Planet Osborne is a frozen planet bleak beyond imagination

30 Nov

Commenting on yesterday’s Autumn statement Voice General Secretary Philip Parkin said:

"The well-below-inflation cap on public sector pay rises, following on from a two-year pay freeze and while asking public servants to pay another 3.2% in pension contributions and work longer, is inflammatory and unbelievable.

"This is a cruel slap in the face for public servants from a Chancellor living on another planet."

Planet Osborne is indeed a bleak place. If the BBC's Frozen Planet is "a world beyond imagination" then so is Planet Osborne it's beyond imagination that the Chancellor could have such contempt for the public sector and those who work in it that he would announce such measures. The lives of the 'ordinary' people doing extraordinary and essential work for the country seem beyond the imagination of a man who has lived a wealthy and privileged life and experienced little, if anything, beyond the rarefied and cocooned corridors of power, and doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word fairness.

Without our public services, this country would collapse children and students would not be educated, early years children would not be cared for while their parents go out to work, vital research would not take place, rubbish would fill the streets, the roads would decay, fires would burn, the sick would not be treated To provide those services, you need people, and people need pay, and decent pay that recognises their qualifications, training and the difficulty and challenges of the work that they do.

Sheltered in the Palace of Westminster from the icy blasts of the world around him, the Chancellor has set out a stark and bleak vision for those people.

In the future on Planet Osborne, those who provide our public services face ongoing cuts in their standards of living as below-inflation caps on pay rises follow a two-year pay freeze. Like the penguins, huddled against the cold, watching the sun disappearing below the horizon as the seemingly-endless darkness of a long winter approaches, public and private sector employees face the prospect of their distant retirement becoming even more distant, while the luck few 'top executives' continue to enjoy comfortable pay rises and the bankers who nearly ruined the country continue to line their nests without repaying the country what they owe it.

As for young people, just starting out, many burdened with student debt, what a future they face with fewer jobs available as the older generation retire later, less job security , a country where progress has gone into reverse, a country run by lobby-fodder MPs who promise the electorate one thing but do another in order to gain or retain power (remember no rises to tuition fees and VAT), rather than represent the interests of their constituents, regional pay rates that would harmful and divisive and discourage movement to more deprived or isolated areas of the country.

In a time of economic crisis, shouldn't we get our priorities right? Rather than reducing employee rights back into the Victorian era, shouldn't we be emulating the success of the successful and highly regulated Germany?

Rather than spending billions fighting proxy wars on behalf of oversees regimes, wouldn't it be better to invest in our public services and make them the envy of the world? Shouldn't we be the world's educator rather than the world's policeman?

Do let us know your thoughts

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One Response to “Planet Osborne is a frozen planet bleak beyond imagination”

  1. Joyce Watts 01. Dec, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    This response to the chancellor’s speech says exactly what we are all voicing. I predicted, when talking with friends and family a long time ago, that we were heading
    for an uprising. The British people are renowned for taking so much, patiently and then the patience runs out. Those who are running the country have never known
    what it is like to go hungry, be cold, or to live in fear of not being able to pay the bills or to carry on.

    We had the Labour party under Blair who put all his cronies in top jobs and lined their pockets and bankrupted the country. Now we have this lot still giving money away, not re-couping from those who should be first in line to redress their greed . The wealthy are still grabbing the lion’s share, ministers are still getting expenses which were supposed to have been curtailed an so on.

    The enormous amount being paid as bonuses to those already on enormouse salaries, is a disgrace.

    We are told that we need to pay or they will go elsewhere. Let them go. I’m sure we still have the right people, just give them a chance. Re advertise the posts at lower salaries, make then really earn what they are being paid. Did you know that smaller organisations do this? It’s called re-organisation, which means ‘take it or leave it’.

    Wake up Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne – we, the public, are not idiots, you and your colleagues do not have a clue.

    I had hoped this government would be different when I cast my vote. I wonder if you know what a dangerous game you are playing.

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