David Cameron, and the Tory party in general, often mention that they are opposed to striking (ie workers withdrawing their labour for a set time) on a fundamental level.
However, I’d argue that highly-paid and wealthy people hold the country to ransom not just a few days a year, but every single minute of every single day.
Take a look at this report from September, in which economists argue that rich people will move abroad rather than pay a few pence more tax in the pound. Last week the CEBR reported that the 50p tax rate is being avoided to the tune of £1bn in lost tax revenue.
This ultimate withdrawal of labour (ie leaving the country and refusing to pay tax altogether) is far more damaging, and far more immoral, than a 24-hour strike in a desperate attempt to save pensions – pensions that people have counted on, some having planned their retirements for decades based on calculations that are about to be flushed down the toilet.
On a related note, we are told that high remuneration at taxpayer-owned banks such as HBOS and RBS is necessary to “keep talent” in those businesses. If workers at those banks refuse to accept relatively modest pay in return for the taxpayer bailing out their otherwise-doomed institutions, then in doing so they are holding the nation to ransom by being unimaginably greedy and selfish. Just taking the case of RBS in point, workers there were paid £950m of bonuses, despite the bank making losses of £1.1bn.
It is the rich holding Britain to ransom, not low-paid public sector workers struggling to make ends meet, who have already endured a 4-year pay freeze, and are now being told to pay larger contributions for less valuable pensions.