Thursday, May 24, 2012


Ireland are playing their Euro 2012 group matches on Poland, thus this.

As an aside, the most compelling political argument I've found recently has been the one that the Tories are making vindictive cuts, not because they need to, but because they want to.

The need for a restructuring of the economy (and it is needed) is being used to justify score-settling by nasty Thatcherite fantatics.

That this is an opportunistic political attack dressed up as economic prudence. That it's not the cuts we object to, but their choice of cuts.

When they identify the barriers to growth, they don't see banks that won't lend, or these mythical startups that fail to materialise, or a private sector that hasn't got the entreprenneurial nuts to jump into the space vacated by the public sector.

They don't see consumers and businesses who are keeping their cash in their pockets because they don't know if tomorrow is going to be more rainy. They don't see the unmet need for housing or the uncertain caution of people in precarious employment.

No. They see trades unions who are too strong. Workers who enjoy anti-social employment rights. Bosses who can't fire anyone they please.

Unions have the potential to be the rallying point here. I'm not sure it's an opportunity that they always take, but if ever there was a time for a 'free trade union' campaign in the UK, now is it.

It's a slightly anti-political argument - it plays on a general suspicion about the motives of the political caste. But this isn't something to be afraid of. If it helps to nudge Labour out of it's own bunker-mentality, so much the better.