There should be no difficulty in condemning baying mobs who descend on the homes of people with the purpose of intimidating their families and neighbours. Naturally it is easy to condemn them when the victims are those whose views we agree with. Decent minded people should also condemn such tactics even when used against those who hold opinions we happen to disagree with.
So it was wrong for Fathers for Justice to target Harriet Harman’s home. It was wrong for UK Uncut to target Nick Clegg’s home. It was wrong for the Miners Support Group to target Lord Heseltine’s home. It was wrong for Greenpeace to target Lord Prescott’s home. Whatever disagreements I might have with Miss Harman, or Mr Clegg, or Lord Heseltine, or Lord Prescott, I have no difficulty in saying it was wrong for their homes to be invaded. I don’t need to add a “but.”
This week the Daily Mail has been exposing the tactics used by Unite, the Union, to bully the families of Ineos managers in Grangemouth. Mark Wallace has already detailed the vile tactics used and made the important point that these were not the unauthorised activities of rogue individuals but part of the union’s approved “Leverage Squad”. However, the rebuke from the Labour Party has been delayed, evasive, weak and followed by weasly caveats. They would not even remove Stevie Deans as Chairman of the Falkirk Labour Party.
No democratic political party should allow in its ranks those who favour such methods, regardless of the type of dispute involved.
The difficulty for the Labour Party in giving a clear response shows just how anxious they are to have anti-business credentials. Usually, Tony Blair’s leadership, and the advent of New Labour, is thought of as the time that Labour sought to shed its image of hostility to enterprise. However, Dan Hodges reminds us that this began earlier. Both Neil Kinnock and John Smith made efforts with the Prawn Cocktail Offensive. That is the extent to which Ed Miliband has regressed.
Having a nation that is open for business is not just about reducing red tape, maintaining free trade, offering low tax rates, creating a skilled workforce and good transport links – although these are very important. It is also important for those who set up in business, not to find their children scared by rowdy yobs outside the family home.
How welcome would entrepreneurs feel in this country if the governing party was dependent on funding from Unite?