The London Fire Brigade strike at the end of 2010 was well documented in the UK receiving lots of press attention, not surprisingly from the various news networks. For those that may have missed it, ITV had an interesting interview with the Mayor of London Boris Johnson who went on record on national television stating that if they (the firefighters) strike and do not sign their new contracts then they would face the sack and that there were 5000 people out there that can take on their jobs with no problem.....I hope he was not referring to the company that looks after the London publics fire engines as we will see next....
AssetCo which are a former subsidiary of British Gas had secured a £30million contract to provide fire cover in the event of 'pandemic flu, strikes' etc and service the Brigades engines. For the full article follow the link
''The company that runs London's fleet of fire engines faces a financial crisis over unpaid taxes after the Inland Revenue applied for a winding-up petition from the court.
The Fire Brigades Union last night claimed that the problems at AssetCo Fire and Rescue could result in the 113 appliances based in 169 fire stations in the capital being sold off to raise funds. AssetCo, which has launched a drive to raise £8m to pay off its debts, has won permission to delay its court hearing until mid-April...''
Mr Johnson's comments at the beginning of November 2010 were inflammatory to say the least, implying there was no skill to the job, and service, that thousands of human beings up and down the country on the front line provide to the public and each other. A disgrace when you consider that Mr Johnson who may be on a salary around £150,000 a year (which could provide 5 professional firefighters a year) and his greatest contribution to the public is his buffoon like behaviour in charity football matches. This is also the same person that regarded his second job (something he later lambasted firefighters for doing) worth £250,000 per year for writing in a newspaper column as ''chicken feed'' (Sky News July 14th 2009) You couldn't make it up, but then we are all in this together.
|It is time the public services came together|
So now we are in a situation where the Government wishes to make cuts but 'not to front line services' yet the Police have been told to take pay cuts or face job losses, the NHS have been making huge redundancies and firefighters are being cut by underhand means through freezes on recruitment and 'natural wastage' as people retire. A documentary on 4oD last year called 'Britains Trillion Pound Horror Story' went into the size of our economic failings (the true values being somewhere upwards of 4 TRILLION pounds and counting) and why these austerity measures will not work except for to make peoples lives a misery and further drive a wedge between us as we fight amongst ourselves for the scraps off of the '1 percenters' tables. It likens the debt to a full bath with the tap running and our 'cuts' are literally an egg cup trying to bail out the flood....the Government is basically borrowing money from people that have not been born yet! (see the link below for the full documentary if you have 60 Earth minutes spare!)
All quotes were taken from Nigel Morris, The Independent March 2nd 2011
and from 4oD 'Britains Trillion Pound Horror' first aired November 2010