Trade Unions: The acceptable face of the tyranny of the minority?

It was always going to happen – ever since the Coalition government took office in 2010, the stage was set for a series of confrontations between unions and the government. Everybody expected the civil servants, the teachers and the Tube workers ‘rising up’ against this ‘ideologically driven government’, but who really would have predicted we’d see HMRC staff, driving examiners and coast guard officials take to the picket lines? Not ChairmanDavey, that’s fo’ sure. For many, the strikes are a symbol of unity against the programme set out by this government. But is this the case? The evidence seems to point to a tyranny of the minority that gives a false legitimacy to the actions of unions in the name of the ‘workers’, when in reality most of the workers haven’t gave a preference either way.

The main problem presented by the amount of strikes taken by the unions is that they simply lack legitimacy.

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NUS Rant

This is why you shouldn’t post ranty comments on the student newspaper website… they might actually print it.

Renewable Energy: If not for our trees, then for our safety.

Renewable energy seem to be on the news all the time nowadays and – whether it’s the ongoing debate surrounding climate change, NIMBYism writ large with onshore wind turbines or alongside rising energy prices – we just can’t escape. The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan laid out by Ed Miliband under the Labour Government sets out a target of 30% of energy to come from renewable sources by 2020, which seems admirable – but in reality, it doesn’t go far enough. Denmark has trumped this, and passed a law that calls for 100% of energy from renewable sources by 2050.

Before you read any further, a clarification – this is not, in any way, an argument for the need of a ‘low carbon’ economy on environmental grounds since, quite simply, the UK makes up 2% of global energy demand. Our proportion will only decrease as India, China, Pakistan, the whole of Africa and Latin America continue on their march towards modernity and, like we did in the 19th/20th century (and mainly continue to do), emphasise growth over the environment. We simply don’t matter in any conversation about emissions, especially when the US refuses to take basic action including signing the Kyoto Protocol or stalling the Copenhagen climate change conference in 2009.

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Tina Fey: Bossypants

I’ve always been a fan of Tina Fey – I think 30 Rock should be compulsory in all schools and Mean Girls is a life lesson that every teenage girl (and most teenage boys) should learn. It was with great joy I ordered Tina’s book ‘Bossypants’.

The book didn’t disappoint.

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Phone Sex: The future of the British economy?

Phone sex has always been a bit of a taboo in the UK. Perhaps it’s the British stiff upper lip that stops us talking about our stiff lower portions, or the fact that ‘dirty calls’ gives connotations of helpless office workers answering the phone to heavy breathing and a low voice asking “oi, what yer wearin’?” Channel 4’s excellent new lite-documentary ‘My Phone Sex Secrets‘ aims to bust open this stereotype and follows women who are embracing the industry and a couple who have set up their own phone sex business, employing tens of people. The show was excellent, light hearted and I can’t recommend it enough. Once again, Channel 4 provides top notch TV about sex, funny without childish and presenting a frank look at the highs and lows of being a phone sex worker.

This documentary got ChairmanDavey thinking – is phone sex the future for the UK economy? After much thought, I really couldn’t find a significant downside to the promotion of the industry. Now, I’m not suggesting that adverts for ‘FoneSex+’ be shown during Loose Women (although it would fit very well with the title), but there is certainly scope for it to be picked up by a variety of people in a variety of different situations. The main reasons are outlined below.

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Mission Statement – The start of the start

I’ve been told a blank page is one of the most difficult hurdles for a blogger to jump. I still believe that actual hurdles would be more difficult, since I imagine most bloggers spend their days staring at the screen of their computer and wheezing from the effort of going to the toilet. I also still believe that the best way to tackle a blank page is a short antidote about blank pages, bloggers and hurdles.

I feel that before I put anything on this blog, it’s for the best that I clarify my position. I’m a member of the Conservative Party (and have been since 2010), I’ve been involved with a number of campaigns and hold a committee position. Yes, I’m a fully fledged member – but with a few vital differences. Firstly, I’m from Liverpool. Secondly, rigorous online political ideology tests consistently put me left-of-centre. Thirdly, the amount of times I’ve been called a contrarian is staggering. The amount of times I’ve been called a liability is even more staggering, but beside the point.

This constant questioning has lead me to ask – à la Carrie in Sex and the City – Am I just a Tory because it’s an unpopular position? And if so, what is my real political outlook?

The primary aim of this blog is to flesh out my political opinions via essays or ‘witty’ takes on the day’s events. Secondary to this I want to review interesting books (on any topic, because politics isn’t totally my life), albums or whatever catches my eye. Thirdly, I’ve got a very interesting, varied summer coming up (including work experience in the UK and European Parliaments) and I think if I’m writing about my experiences will help me gain more than I otherwise would have from it. Finally, I’m hoping for a good sense of debate to eventually take hold of the site, so my views can be challenged in a constructive, evidenced manner.

When this project is over I hope to have an organised collection of thoughts that represent what I think. Without sounding like a pretentious idiot (and probably failing), this is ultimately a journey of self-discovery, a project of self-realisation. And like all good projects of self-realisation, it’s hosted by WordPress.