Divide and rule is an ugly game as old as the hills - and the latest flavour of this seems to be pitting private against public sector workers. Now just to be clear, I've never worked in the public sector - although it looks like I might be about to reverse the much touted trend of public sector jobs flowing to the private sector.
This supposedly inevitable drift to private enterprise is heralded as somehow emancipating. Because it's an ideologically driven impulse from Thatcher's heirs in the form of Lord Snooty and his chums. But it's not emancipating - and I speak from personal experience here - it sucks - statutory redundancy after 25 years and fuck-all pension to go with it. I don't feel liberated by the market I feel shafted.
But I'm not jealous of the public sector. Well actually I am - but not in the way that the Tories want me to be. I'm jealous that even the most 'lowly' of public sector workers goes home at night knowing that they have done something - however menial - that makes their community a better place. Like many others in private business, when the sun goes down on another working day I can only reflect that I have helped someone else get a bit richer than they were this morning.
And there's the simple truth - only a tiny number of capitalists (the 1% ?) truly depend on the private sector - for the rest of us it tends to be the public sector that delivers those things that make life bearable.
So when the mini general strike on November 30th comes around those like me who have never worked in the public sector should get their arses down to the picket lines to let the strikers know that there is no such thing as 'the general public' to be pitted against them - only a different kind of worker. And we're all in it together. Literally.