Friday, 6 March 2009

Union dues

Yesterday sees me attending a forum of representatives from BUBB (me), the umbrella makers union UBUM (Union of British Umbrella Manufacturers) and the government's umbrella office, to discuss, you've guessed it, the recession. Like anyone whose career has been enhanced in the slipstream of New Labour, I pretend to respect the proud tradition of unionism while secretly wishing they would all just shut up and stop interfering.

And I am not worried if any union leaders, including UBUM's tubthumping general secretary Doug Lettuce, might read this because as we all know they can't read. Only joking Doug - the fact is that the union leaders privately share my view as they are only paying lip service to worker's rights, using their position to join the queue at the trough themselves.

Those who can remember the dark days of the 70s during the great umbrella strike will know the damage that rhetorical nostalgic Tolpuddle Martyr left wing posturing can achieve. Do we really want to again see TV images of people walking around in the rain using newspapers to protect their finely permed 70s barnets just because some lazy spoke engineers want a pay rise and better conditions?

There was a time when these talking shops would be tuck shops as well with overweight union officials hoovering up pickled eggs, pork pies and soggy quiche. But not these days. It's all vol au vents, satay chicken and sun blushed waddymacallits. Ponsy food for ponsy people. I love every crumb.

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