Stink Bombs Start To Smell ?

Well, what with all the new politics about the place – and as I write this, the first sitting of the new house is ruining my staged withdrawal from 24 hour rolling news and Twitter – something new for this blog. Some news.

Well I say news, it’s more prurient gossip and ill informed opinion, but if you’ve been following the press recently, it’s entirely possible that you can no longer tell the difference.

There has been much talk of “scorched earth” and “stink bombs” as the new coalition move their troops into Whitehall and get their sticky hands on the well worn levers of power. Behind the scenes the fuses are fizzing on goodness knows how many more.

BCU’s source in the FE sector points one of these up. The sector has suffered something of a double blow recently, funding is being cut sharply in many places as a result of Labour’s spending cuts. Some FE colleges were also stung by the massively over budget LSC capital binge which left colleges – with contracts signed for expensive new build and no further access to government funding – reaching for private loans to cover the shortfall and to make up any budget overruns.

Across the North East, colleges are cutting back hard, and many are heading for rounds of redundancies. So many redundancies, in fact, that at a recent regional meeting of one FE union concern was expressed that there would not be enough union reps to go around.

There is no doubt that the funding issues already mentioned are – as the saying goes – the fault of the previous administration, and indeed colleges and universities unions were striking and campaigning about this even before the election.

According to BCU’s source, at one meeting between management and unions at a North East college last week, the union reps – who had been vocal in their support for the outgoing Labour government throughout the election campaign – had to have it forcibly put to them on more than occasion that the troubles they currently face would have remained the same even had Labour remained in power.

The unions, naturally, are already keen to bang the ‘Tory cuts’ drum. And according to BCU’s source it has already begun. Despite the fact that the cuts in question are very much Labour cuts. As the fuses fizz away on all those stink bombs yet to be discovered it seems that the unions stand ready to lay the sins of the old administration very firmly at the feet of the new one.

So there you go, an actual rumour of news, and no swearies. Fuck.

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One Response

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