The BBC have just had Peter Mandelson on the Breakfast programme to talk about the strikes and the British government's plan is now clear.
Gordon Brown has already talked about how the strikers are irresponsible and said that they should go back to work and then talked about stuff that was of no relevance to the strikers' complaints. Now Mandelson has done the same.
They've both been talking about the "benefits" of the EU laws that are responsible for the strikers' complaints, the "benefits" being that we can go elsewhere on the continent to work. They've both said that the claims that UK workers are being banned from jobs are false - of course they are, that's not one of the complaints of the strikers. They've also said that claims that Italian workers brought in to work on the Lindsey refinery are working for less than minimum wage is false but it's not the the wage they're being paid that's the problem, it's the fact that they're here at all while local workers are being made redundant.
Alan Johnson, the English Health Secretary, went off message yesterday and suggested that ECJ rulings on EU employment law have been unhelpful. This prompted a spokesman for the British government to say that they might legally challenge the rulings, a futile activity that would waste millions of pounds of taxpayers money and take years if it ever happened which, of course, it won't.
The British government have called in ACAS to mediate which is another expensive and futile activity - membership of the EU is the cause of the problem and ACAS neither have the power to repeal the European Communities Act or force the British government to do so. The only thing the British government can do - and they will do this in the next day or two - is abuse anti-terrorism laws to break the strikers up just like they did with the protesting lorry drivers a few years ago.
Nick Clegg has taken the opportunity to defend his beloved EU, saying that there are more people from the UK living and working in the EU than EU citizens working in the UK like this has any relevance whatsoever to the current situation. Of course there are more people from the UK living in the EU than peopel form the EU living in the UK - the EU covers most of the continent whereas the UK is a couple of islands. Clegg said "If every EU country followed suit, we would have to cope with a massive influx of British people who work overseas". If anyone can untangle that sentence to figure out what point he's trying to make (how can "we" have an influx of people leaving the country?) please let me know.
The Tories have also got in on the act although not, as you would hope from Her Majesty's Loyal (stop sniggering) Opposition, by giving the British government a kicking and proposing their own solution. No, William Hague has said that the Tories strongly support the free movement of labour within the EU which, of course, means that the Tories strongly support the UK remaining in the EU.
The only people making any sense in all this are UKIP. Farage said "'British jobs for British workers' will only happen when Britain is run by and for Britons." That's rather uncannily like what I said on Friday - "UKIP is the only major party committed to leaving the EU and running our country by ourselves, for ourselves." I wonder if Nigel reads Bloggers4UKIP ...
Monday, 2 February 2009
Posted by Stuart Parr at 07:49
The Propaganda offensive starts ...
British Jobs|Gordon Brown|Lindsey Refinery|Peter Mandelson|Strikes|