Sunday, October 25, 2009

Johnson Loves Monks

Unlike some, I am not a regular reader of The Guardian - or The Graun to comrade Denham - but the other arf purchased a copy yesterday, so I dutifully did the puzzles, read a bit of news and browsed the magazine.

Along with some strange household tips, and a mildly disturbing guide to whether you should consider moving to Dalston, there lies a Q&A with Home Secretary Alan Johnson, in which he reveals that the living person he most admires is John Monks. For those of you who can't remember, or never noticed, John Monks used to be General Secretary of the TUC. Alan admires him for being "an ego-free visionary who is kind and self-deprecating".

Never having met Monks, I can not comment on his personality, and he may well deserve Johnson's praise for his kindness and lack of ego, for all I know. But if he was a "visionary", then his vision was that of a trade union movement subservient to the employers and the government, content to plead deferentially for a few crumbs in return for exploitation and anti-union laws, and all in the name of "partnership". So he deprecated not just himself but the workers' movement, and while the former may be admirable the latter certainly is not. But it does, I guess, explain why postie-turned-bureaucrat-turned-Cabinet-minister Johnson likes him so much.

Mind you, Johnson's Most Embarrassing Moment was "Wetting myself in class", rather than "Selling out my former workmates", so I guess that tells us where his conscience does not reside.

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