A senior Conservative has talked of his “despair” that the party is negative about Trade Unions, according to the Huffington Post. Guy Opperman, the MP for Hexham in Northumberland, told a conference of left-leaning Conservatives that “unions are not terrible” and are instead “the ultimate Big Society”.
His comments are a reference to David Cameron’s “Big Society” theme launched before the last election, which involves slimming down the state by asking voluntary groups to do more. At the time, he claimed he wanted a small government and a big society.
Mr Opperman is famous for taking stances on a number of issues that are at odds with many others in his party, including supporting the ‘living wage’. He was also a fierce opponent of regional pay, a policy that would cut salaries for local government fat cats, and has also written extensively on penal reform, saying that prisons are “not a long term solution” to rising crime.
Opperman’s views on Trade Unions were expressed at a meeting of the Bright Blue think tank. As reported on Breitbart London in April the group launched a “Modernisers Manifesto” with ideas on how to push the Conservative Party further to the left. At the launch meeting, one speaker called for an end to all immigration controls and the legalisation of heroin.
At their latest meeting, Mr Opperman said: “I despair when people say unions are terrible, they are not terrible, they are the ultimate Big Society.”
His comments come just days before up to one million public sector Trade Unionists strike. The Unison union boss Dave Prentice has suggested it might be the largest walk-out since the General Strike of 1926.