I’d firstly like to thank Mr Reed (Letters, May 29) for his humorous ironies and one-eyed blinkeredness. This at least provided amusing reading.
Clearly Mr Reed wouldn’t know a “hard line left wing socialist” if they hit him with a big red flag. Certainly Jo Rust doesn’t match that description at all. Is Mr Reed’s memory so short that he has forgotten the union leaders of the 70s and 80s?
I don’t think Network Rail employees earning £110k will need to strike. After all, the tax policies of the last five years have given higher rate taxpayers several income boosts. Whether the strike is justified is another issue.
Most workers have seen a reduction in salary for many years, in real terms. Certainly public sector workers are, as usual, the “whipping boys or girls” for all governments, when seeking to control inflation by restraining wage rises.
The rapid net influx of cheap EU labour is also helping to do this job for the Government. I suspect this is why business leaders and, in this area, the farming community, are not truly vexed about the situation.
The Tories are also being disingenuous. To sway potential supporters voting UKIP, they said they would restrict net immigration to 100,000 last year. In fact it was over 300,000. The majority were from EU member states, over which the Government knows it has no control. This was just empty rhetoric to gain headlines in right wing biased media and sway votes. It seems to have worked.
Mr Reed seems incapable of seeing “the wider picture”. I had to laugh.
His letter parrots the media headlines which he buys into. I had to laugh that he fails to see the irony in accusing that “pleasant lady”, Jo Rust, of tunnel vision.
The letter also seems to selectively ignore historical fact.
The national debt was not entirely caused by the Brown government. It was caused by financial institutions in the Western World. Globally they indirectly played roulette with the world’s economy. Trading in financial instruments linked to toxic debt as a quick fix profit maker.
No country operates in a financial bubble. Most companies are global players. Their trading activities have global impacts, positive and negative.
No matter what flavoured government was in power in 2007/8, huge debts would be incurred. To prevent a catastrophic banking collapse, such as the US in the 1920s and Germany in the 1930s, the Government had to step in and shore up the big banks. Mr Reed may have been a beneficiary of this via Lloyds and RBS.
The last figure I saw a few years ago showed the cost to the UK’s finances to be £458bn. Others had estimated it to be over a trillion pounds. Iraq was a mistake. We were sold a dud or lied to by the Republican Bush administration. The Conservatives, including Cameron, voted for it. Only six opposed it. A quarter of the Labour party voted against. The NHS is troubled. The main issue isn’t GP contracts. If contracts are too generous, why are surgeries finding it almost impossible to recruit GPs? Recruiting a newly-qualified British trained GP is very unusual. How will they recruit GPs, if new contracts require them to work in the evenings and weekends?
Finally, Mr Reed, through his hazy blinker, suggests that politicians should first have experience of “the real world”.
In that case perhaps he should have studied Jo Rust’s CV more closely. Rather than perhaps the Eton and Cambridge educated barrister, Henry Bellingham. Nice man, though he undoubtedly is.