Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

"Country Can't Afford to Pay Firefighters". (Don't Believe It)

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

"Country Can't Afford to Pay Firefighters". (Don't Believe It)

Article excerpt

Tony Blair has waited nearly a decade to smash a trade union, and now he sees his chance. When I worked in the Treasury, the civil service head of the Home Office, who then looked after firefighters' pay, wrote a long confidential memo to the head of the Treasury. They were worried that I might be leaking information to the Fire Brigades Union about their secret plan to smash the union in the event of a strike.

I wasn't leaking anything, but I was most certainly telling the then leader of the FBU everything I knew about what they were up to, and I'm proud of that. The Home Office, meanwhile, was briefing the press that Gordon Brown was behind moves to change the firefighters' pay formula, It was so inept, it didn't even realise that it was the union which wanted to do that, not Brown.

If Blair's government was active then in trying to undermine the FBU, you can imagine what it will be up to now. …

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