Lib Dem ministerial posturing over RMT

I wonder if the current posturing from Vince Cable (again) and Ed Davey have more to do with bolstering the support for the Lib Dems amongst left wing voters than helping Londoners.

The next set piece election in the diary is London’s Mayor and Assembly elections this time next year.  The results from the AV and local elections last week show that it is the Lib Dems rather than the Conservatives who are being punished by the voters, it is entirely possible that the Lib Dems might slip further from their already low base in London.

Some of the more left wing Lib Dems in government want to make this strike about Boris by demanding he meets with the RMT, this displays an appalling lack of knowledge about leadership, management and history.

The strike has been called because of a disagreement between the RMT and their employer London Underground Ltd (LUL).  It would hugely undermine the credability and future negotiating position of the LUL management if Boris were to intervene directly, which is exactly why Bob Crow is demanding the meeting and exactly why Livingstone never did it either.  There are experienced nogotiators in both the Union and the management team at LUL and they are the ones best placed to reach an agreement.  History shows us that when politicians intervene directly in union disputes they rarely end well.

Either Vince Cable and Ed Davey haven’t thought about this at all, which would display a huge level of naivety about industrial relations (not a good trait for the Business Secretary and the Minister for Employment Relations) or they have thought about it and are doing this for political reasons.

In either case a huge question mark must hang over their continued role in government.

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