Friday, 16 December 2022


Nurses' Pay.

Why don't the leaders of the nurses' union point out that, as a result of Brexit, the NHS is receiving an additional £350m per week?  That works out at around £18bn a year: ample to pay the nurses what they deserve and plenty left over for other matters. Strange that his argument has not surfaced, or if it has I haven't noticed.

 Public Sector Pay.

The government spokespersons repeatedly argue that public sector pay offers are made by Independent Review Bodies and, in the nurses' case, the government has accepted the recommendation.  We need to look carefully at the designation "independent.  As this article by Polly Toynbee makes clear:

the eight Bodies  are appointed by the government, must award pay rates within the funding package already determined by the government, and of the 80 or so members, according to the TUC only two represent the employees.

According to Wikipedia the chairpersons receive £330 per meeting, and the members £300.  Even if the meetings last all day that's not a bad screw.  Maybe they should value on a similar scale  the services of those for whom they make determinations.

Ex Prime Minister Johnson.

Johnson is to appear before the Parliamentary Standard Committee who will decide whether or not he broke parliamentary  rules in responding to "Partygate."  Apparently he has engaged lawyers to represent him.  Not only that but the government will pay his bill  -  strange for a political party usually so anxious to see that public (ie taxpayers') money is spent necessarily and wisely.   If Jonson thinks he is fit to be our prime-minister, why can't he present his own case?  And if he can't why doesn't he pay for professional advocacy himself?  We are told that he has been paid over £1million for speeches he has made since his defenestration, so he can well afford it.

Voter ID 

 New laws  will apply in next year's council elections in May which will require electors to produce photo-ID before they are allowed to vote. This will not be a problem for most people, but there are a considerable number, particularly among the poor and the young, who don't have photo-ID.  The range of acceptable ID cards is curiously limited.  For example, my pensioner's Bus Pass is OK but a young persons Oyster Card or Travel Card or student card  isn't.  This looks like a blatant attempt to make it easy for the (Tory voting?) wealthy and elderly to vote and more difficult for the poor and young (Labour voting?).    It is a piece of voter suppression, similar to that  that  attempted by the Republicans in the US. 

Earlier this week the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords tried to put a stop to it.  The attempt failed because the Labour Party failed to support it. (I repeat, the Labour Party failed to support it.)  A contact in the Lords tells me that this is not unusual.  "Labour always expects us Liberal Democrats to support their motions, but they never support ours."

Shades of Labour's failure to support  electoral reform  during the 2010 -2015 Coalition, even though the measure was in their manifesto, and failure to support the Liberal Democrat attempt in that same Coalition to reform the House of Lords.  

To make progress Labour must grow out of this fixation  good initiatives only come from them, and learn to work with others.




  1. You talk of "ex-prime minister Boris Johnson". Looking at the newspapers over the past couple of days apparently he is still prime minister in the Daily Telegraph and Daily Express.

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  2. Let's hope they are as deluded as he is.