26% (-14)Con: 21% (+5)Lib Dem: 14% (-9)"Care to come back with some evidence? Thu 21 Aug 2008 01:45:53 GMT+1 oldnat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=53#comment45 BrownedovI presume you have seen the reports of the MORI poll I don't know where the data is. Wed 20 Aug 2008 23:44:36 GMT+1 oldnat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=52#comment44 #20 Reluctant-Expat Well, as Trident (along with other NATO nukes) almost certainly stopped a catastrophic WW3, I think the few billion spent each year on these is excellent value for money. don't you? It can certainly be argued that MAD prevented a nuclear war between the US and the USSR. However, this is not the place for that debate. The critical issue is whether expenditure on nuclear weapons by the UK made any significant contribution. This seems unlikely since the weapons under direct USA control were more than enough to obliterate all human life several times over. It seems unlikely that nuclear weapons purchased from the USA by the UK, and incapable of being fired without the US firing codes made any perceptible difference.And don't forget that polls repeatedly show the majority of Scots are in favour of keeping Trident. I'll be interested to see your response to Brownedov's questions.Just because the SNP are against something, doesn't mean it's automatically the right approach as many of the SNP's supporters seem to believe. If you'll pardon the observation, this is rather a silly statement. Substitute the name of any party for "SNP", and "some" instead of "many", then this is a general truism. Having been a member of 3 different parties, I found few in any of them who believed that "their party line" was always right.In case you haven't noticed, the SNP are vehemently against every single aspect of the UK and the UK government as part of their strategy to promote independence... even when such opposition makes no sense at all. Accuracy is always useful in any argument. In the context of this thread, you omit to mentions Alec Salmond's endorsement of a common policy between Scotland and the UK with regard to wage restraint and the fight against inflation.For example, Salmond was against the UK intervening in the Balkans wars in the 90s, even though that very intervention stopped the ongoing genocide in the region. This is nothing to do with the thread, but in passing it should be noted that the willingness of the West to intervene to settle ethnic conflict in the Balkans (to their own political advantage) is exactly the same argument used by Russia in the Caucasas.You have made a number of unsupported assertions, but fail to answer the question I actually asked in my #20.Feel free to rant as much as you like, but on this blog, we tend to expect evidence based argument. Failure to do so, leads to the poster being considered simply an opinionated buffoon. Wed 20 Aug 2008 23:39:05 GMT+1 Sheneval http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=51#comment43 In the past I would have agreed with workers striking against below inflation pay rises and I certainly supported the Council staff in their opposition to reductions in their pensions but the current inflation rises are a temporary thing - there is already a downward movement in fuel prices which will almost certainly continue.But now i find myself in the position of one of those on a pension being ripped off by an immoral Council tax which will have to increase to pay for the Union demands and I can no longer afford to support this type of Industrial action - it is time the Unions insisted that Pensions should be linked to wage increases if they wish to continue to have the support of those who pay the taxes that pays for their wages. Wed 20 Aug 2008 22:17:42 GMT+1 iamrightok http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=50#comment42 interesting debate all.. gid nicht. Wed 20 Aug 2008 22:17:33 GMT+1 U11769947 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=48#comment41 I wont nick pic.Company final pension schemes in the private sector were common,until they decided too end them. Case history, Grangemouth refinery,"THE COMPANY TRIED TOO END THEIR SCHEME" the work force and Trade Union made a stand, and won the day,others done nothing, and lost out.People have got to put meat on the bones at the dinner table( a 2.5% wage rise against underlying inflation of 15% is in real terms a wage cut)Be happy! Wed 20 Aug 2008 22:00:13 GMT+1 tammienorrielass1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=47#comment40 Post ScriptIf the Unions want to earn their keep, be honest to their members about how they utilise their subs and as most unions give the impression that they are 'comfortably off', use your collective bargaining political clout to demonstrate how money is spent within your organisation as well as finding out about how the Local Authorities use OUR money.Let us see your bargaining position being proven.Let us see that you are in 21st Century and not depriving everyone of the services they have already paid dearly for and not getting. Wed 20 Aug 2008 21:58:26 GMT+1 Chemical-Ali http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=46#comment39 Haha...the Council's on strike?!?!?! Macht's Nicht's!!Sauchiehall Street looks like the same Third World midden it always does! The ONLY difference is that the Council's elite binmen on their motorized brooms are not harriying the tourists or the Glaswegians that actually pay their wages!Oh dear, pay rise not enough??? Join the queue. Why should the public sector be any different than the rest of us? Things are tough ALL over!Scotland's reliance on Public Sector employment needs to end NOW!!! Wed 20 Aug 2008 21:36:53 GMT+1 iamrightok http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=45#comment38 inflation is the problem not wages, they are a bi-product. sort the source of the problem. everyone is expereincing tough times, not just public sector workers, and as for them being the lowest paid, in real terms, are they really?... considering the employers pension contribution, and how much they now get paid compared to people in similar posts in private sector.. id say a cleaner in private sector probably gets min. wage, wereas in a Council over £7 per hour... there are a lot of figures being thrown about that I think need a bit more thought. i struggle to see how in these tough times solidarity is going to get anyone anywhere.. let people make their own decisions as individuals... then count the numbers... Yes, they make the individual choice to join a union, but do they really know what that stands for, in terms of slowing down local authorities, and in this case national service provision.... and are they really happy that they have just given up a days wages? Yes they will sleep tonight knowing the stood up for the cause.. but how poor are they really if they can afford to do that? No disrespect, but the more you earn the more you have to pay to be in a Union.. where is the logic there? ... Good on them for sticking to their guns i suppose, but Groupthink has a lot to answer for. Wed 20 Aug 2008 21:36:46 GMT+1 tammienorrielass1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=44#comment37 #31 One of the points I was trying to get folk to look at in #11!Look folks the local authorities have a lot of cash - OUR CASH and we are entitled to know how they 'divie' this up. It seems to be rather a big secret. There used to be 'ring-fencing' which was supposed to ensure that that money only went towards whatever. As far as I was concerned, I wondered why ring fencing was necessary in the first place and why it seemed to be that LAs could not/would not set their priorities. It seems reasonable to assume that they should know what out-goings they MUST meet and allocate cash accordingly. Suspicions are aroused when there is publicity about no money in the coffers for some scheme and a few days later, someone is being paid an awful lot of money to do something or other. If there is no money for one, where did it come from for the other?What we as taxpayers and the employees of the Local authorities need to know is far more transparency about how the very considrable sums they have, are being utilised NOW. No problem is solved by squealing that there is not enough UNLESS there is proof that there is a shortfall.And throwing more money(ours) at something where they cannot show why there is a problem, ain't going to solve it.If they put their mind to it and stopped the 'wastage', there should be money to pay the folk in the frontline services a decent wage, without forcing up taxes and increasing the flipping spiral of rising costs. (There always seems to be cash for rather large 'expenses claims' is'nt there?) Wed 20 Aug 2008 21:34:46 GMT+1 U11769947 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=42#comment36 i,am right,okCollective bargaining is very rare today?No one will argue against your work ethics and commintment,however the idea that the council work force should endure a below wage rise (A CUT IN WAGES IN REAL TERMS) is unacceptable.There are many people who value their Trade Union membership and thank them for a safer and enhanced position,that they are in today.Good luck (keep the faith) Wed 20 Aug 2008 21:14:08 GMT+1 Barbazenzero http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=41#comment35 #23 Reluctant-ExpatWe'll have to agree to disagree about the wonders of Trident, but can you please quote a source for your statement that: "polls repeatedly show the majority of Scots are in favour of keeping Trident"? The last couple of poll results, the media that published them and ideally the organisation that gathered the data should be enough to track down the details.#30 forfar-loonI don't know what the LibDems or Tories think, but as a Liberal I think its wrong to try to limit public sector pay and not the private sector. I don't think pay freezes work anyway, but are a mechanism to hide inflation.The real trouble is top-down financing, with money dribbling down from Westmidden via Holyrood to the councils who actually provide the services, especially when only the councils have fair electoral systems (although Holyrood is not as unfair as Westmidden).If local councils could raise their own funds through local income tax they could tailor their services to the funds their electorate were willing to pay. Ditto with both Holyrood and Westmidden if they were both democratically eleected for fixed terms.#31 alchatGood point, but the contracts would need to be on similar terms to the private sector Wed 20 Aug 2008 20:36:37 GMT+1 iamrightok http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=40#comment34 couldnt agree more with forfar-loon.. and i work in a Council.. and think myself lucky to be there, rather than going from quarter to quarter in the private sector worrying about business being good or not... Collective Bargaining= JOKE>.. the unions have a lot of answer for. People wonder why Public sector is slow and full of red tape.. one work.. starts with a U ....Will these activist and those who support them by cheering and totting their horns and the pickets still be cheering and tooting when their council tax goes up and council services get cut?! hmmmm.. think before you toot....I think the days collective bargaining should be long gone, and the laws that support it phased out.. i would LOVE to see the Union membership numbers versus non membership for all the COuncils. .. to see if it even exisits in real terms....I know that there are PLENTY of council workers who would have accepted the 2.5% offer and thought themselves lucky, especially when other employers cant afford to offer anything, neven mind a cushy payrise, a jammy pension and excellent holiday entitlements... But this STUPID, ANTIQUATED law of Collective Bargaining is stopping them even being allowed to accept it. my guesses are that those in the Unions have probably never worked outside Councils and if they did even for a week, they would shut up and get on with it .I too wonder why the Tories haven't commented, defo would win some points with me if they backed up the employers side.. Wed 20 Aug 2008 20:25:20 GMT+1 drewthomson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=39#comment33 #23 + #32I'm a Scot in favour of nuclear weapons, and I know a fair few of my Scottish friends support the funding of Trident.On the issue at hand on the blog: meh. Like #5 commented, it's politics of opposition. Wed 20 Aug 2008 20:21:44 GMT+1 U11769947 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=38#comment32 I to would like to hear what the liberals and democrats plus the Tories have to say on this issue also.Surely they wont sit on the fence and wait for which way public opinion sways?Over too you Brownedov. Wed 20 Aug 2008 19:05:00 GMT+1 BrianSH http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=36#comment31 Oh my good lord #23As far as I'm aware I have NEVER met a Scot in favour of nuclear weapons... perhaps you have been out of the country for too long? Wed 20 Aug 2008 19:00:25 GMT+1 alchat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=35#comment30 I think its high time councils stopped employing contract staff via agencies - paying 3-4 times the annual salaries of staff. If they sort that out there would be money to give staff a proper pay rise - offer sensible 1 year deals and still keep council tax frozen Wed 20 Aug 2008 18:42:31 GMT+1 forfar-loon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=34#comment29 Anyone know what the LibDems or Tories have to say on this matter? I'd be interested to hear their view since they are neither in power or in hock to the unions, and may therefore be "free" to say what they think.#27, #26, #24, #22, #21 (I nearly got RSI there reaching for the # key!):Georg Lichtenberg: "If all else fails, the character of a man can be recognized by nothing so surely as by a jest which he takes badly." Wed 20 Aug 2008 18:06:54 GMT+1 brigadierjohn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=33#comment28 I hope the poor ref at Hampden tonight gets all his decisions right!As one of the Petty Four, I'm off for post-prandial refreshment with petits fours. Wed 20 Aug 2008 18:05:28 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=32#comment27 "See previous thread #584 for my response to anything you post here."I'll bookmark it. Wed 20 Aug 2008 18:02:23 GMT+1 bighullabaloo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=30#comment26 I'd just point out to the moderators that it's time they stopped the accounts of people like brigadierjohn, Ed Iglehart, forfar-Loon, Bangingonaboutit, etc, who are not in any way interested in debating political issues but who just want to ruin the whole blog with petty insults. Wed 20 Aug 2008 17:28:53 GMT+1 bighullabaloo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=29#comment25 # 25 Ed IglehartSee previous thread #584 for my response to anything you post here. Wed 20 Aug 2008 17:23:39 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=28#comment24 "I see you've started the insults again first on this one."I see no insults Wed 20 Aug 2008 17:21:47 GMT+1 bighullabaloo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=27#comment23 #15 forfar-loonI'd like to stay and argue with you but I've got to get over to Hampden Park for the match.Unlike some here I have friends and a life beyond replying to sad cases who couldn't argue their way out of a paper bag. Wed 20 Aug 2008 17:03:53 GMT+1 Dunroamin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=26#comment22 20. Well, as Trident (along with other NATO nukes) almost certainly stopped a catastrophic WW3, I think the few billion spent each year on these is excellent value for money. don't you?And don't forget that polls repeatedly show the majority of Scots are in favour of keeping Trident. Just because the SNP are against something, doesn't mean it's automatically the right approach as many of the SNP's supporters seem to believe.In case you haven't noticed, the SNP are vehemently against every single aspect of the UK and the UK government as part of their strategy to promote independence... even when such opposition makes no sense at all. For example, Salmond was against the UK intervening in the Balkans wars in the 90s, even though that very intervention stopped the ongoing genocide in the region. Wed 20 Aug 2008 16:59:28 GMT+1 bighullabaloo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=25#comment21 # 15 forfar-loonIf you want to see a real example of "tilting at windmills" check out the Labour government's video having a go at that well-known potent political threat - Jeremy Clarkson! And Labour wonder why people don't vote for them. Wed 20 Aug 2008 16:54:27 GMT+1 bighullabaloo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=23#comment20 #15 forfar-loonPity there wasn't a single post on the previous thread capable of showing that anything I said was wrong. I see you've started the insults again first on this one. You're in danger of spoling the whole blog. Wed 20 Aug 2008 16:50:25 GMT+1 oldnat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=22#comment19 #19 ExpatAlways worth looking at options for alternative expenditure.Have you costed these against the cost of (for example) a 0.5% pay rise for council workers, in this and in all future financial years.I think #16 jam804 has other alternatives. Any views on those? Wed 20 Aug 2008 16:41:31 GMT+1 Dunroamin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=21#comment18 Perhaps if Salmond hadn't scrapped the massive £1 toll on the bridges, at the cost of tens of millions in maintenance costs that now have to be squeezed from the Holyrood budget....Perhaps if Salmond hadn't poured money into slightly reducing the cost of the remaining 8% of prescriptions that aren't already free...Perhaps if Salmond had not given grants to his friends in Islamic Culture groups...Perhaps of Salmond had stayed in his office instead of taking endless flights to the US on his ego-trips.......Perhaps maybe there would be funding for decent payrises for our public services. Wed 20 Aug 2008 16:26:13 GMT+1 oldnat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=20#comment17 #17 BrianThere'll be enough wasted energy expended tonight at the SLab Edinburgh hustings to do for a while.Then tomorrow there's the newsprint wasted on reporting it.Additionally, my wife suggests that if we all closed down our computers, not only could Longannet shut down, but that "to do" list could be tackled! Wed 20 Aug 2008 16:12:49 GMT+1 BrianSH http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=19#comment16 I will happily harness the hot steam generated by my keyboard and blubbering mouth for the good of the nation, difficult fitting a turbine to my gob though! Wed 20 Aug 2008 15:57:35 GMT+1 jam804 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=17#comment15 Council workers pay dispute?Scrap Trident and other WMD, get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and there will be significant funds available for constructive use in the public sector. Wed 20 Aug 2008 15:53:15 GMT+1 forfar-loon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=16#comment14 A tangential point: perhaps some of the money saved via the SNP's scheme of bulk-buying of utilities could be diverted to keep public sector pay on track with inflation.Alternatively funds could be saved (as well as helping our carbon footprint) by attaching piezoelectric sensors to bighullabaloo's keyboard and hooking him up to the national grid. For an exemplar of tilting at windmills see the end of Brian's previous thread (Sympathy and Sensitivity). Let's hope he turns the lights off when he's finished in there, eh folks!;o) Wed 20 Aug 2008 15:32:24 GMT+1 irnbru_addict http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=15#comment13 It's interesting that opposition causes a shift to the left, ever so slightly, amongst the Labour Leadership contentenders. What would be really interesting is their views on the UK civil service strikers and whether the UK government should pay them more. Which brings me to the Tom McCabe point (ish). If Labour in Scotland was "independent", then perhaps it would be freer to criticise not just the Scottish government for wage restraint but also their comrades in the UK who've stabbed trades unionists in the back for a decade.Perhaps a Tory government would be the impetus for Labour in Scotland to rediscover some left perspective. Once they were freed from having to toady to the UK government comrades, then they could begin to act like a peoples party again.Of course, until they were re-elected either in Scotland or Westminster. Wed 20 Aug 2008 14:57:22 GMT+1 forfar-loon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=14#comment12 As a wise woman once said: "In spite of the cost of living, it's still popular."tammienorrielass1: agree wholeheartedly.Also, and in somewhat crude terms for which I apologise in advance, I thought we'd organised ourselves as follows:Public sector - low wages, long holidays, job for life, obese pensionPrivate sector - jaiket on a shoogly peg, work evenings and weekends if you want to keep the jaiket there, higher wages, as much pension as you can affordOr are the unions proposing we renegotiate this arrangement? Wed 20 Aug 2008 14:43:30 GMT+1 U11769947 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=13#comment11 Starting point.Inflation 5%Underlying Inflation, Retail Price Index,Like fish,bread,milk, butter and those dreaded energy bills,have all had a dramatic increase.Governments position, a three year settlement.Well ed, 78 or 29 Wed 20 Aug 2008 14:20:05 GMT+1 tammienorrielass1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=11#comment10 I am intrigued to know how the Unions involved think that there is extra money coming in their direction. I mean their wages are paid by taxes who come from fellow taxpayers who are also suffering. The Local Authorities did well out of the settlements(using our taxes)What I would like to see them questioning, and questioning hard, is how the Local Authorities justify the spending of the 'pot of cash' they have. There seems to be plenty to pay extortionate payments to 'advisors and consultants' as well as high up executives, while those who deliver services day in and day out are squeezed on very little.Of course, delving into this situation may reveal a lot of unplatable facts for a party which has been in power a long time. If they could shift the demand to delving into this aspect, it would do us all a big favour. Wed 20 Aug 2008 13:46:44 GMT+1 oldnat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=10#comment9 #7 NeilWhen you send a note of thanks to the teacher, believe me it will be greatly appreciated! Wed 20 Aug 2008 13:40:40 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=9#comment8 I'm with the Teuchter (no offence intended!)Slainte!ed Wed 20 Aug 2008 13:37:55 GMT+1 oldnat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=8#comment7 Had the SNP not spotted the error in the Highland List count, at the last moment, the SNP and Labour would have been in the exactly opposite positions. As always for Labour MSPs, their difficulty is keeping an eye over their shoulder for what London will say. On this occasion, however, I presume they are unconcerned if leadership candidates make "soothing noises" to the unions.#4 BrigadierTa. we're in agreement (but we'll no doubt differ on something on this thread!) Wed 20 Aug 2008 13:37:19 GMT+1 enneffess http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=7#comment6 Someone needs to sort out both the union and the local councils.Up to this morning it was still not apparent - in East Kilbride anyway - whether some schools would be open or not. It took the hard work of the primary teacher one of my kids phoning round parents urgently. However, nothing came from the secondary school.I am sick to the back teeth of unions causing maximum disruption. And why do they have to disrupt children's education? The start of a new term and shcool year and the union dinosaurs strike.Can the union leaders please publicly state why they think it is necessary to do this, especially when people have already made arrangements to take time off work to see their children start school.And apologies will not be accepted.Rant over.............. Wed 20 Aug 2008 13:33:42 GMT+1 raven2751 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=5#comment5 the simplest solution to the issue over pay is not to argue with the employers but with the government in westminster as they are the real fatcats increasing their own wages and in turn increasing our cost of living.instead of striking refuse to pay taxes and then we will see them change their minds and start to work for us like they should be as we pay their wages through unjust taxes Wed 20 Aug 2008 13:22:27 GMT+1 northhighlander http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=4#comment4 BrianThis is the politics of opposition, doesn't matter what you say you don't have to do anything. Therefore you can always seek the popularist stance.the problem of course with this is that the candidates are really showing a lack of leadership skills, something Wee eck is showing by backing Westminster on this issue.Inflated wage rises won't solve the problem, they may in fact make it much worse. However that is a bitter pill to swallow if you are on or close to the minimum wage. We really need something from governement that helps those worst affected by the recent price increases, the poorest sections of our society.Unfortunatley this must be in the too difficult pile in both Westminster and Holyrood as there is no real initiative from anyone, just the normal name calling and blame shifting.Perhaps Gordon's lifeboat scheme will offer some hope to the poor but after the tax debacle I wouldn't bet on it. Surely this presents an opportunity to our politicans, find a way of helping the poorest by taking from those making the money out of the recession.Some good old robbing the rich to pay the poor is required. starting with energy companies perhaps? Wed 20 Aug 2008 13:20:16 GMT+1 brigadierjohn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=3#comment3 #1 oldnat: Please see my last post on the (endless) previous blog. To cut it short, and for what it's worth, I support the Salmond view as outlined by Brian. Wed 20 Aug 2008 13:15:11 GMT+1 BrianSH http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=2#comment2 Quite correct on the stances taken by the two parties. Neutral by the SNP, pay rise by Labour.Personally though, I'm with the Pay Rise lobby on this one.Energy prices are global phenomena, pay inflation in Scotland has very little effect on the global energy economy. I suppose the real question is, would private sector workers in Scotland stomach higher taxes to pay public sector workers. The collective answer unfortunately is no. Wed 20 Aug 2008 13:10:58 GMT+1 Barbazenzero http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=1#comment1 Did the NuLab three support the strike of their own accord, I wonder or have Brown and Darling pre-approved the extra funding?UDI or opportunism? Wed 20 Aug 2008 13:07:43 GMT+1 oldnat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/briantaylor/2008/08/striking_out.html?page=0#comment0 BrianI'm impressed!I ask a question of the brigadier, and you come up with an insightful response. Wed 20 Aug 2008 13:01:36 GMT+1