David Blackburn

BBC Tory conference strike suspended

BBC Tory conference strike suspended
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The warnings from Auntie’s leading hacks have been heeded – the strike has been cancelled. There is no done deal and the government is still in the union’s crosshairs: the strike has been delayed to the 19th and 20th October, the day of the comprehensive spending review, pending further consultation.

All this raises a few points. First, Ed Miliband scores by having urged the NUJ to drop its plans in favour of impartiality – very New Politics, now matter how opportunistic the initial impulse to further debase the moniker ‘Red Ed’.

The BBC has, for the moment, denied its detractors a major publicity coup, not that I think that Jeremy Hunt and the Tories would be crass enough to claim that a strike was evidence of biased journalism.

Perversely, this is also something of a victory for the public sector unions. The strike was called off because the BBC's directors offered an improved pension offer. The taxpayer will make a major contribution to that if it is approved. What price Mark Serwotka taking heart from this when confronting Francis Maude in the coming months?