David Blackburn

Brown dithers over BA

Brown dithers over BA
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At last, Gordon Brown has been forced from the comfort of silence on the Unite/BA strike. Yesterday, Lord Adonis said that he "absolutely deplored the strike” because the “stakes were too high”. Brown has done nothing more than echo those sentiments, but that is at least a step in the right direction.

Obviously, the strike poses an enormous problem for the government. Betting men would get decent odds on BA collapsing, but it is a failing business that needs to change. Labour is a near insolvent party that needs Unite, and not just for its funds but for Charlie Whelan’s tireless work in support if the PM in an election year. So I doubt Labour will take any meaningful action. Earnestly deploring a strike is quite different from dispatching a semi house-trained polecat against the pickets to save a business and its workers’ livelihoods.

PS: The Tories will be pleased: their secret weapon, the Right Hon Gordon Brown MP, has told Woman’s Hour that he “will go on” as party leader, even if Labour does not secure a majority. How long before Charles Clarke suggests that the contrary is true?