The firefighters partly engineered their own downfall

firedemoThe decision is made, upheld in law in the courts.  The firefighters have to accept that modernisation of the fire service is going to happen, and according to respected LSE Professor Tony Travers, cuts will continue for the next decade, whoever is Mayor.

Sadly though, the firefighters and the FBU were partly architects of their own defeat.  A spin campaign this morning, feebly attempting to prove the public is behind them is too little too late.  The latest Ipso Mori poll proves that voters rate policies of Boris Johnson highest of all, and that includes fire cuts.  If the public really disapproved of fire cuts,  Boris polling would be rock bottom.

The FBU is stuck in the 19th century, they have no idea how important proper communication is to win public opinion.  I tried to  explain to the FBU on twitter, to be met by utter incredulity.  They don’t understand that abuse is damaging.  To them! They never made a convincing case, relying on foul mouthed abuse, screaming and shouting and attempts at mob rule.  Maybe there isn’t one.

Demos are draconian and useless.  Public support is won these days through the press, blogging and the social media like twitter.  Most of all,  it is won through the rightness of a cause.

Vicious smear campaigns and nasty remarks just put the public off.  They don’t work unless there is truth in at the heart of it. We have seen that in the three smear campaigns Alastair Campbell launched to try to destroy Boris Johnson.

Voters aren’t fools.  We owe trillions.  They know cuts are necessary, they themselves are suffering. Millions don’t have pensions, so from where they are sitting,  the fire fighters have a good deal.  One thing was a dead giveaway.  If the FBU is concerned about public safety, they wouldn’t call dangerous fire strikes, at the most dangerous time of year.  Fire Chief Ron Dobson thinks these strikes should be illegal. He has been consulted on and backs, all the cuts.

But I think what swung it for Boris was that the fire fighters made the worst mistake of all.  The economic irresponsibility of the Brown government pushed us into a perilous position.  They needn’t be where they are now.  They shouldn’t have voted Labour.

6 responses to “The firefighters partly engineered their own downfall

  1. Fire fighters are essential to London, and because they have a strong work ethic and a proud heritage of not shouting about the traumatic things they deal with every day they were not equipped to get the publicity they needed. Their strikes were ineffectual because they still went to call outs where life was endangered, so there were no stories in the media to highlight what would happen if they didn’t turn up. Do not imagine for one moment that the public are not supportive of fire fighters. The public have not been asked about these cuts, they were just buried in a long list of cuts, some of which are essential. You are totally right. Voters are not stupid. I voted Tory last time, and have always loved Boris, but I will never, ever, vote for him in ANY capacity after this. It shows a blinding lack of research – indeed a total ignorance – of what fire fighters do and how they operate. Just read any research paper on fire fighter traumas and number of deaths on the job and you’ll realise this is not a job you can get any old person to take as an emergency stand in. So when you are trapped in your mangled Boris bike under a lorry, or stuck in your Boris cable car with nobody coming to cut you out, (or there’s the next bomb, or theatre roof collapse, or arson attack, or riot, or motorway pile up) you might have a little think about where London budget priorities should be. I know the rest of us will be.

  2. I agree firefighters do great work, but they do show a total lack of interest in the bigger picture.

    I don’t think they presented their case as well as they could, but in the end it isn’t down to spin. It is down to the truth in the heart of things. Firefighters and their supporters can call boris all the names under the sun, which they are doing.

    Why do you think he beat Ken twice, overcoming a 19% Labour lead in London? Because Londoners trust him to make the tough decisions, that’s why, they know he is not this cruel bastard doing it for reasons of random cruelty. It is necessary, modernisation is necessary. Nobody is enjoying this, nobody wants to do cuts. But Labour left BILLIONS of debt, and totally mucked up the UK. Blame them if you want to blame someone, not Boris Johnson

    • The big picture IS public safety. It’s Boris who has chosen not to make this a priority, and I thought that public safety was a key priority for the Tories. That’s why I voted Tory last time. Bicycles and HS2? More important than public safety? Really?

      • I’m sorry Marianne, your comment says everything about your attitude, you have never voted Tory. What you have said is despicable, and doesn’t merit a response.;

  3. 3 cheers for banks of unused Boris bikes costing tax payers £1,400 for each and for a cable car used regularly by 4 commuters …acc to the media/ press. Great for London. Great for public safety. Well done Boris. Impressed.

    • Maybe you would like a Labour Mayor? The last one handled public funds so appallingly, he was investigated by the Forensic audit panel. Their verdict was “Money has been mishandled, to the tune of tens of millions.” https://cyberboris.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/how-kens-lavish-spending-when-mayor-outdid-p-diddy-and-the-daddy-of-suri-cruise/

      The United Arab Emirates contributed £44 million to the cost of the cable car, the bulk of the cost. Since Boris himself has raised over £250MM in funding, for this city, I think that covers any problems with the cable car. The weather at the moment, makes it risky to use the cable car, but this is something that couldn’t be predicted. The bikes ARE great for London, they promote health, and help pollution. All parties at the London Assembly approve of the bikes.

      It is easy to sneer Mary, but Boris has given a huge boost to cycling. I suggest you read the link i gave you above, and see the appalling mess a Labour mess made of the budget. Nobody trusted Ken, he raised NO funding, just a big fat zero and no public investment – Boris has raised billions in investment.

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