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'Unite scored an own goal with the tanker strike – but so has Cameron' - Ryan Bourne (City AM)

    Ryan Bourne writes for City AM on how the Conservatives and Unte have both made a blunder in their handling of a possible fuel strike.

    "LEN McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite trade union, positions himself as an arch-enemy of the government. Of the Bob Crow school of diplomacy, McCluskey remains convinced civil disobedience is necessary to halt the coalition’s deficit reduction programme. And he seems hell-bent on ruining the Olympic Games with mass industrial action.

    Now might seem a perfect time for his union to flex its muscles by calling a tanker driver strike. The Conservative half of the coalition is in free-fall in the polls, with Labour having opened up a 10-point lead. An unpopular budget and the Cam Dine With Me scandal have brought into question the government’s competence. With petrol prices having been most voters’ number one concern for some time, and the chancellor deciding not to cancel the 3p fuel rise in last week’s Budget, David Cameron must be worried about the prospect of angry motorists queuing outside petrol forecourts.

    But McCluskey is wrong to have grabbed the low-hanging fruit. Bob Crow’s RMT has shown that while action affecting transport is popular with your members, it is reviled by the public. In tough times, motorists are even less likely to be sympathetic about being inconvenienced than the long-suffering London commuter."

    Click here to read the full article.

    Date added: Thursday 29th March 2012