Politics and Industrial Relations in the Media: A Guide for the Perplexed

What the media really means when it comments on industrial action....

Politics and Industrial Relations in the Media: A Guide for the Perplexed

The firefighters strike has provoked a rash of media and New Labour politician hysteria and venom. Terms like "modernisation," "union dinosaurs" and such like have been bandied about like people knew what they meant. Here is a modest attempt to help everyone to understand the media and New Labourite Newspeak.

"40% pay rise" -- A totally unacceptable figure, unless it's for politicians and bosses

"placing lives in danger" -- A totally unacceptable thing to do, unless politicians and bosses do it (see "modernisation").

"modernisation" -- a return to the workplace feudalism of the 19th century.

"flexibility" -- doing what your boss tells you, when they want you to do it.

"government for all the people" -- government for the capitalist class (thank god for coincidence!).

"sectional interests" -- the interests of anyone bar the capitalist class (i.e. the majority). See "undemocratic."

"high wage increases" -- selfish, unacceptable demands by those who do the actual work. By definition, bad for "the economy" (q.v.)

"high profits" -- unselfish, altruistic, acceptable demands by those who give the orders. By definition, good for "the economy" (q.v.)

"union" -- a form of free association which harms "economic liberty" (q.v.) and can result in "industrial anarchy" (q.v.). An unacceptable reminder that picking a master does not equal liberty. In extreme cases can turn into "syndicalism" (q.v.).

"union bullies" -- workers standing up for themselves and placing "economic liberty" (q.v.) in danger.

"union dinosaurs" -- workers who do not wish their rights to go the same way as the Stegosaurus and take annoyingly effective action which the government and employers cannot ignore (see "direct action").

"strike" -- an unacceptable and unpleasant reminder of "the bad old days" (q.v.) and that the "working class" (q.v.) still exists and has the power to change the world. A particularly effective form of "protest" (q.v.) and "direct action" (q.v.).

"sympathy strikes" -- unacceptably expressing selfish regard for your fellow workers.

"the bad old days"-- when working class people did not know their place and caused "industrial anarchy" (q.v.).

"protest" -- a right everyone has, but no one should exercise.

"justice" -- a clear sign that the speaker has not subjected their ideas to "modernisation" (q.v.)

"direct action" -- any form of collective resistance which unacceptably puts your betters into the unpleasant situation of having to think about what those affected by their decisions may think and want (see "working class"). By definition, "undemocratic" (q.v.).

"industrial anarchy" -- what results when people apply the extremist nonsense that workers are people and should not leave their rights, humanity and liberty at the workplace door.

"working class" -- a class which does not exist but somehow still manages to do all the work. Has been known to effectively resist the decisions of the "ruling class" (q.v.) and stop their plans for the betterment of "the economy" (q.v.).

"ruling class" -- a class which does not exist but somehow still manages to govern the world and give the orders. Has been known to be terrified of the non-existent and its power (see "working class").

"democracy" -- the embodiment of freedom, where a handful of politicians, elected by 25% of the people, do what they, the politicians, want for 4 years. Anyone objecting to this "government for all the people" (q.v.) are simply expressing "sectional interests" (q.v.) and anyone turning words into action are being "undemocratic" (q.v.).

"undemocratic" -- the embodiment of tyranny, where the people affected by a decision collectively organise themselves to influence it or, even worse, make it themselves. Any attempt by people to govern themselves rather than letting those better able to judge in the matter do so is, by definition, undemocratic. As in "undemocratic anarchy" (q.v.)

"the economy" -- our new god, for which no sacrifice made by you on our demand is unacceptable.

"economic liberty" -- do what you are told to do or be fired.

"free market" -- the natural order, as created and maintained by state action (see "laissez-faire")

"laissez-faire" -- the doctrine that state interference and intervention is only acceptable when it is in the interests of the capitalist class (see "economic liberty")

"capitalism" -- another name for "economic liberty" (q.v.). An economy where people's choices are unaffected by differences in wealth and power. The embodiment of liberty, defined as having to sell that liberty on the "free market" (q.v.) in order to survive.

"the state" -- an institution which has no place in the "free market" (q.v.) and so must be gotten off our back and onto the back of the "working class" (q.v.) (see "laissez-faire")

"wealth creation" -- the process by which the bosses get both the credit and the goods produced by the workers who sell their liberty to them.

"undemocratic anarchy" -- the activity of those extremists who believe in the nonsensical idea that those affected by a decision should make it rather than leave power in the hands of a few politicians, bureaucrats and capitalists. Inspired by "anarchism" (q.v.), these extremists use "direct action" (q.v.) and aim for "anarchy" (q.v.).

"anarchism" -- an evil doctrine which spreads the nonsense that liberty is more than picking masters and that another world is possible (also see "syndicalism").

"syndicalism" -- the industrial form of "anarchism" (q.v.). Promotes "strikes" (q.v.) and other forms of "direct action" (q.v.). This results in "industrial anarchy" (q.v.) and "high wage increases" (q.v.). Can lead to "anarchy" (q.v.)

"anarchy" -- an impossible dream which, annoyingly enough, has worked remarkably successfully when put into practice. Based on the ridiculous notion that humanity deserves a better way of living than "capitalism" (q.v.) and that society should be one of free people cooperating together as equals, sharing the world to directly meet their needs and desires.

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