Tories revert to union bashing


David Cameron used all his questions in PMQs today on the BA-Unite dispute. He wanted Brown to join him in calling on all British Airways workers to cross the picket lines and undermine the strike.

Tory blogger Iain Dale was unsurprisingly impressed by Cameron’s performance. He, along with the right-wing press, clearly enjoys attacking Labour’s links with trade unions.

Dale has a moronic post complaining about “Derek Simpson’s global ambitions“. Dale thought that the US Teamsters union wouldn’t want to support the striking BA workers, but a Teamsters’ statement expressed solidarity with “our brothers and sisters at Unite”.

He also thinks its “bonkers” for trade union leaders to want to integrate workers’ organisations across the world. Well, it’s the logic of globalisation and it makes perfect sense to me.  

The Tories truly are reverting to crass union bashing. Once upon a time, when Dave was trying to reinvent the Tories as a nice rather than nasty party, he made friendly gestures towards trade unions. That strategy has clearly been abandoned.

Whilst people like Iain Dale will get predictably excited by Cameron’s support for strike-breakers and the ‘reds under the bed’ gibberish written about the unions in papers like the Sun, I wonder how this will play out with ‘ordinary voters’.

I accept that Labour’s links with the unions were once seen as damaging. But I haven’t seen any recent polling that measures public attitudes towards trade unions. If anyone has got any please send it my way.


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