Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The Joys of Writing to your local MP

Chi Onwurah MP: 'I don't want to hear of this class-war nonsense'

Among trade unionists in the building trade it was recently suggested that people should ask their local MPs for help and support over the current problems in the construction industry. Reports suggest that a few people did this without too much success. Below, a union activist, Ray Smith, writes of the experience of one such optimist who tried to contact his own MP, Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central. Ms Onwurah is a graduate of Manchester Business School and she clearly knows her stuff about the trials and tribulations of businessmen trying to make ends meet in the current difficult economic climate. She seemingly can do little wrong in the eyes of what passes for the chattering left-wing political classes of England these days:
'I received an email tonight from someone who had contacted his MP Chi Onwurah, the MP for Newcastle Central. He recived a reply a from a Tony Bone, her PA I believe. Like all the others he, apart from various blandishments, never received any support at all from the MP. I give my reply to this spark who contacted me: I met both of these two (Chi Onwurah and Tony Bone) at the Monument last week at the anti-capitalist demonstration by the tent people. I asked Tony Bone why he hadn't passed on my messages to Chi Onwurah. He said she had a lot of work on and he didn't think she could spare the time to investigate everything that went on. When he was saying this she was standing next to us and I would guess overheard everything that was being said. She said nothing. So I asked her what her opinion was and she replied that if employers couldn't make a profit they wouldn't employ people. Basically what I inferred from what she said was that you should feel lucky to have a job – plenty don't. As we all know this argument about loads on the dole is one weapon employers use to drive down wages, terms and conditions. We had a bit of a discussion and she went off saying she didn't want to hear any more class war nonsense. Then Tony Bone told me that she, that is Chi Onwurah, was liaising closely with Unite and the regional TUC about this dispute. I did ask but he declined to tell me what was being liaised.

'Then Chi Onwura came back and so I invited her to the demonstration in Ashington. "What for?", she said, and anyhow she had to be in parliament doing important work. So make of this little exchange as you will but I concluded that the local MPs, Unite and the Northern TUC have decided to cast us adrift. I think we are just too much of an embarrassment to the Labour Party and the unions. WE bankroll the Labour Party and people like Miliband are scared stiff of being accused of being in the pay of the unions. Not like the Tories and big business.

'Just go away and do as you are told', I seem to hear the unions and Labour say. But when you think about it we are told to warmly embrace the free market economy we live in. One consequence of this free market economy is that WE (not the bosses or the financiers) have to pay for everything and if you don't get what you pay for then demand your money back or get what you pay for. Yet when we start to demand value for money - nothing.

'Has anybody else any stories to tell of any encounters with MPs or the TUC?'

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