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Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Who's screwing who now?

Readers may be astonished to know that in my fiery youth I came close to being a communist.

One of my mentors was a wonderful man called Rufus Leven who had been on the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain, and I was greatly moved by "The Common People, 1746-1946", by G. D. H. Cole and Raymond Postgate**.

This book described how ordinary people in this country had been right royally, disgustingly and comprehensively screwed for centuries by the upper and mercantile classes.

What has changed? Today everyone is being screwed again, but the positions have changed. I am not referring to the obscene and murderous Bliar or the Fatuous Toad, now off to Denmark to save the world, the conceited buffoon. No: I decided this after watching the man who leads a union laughably called Unite (clearly a misspelling, as Dis is missing from the start of the word) explaining why his British Airways members are going to strike over Christmas.

The point at issue is that they refuse to agree to changes at Heathrow which they have already accepted at Gatwick.

His reason is that these changes were "imposed" upon them by management. This is just linguistic sophistry and - far worse - stupid.

What is this man doing? He is mortgaging his member's futures to make a point. It is quite similar to the situation at the Royal Mail, except that the Royal Mail is badly run by overpaid, clueless idiots, and the union leader there is fatter and uglier than the man at Unite.

But both are screwing their members and neither has to worry about his future, because their pensions are secure.

**Small world: Postgate went on to found
The Good Food Guide, which did so much to transform British cooking. I have always been proud that my parents' pub restaurant was in it from the very first edition in 1952.

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