By Ray Fleming

DAVID Cameron should be careful the next time he picks up a damp squib on bonfire night -- it may explode in his face. Wednesday's national strike may be described in many ways but “damp squib” which Mr Cameron used at Prime Minister's Questions is not one of them. “One third of schools are open” he shouted, but seemed not to realise that also meant two-thirds were closed. To be fair to the prime minister it should be recognised that he is under considerable pressure in several directions but that is no reason to resort to cheap insults, for instance saying that Ed Miliband is “worse than Neil Kinnock”. Nor does it make much sense to accuse Mr Miliband of being “left-wing” -- isn't that what the Labour Party is supposed to be?

A considered judgement on the overall effectiveness of yesterday's TUC-coordinated national strike must await accurate figures on participation. If they are anywhere near the predicted two million the unions will be entitled to claim it has made its point of protest against the government's proposed changes to public service pensions.

At the same time the government will have to think carefully whether it should continue its anti-public service and anti-union stance which was again on display in some of George Osborne's measures on Tuesday and in the reactions of several ministers yesterday.


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