John Redwood has a particularly good article today on the present strikes. In essence, he says this government has fudged all EU directives, telling us that either it won't have an effect or making a stand and then winning an immaterial concession. This is then hailed as a victory.
As he says :
"When people fear a law or think it is stopping them working they want their elected politicians to take that seriously and to be able to amend it. When the law comes from Brussels, the government is no position to do that. The government has honestly to tell the strikers that there is no point in them striking, because even if the government wanted to change the law in the way they would like, it cannot do so without the agreement of most other EU countries, which looks extremely unlikely on this issue."
Mandelson has been all over the TV and radio saying that the Company statement says it's all OK, but what has actually happened is that the UK contractors that tendered had workers wanting, for example, £20 per hour. The Italians will do it for eg £15. Its no use trotting out the line that there is a minimum wage and it has to be adhered to, as we are well north of that figure.
What is happening is that the Government's spin and general line about" it's fine, trust us" has finally been rumbled.
Never mind Labour's inability to do the housekeeping, they always end up with a winter of discontent. This is because , despite the rhetoric about " difficult decisions" they never take any, twisting in the wind to curry favour.
As my children will testify, I frequently say, it's no use being nice to people. The point is to tell them the truth and shame the devil. Alternatively, if you are nice to them, do it in expectation of no thanks or reciprocation.
No one may like it, but at least they know where they stand.