Defeat from the jaws of victory…?
Earlier, it seemed like the government had been successful in tactically outclassing the trade unions in the pensions dispute. However, up-stepped Eric Pickles to slam a 30-yard top-corner screamer into his own net.
Pickles, probably a little tipsy from the office party, promptly issued a letter to the trade unions adding new conditions to a deal which the ink was barely dry on. In public, the government has been exposed acting in bad faith. Subsequently, the letter has been withdrawn but the damage could well be done.
The significance of this the potential effect on public opinion. It is obviously bad form to make an agreement then wealch out on it hours later. Now great play needs to be made of the way the way the trade unions were bullied into signing the. ‘Heads of Agreement’.
It is also time to think about the shape of the rejection campaign. The sole focus should be on the lack of any progress on the contributions issue. Public sector workers should be asked if they really think they can afford this totally unreasonable tax hike.
This is a bad deal for those affected and that’s all that matters, the why’s and wherefores of its agreement by union negotiators are a complete irrelevance. It should be rejected and Eric Pickles is, paradoxically, the man most responsible for making that possible.