No fighting on the streets just yet

Our over-excitable media are again whipping up concern about a wave of public sector union militancy in the wake of planned cuts. Back in March there was concern about a “
spring of discontent
” – which didn’t happen – and now it is a possible autumn or winter of strikes. With the TUC’s annual conference upon us, all the old stories about the seventies are gleefully dragged out to scare the children: three day weeks, “Fester Square” in London’s West End, and unburied dead in Liverpool.

Len Shackleton is an Editorial and Research Fellow at the IEA and Professor of Economics at the University of Buckingham. He was previously Dean of the Royal Docks Business School at the University of East London and prior to that was Dean of the Westminster Business School. He has also taught at Queen Mary, University of London and worked as an economist in the Civil Service. His research interests are primarily in the economics of labour markets. He has worked with many think tanks, most closely with the Institute of Economic Affairs, where he is an Economics Fellow. He edits the journal Economic Affairs, which is co-published by the IEA and the University of Buckingham.