In my exclusively private sector world of late, friends have lost their jobs or their businesses; some at a time of life when it will be hard to recover. Companies I have worked with (and for) have gone broke. My own firm has made redundancies. Only one of the students who graduated with my daughter last year has found a paying private sector job. The private sector bore not merely the brunt, but the entire effect of the downturn. Just as (with the transfer of almost a million jobs to the pubic sector under Labour) it took the biggest hit in the upturn - paying ever higher taxes to fund public sector jobs (or pay increases) for Labour's captive voters. People who should not, in a just society, even be allowed to vote - given the obvious conflict of interest they have with the taxpayers.
Meanwhile, what has the public sector borne? Nothing. No cuts. No redundancies. Nada. When I visit England, the tills in the shops in my Northern home town are ringing with sales to a largely public sector workforce unaffected by the crisis. When I visit London, the only English accents I hear in the hotel bars are of public sector employees with suddenly enhanced purchasing power. So when Brendan Barber, Grand Panjandrum of the Trades Union Congress, threatens political strikes against a future Tory government;
I can only utter a hollow laugh.
Labour has inflicted a new aristocracy on our country. A diminishing number of workers in the productive economy now work for half their year to support a whole class of parasites, many almost entirely idle and almost all (apart from the frontline workers Labour likes to focus on) entirely unproductive. They enjoy a higher standard of living, greater job security, more perks, less stressful working lives and pension entitlements beyond the dreams of the private sector workers whose children will be taxed to pay them. The forced labour of the oppressed minority in the private sector (working until the middle of each year to support these aristos) goes far beyond any of the impositions that triggered the French Revolution. Yet now these "New Toffs" threaten to slash and burn what remains of the frail economy if anyone dares challenge their privileges!
It makes one think of cuts that's for certain: the sort a guillotine in Parliament Square might inflict.