Catch21 - Our Charity ArmCatch21 is a charitable production company set up in 2005 which trains young people to make videos and engage with their communities.Catch Creative - Our Video Production ArmCatch Creative offers a complete video production service, from Conception to Distribution.Catch EngagementCatch Engagement is the new video interaction platform from Catch21 which allows you to run a campaign using both user generated films as well as professionally shot ones which are displayed via Video 'Walls'. Catch Engagement is all about using films to build an online community - welcome to the future of video.

We shoot cutting edge videos and provide a forum to give people a voice.
Engagement. Discussion. Empowerment.


All content featured on our charity site is produced by young volunteers with the support and mentoring of our professional production team.

Blog no image

Published on November 29th, 2011 | by Lorna Gledhill
Image © [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="226" caption="(c) Deterritorial Support Group"][/caption] With the day of national action looming, government ministers and officials are scrabbling around in an attempt to derail the imminent strikes. Michael Gove, Francis Maude, Andrew Lansley and the Prime Minister himself have all spoken out against the “irresponsible”, “militant” and “wrong” decision made by unions across the country to conduct a nationwide strike on the 30th November in protest inspired by the proposed changes to pensions in the public sector. However, according to many supporters, it has become a “national day of rebuke.” Michael Gove made the following hyperbolic comment at a conference with the think-tank Policy Exchange:

“On Wednesday TUC leaders will call on their members to bring Britain to a halt. They want families to be inconvenienced. They want mothers to give up a day’s work, or to pay for expensive childcare, because schools will be closed. They want teachers and other public sector workers to lose a day’s pay in the run-up to Christmas. They want scenes of industrial strife on our TV screens, they want to make economic recovery harder, they want to provide a platform for confrontation, just when we all need to pull together.”
Unfortunately for the coalition, pulling together does not have to mean embracing the government’s party line. 2.6 million workers from 30 different unions have been balloted on industrial action, with an estimated 750,000 voting in favour. Polling has shown that more than half of the country, and the vast majority of Labour supporters, back tomorrow’s day of action. Unison, a large public service union, has also claimed that their membership has soared by a further 126% in comparison to last year. This tactic of frightening people away from civil disobedience, strikes and demonstrations seems to have become the weapon of choice for the government. Considering their intimidation of young people taking to the streets of London on the 9th of November this year in a protest against the privatisation and commercialisation of the education sector, their approach to the public sector strikes is not surprising. However, scare mongering won’t, and shouldn’t, dissuade people from voicing their dissatisfaction with the current government. Strikes function as a withdrawal of labour in order to highlight the importance of, in this case, public services to the country as a whole. The disruption created by a day of strikes is minute in comparison to the widespread deconstruction of our public services by the current government. In one way, Gove is correct; we do want scenes of industrial strife covered by our media and we do want to encourage confrontation rather than blind acceptance. But can we really consider this to be the actions of “militants” and “hardliners”? David Cameron, in last weeks Prime Minister’s Questions, stated that the coalition is “behind those people who work hard and do the right thing.” It seems that, according to today’s administration, the right thing is only that which runs cohesively with the government’s own agenda. There was a sinister tone that underlined Gove’s speech. Detailing his own experiences as a young journalist striking, he told the following anecdote:
“I lost my job. So did more than 100 others. I was lucky – young, unmarried, without a mortgage. I got another job soon enough. Many others didn’t. They never worked again in the profession they loved. And the deal we were offered before the strike never improved.”

Can this really be seen as an innocuous humanising tale of personal strife from the education secretary? In the current climate of frighteningly high unemployment, job insecurity and threats to pensions, this seems more like a parable of compliance. Essentially, if you want to keep your job, don’t strike. If you value your profession, don’t strike. If you want any negotiation, don’t even mention the word strike.

Unsurprisingly, David Cameron has already decided that the strikes are futile: “I don’t think these strikes will achieve anything, I don’t think they’ll change anything, I don’t think they’ll improve anything.” The fact of the matter is that he will not allow these strikes to achieve, change or improve anything. To accept the voices of many would challenge the dominant voice of one.

Lisa Ford, an English lecturer at Tower Hamlets College and UCU member, explains that the gulf between “them and us” is widening. In the face of a “wholesale Tory attack on public services”, the government’s prioritising seems to favour big business, banks and profit over the general population. It is precisely this hypocrisy that sticks in the throat of many who support tomorrow’s strikes. Nigel Davey, another lecturer at Tower Hamlets College, states that this is part of a government policy of ‘discipline and punish’ that teaches everyone to accept their ‘place’ in society.The rhetoric of the ‘big society’ is sounding increasingly hollow when spouted by politicians; the really big society is the one that is beginning to sound its dissatisfaction. As David Cameron urges “public sector workers to put the people of Britain first and work normally”, we must not allow the government to monopolise and dictate supposed solutions. If we are to put the people of Britain first, we cannot resume business as usual. Compliance does not challenge wrongdoing; acceptance does not encourage alternatives.

1

“They want a platform for confrontation, just when we all need to pull together”: Conservatives struggle with public sector strikes.

(c) Deterritorial Support Group

With the day of national action looming, government ministers and officials are scrabbling around in an attempt to derail the imminent strikes. Michael Gove, Francis Maude, Andrew Lansley and the Prime Minister himself have all spoken out against the “irresponsible”, “militant” and “wrong” decision made by unions across the country to conduct a nationwide strike on the 30th November in protest inspired by the proposed changes to pensions in the public sector. However, according to many supporters, it has become a “national day of rebuke.”

Michael Gove made the following hyperbolic comment at a conference with the think-tank Policy Exchange:

“On Wednesday TUC leaders will call on their members to bring Britain to a halt. They want families to be inconvenienced. They want mothers to give up a day’s work, or to pay for expensive childcare, because schools will be closed. They want teachers and other public sector workers to lose a day’s pay in the run-up to Christmas. They want scenes of industrial strife on our TV screens, they want to make economic recovery harder, they want to provide a platform for confrontation, just when we all need to pull together.”

Unfortunately for the coalition, pulling together does not have to mean embracing the government’s party line. 2.6 million workers from 30 different unions have been balloted on industrial action, with an estimated 750,000 voting in favour. Polling has shown that more than half of the country, and the vast majority of Labour supporters, back tomorrow’s day of action. Unison, a large public service union, has also claimed that their membership has soared by a further 126% in comparison to last year.

This tactic of frightening people away from civil disobedience, strikes and demonstrations seems to have become the weapon of choice for the government. Considering their intimidation of young people taking to the streets of London on the 9th of November this year in a protest against the privatisation and commercialisation of the education sector, their approach to the public sector strikes is not surprising. However, scare mongering won’t, and shouldn’t, dissuade people from voicing their dissatisfaction with the current government. Strikes function as a withdrawal of labour in order to highlight the importance of, in this case, public services to the country as a whole. The disruption created by a day of strikes is minute in comparison to the widespread deconstruction of our public services by the current government.

In one way, Gove is correct; we do want scenes of industrial strife covered by our media and we do want to encourage confrontation rather than blind acceptance. But can we really consider this to be the actions of “militants” and “hardliners”? David Cameron, in last weeks Prime Minister’s Questions, stated that the coalition is “behind those people who work hard and do the right thing.” It seems that, according to today’s administration, the right thing is only that which runs cohesively with the government’s own agenda.

There was a sinister tone that underlined Gove’s speech. Detailing his own experiences as a young journalist striking, he told the following anecdote:

“I lost my job. So did more than 100 others. I was lucky – young, unmarried, without a mortgage. I got another job soon enough. Many others didn’t. They never worked again in the profession they loved. And the deal we were offered before the strike never improved.”

Can this really be seen as an innocuous humanising tale of personal strife from the education secretary? In the current climate of frighteningly high unemployment, job insecurity and threats to pensions, this seems more like a parable of compliance. Essentially, if you want to keep your job, don’t strike. If you value your profession, don’t strike. If you want any negotiation, don’t even mention the word strike.

Unsurprisingly, David Cameron has already decided that the strikes are futile: “I don’t think these strikes will achieve anything, I don’t think they’ll change anything, I don’t think they’ll improve anything.” The fact of the matter is that he will not allow these strikes to achieve, change or improve anything. To accept the voices of many would challenge the dominant voice of one.

Lisa Ford, an English lecturer at Tower Hamlets College and UCU member, explains that the gulf between “them and us” is widening. In the face of a “wholesale Tory attack on public services”, the government’s prioritising seems to favour big business, banks and profit over the general population. It is precisely this hypocrisy that sticks in the throat of many who support tomorrow’s strikes. Nigel Davey, another lecturer at Tower Hamlets College, states that this is part of a government policy of ‘discipline and punish’ that teaches everyone to accept their ‘place’ in society.The rhetoric of the ‘big society’ is sounding increasingly hollow when spouted by politicians; the really big society is the one that is beginning to sound its dissatisfaction.

As David Cameron urges “public sector workers to put the people of Britain first and work normally”, we must not allow the government to monopolise and dictate supposed solutions. If we are to put the people of Britain first, we cannot resume business as usual. Compliance does not challenge wrongdoing; acceptance does not encourage alternatives.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author



  • Lorna

    Today's autumn summary has shown that the Office for Budget Responsibility has estimated that public sector job losses will hit 710,000. Striking is not an option, but a necessity.

Back to Top ↑