Saturday, June 11, 2011

Unions, Tories and The Big Society

An interesting one over on Conservative Home from Robert Halfon MP - well worth a look. Here's a few snapshots:
"...union members and representatives are more likely to be volunteers and help to build social capital. And this is not just TUC propaganda: many other academic studies reach a similar conclusion Interestingly, a recent study in Sweden also showed that “trade union members are more likely to volunteer than non-members”. This is something we need to consider, as the Big Society reforms really get moving."
"unions are often simply businesses, like any other industrial group. Tories believe in free enterprise and choice. Workers should have the liberty to organise."
For the avoidance of doubt, I've no desire to see the Unions and the Tories getting closer together in the way that Mr Halfon is hoping for here, but it's interesting that some of them are talking and thinking like this (I know, I know, the comments thread under his post suggests otherwise...).

There is another potential opportunity for the Tories to reach for here: I often suspect I'd have more agreeing conversations among Tory wonks about the evils of managerialism than I would among Labour people. This is a bad thing. And it's an area where public sector workers have a right to feel disconnected from the Labour leadership.

The bloody awful lions-led-by-overpaid-donkeys perception (!) of public sector management is a real opportunity for the Tories - one that would impress prospective Labour voters as another sign that the Tories care more than Labour do about good government (the only electoral issue that matters, most of the time).

As it happens, I'm not sure that the Tories will grab this opportunity as firmly as they could do, but... you never know....

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