Those of you with long memories will recall the "heady" days of the 1960's and 70's (I am still so young, that I can barely recall that period) when the "brothers" in the TUC held sway over this country, and did a fine job of almost destroying it.
In the 1980's Maggie Thatcher, with the support of general public who were revolted by the excesses of the TUC, more or less killed the unions off.
Unfortunately, there are still some old fossils who haven't quite realised that their day is long since gone. The TUC recently made a bold attempt to capture the headlines by calling for a boycott of Lonely Planet guidebooks.
I am sure that resulted in a downturn of sales of literally one or two.
What was the crime of Lonely Planet, in the eyes of the "brothers" at the TUC bunker?
Seemingly the Lonely Planet have the temerity to publish a guide about Burma. The TUC does not approve of Burma, therefore it wants Lonely Plant to stop writing about it.
Ah the good old Nanny ideal of censorship and dictating what is fit to read!
I wonder what gives the dinosaurs in the TUC the right to dictate to the rest of us what we may, or may not read?
The "brothers" say that travel to Burma is unethical, and helps prop up the military government.
The TUC, Tourism Concern, Burma Campaign UK and the New Internationalist have launched an online petition calling for the immediate withdrawal of the book.
New Internationalist co-editor, Chris Brazier, went into full moralising mode:
"Holidaying in Burma is one of the most unethical trips you could make, given the brutality of the current regime.
The Lonely Planet guide to Burma should be immediately withdrawn."
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber also waded in:
"The very existence of a travel guide to Burma encourages people to visit a country they might not otherwise consider."
Where do they get these people from?
Needles to say, the TUC by raising Burma as a possible travel destination have doubtless increased the number of bookings there.
I can think of many other places in the world where there are "issues", surely if the TUC is going to try to show moral integrity it must ban travel to all of those places too?
Let me see now..hmmm..some argue the following places are not very nice:
- China has been ticked off for censorship etc
- USA does waterboarding, invading other countries and rendition
- Various Asian economies use low cost labour (well below TUC approved minimum wages)
- Cuba is a bit dodgy
- Saudi Arabia etc have "issues" wrt their treatment of women
- Russia appears to be lurching to a one party state
- Africa is most certainly riddled with "issues"
Will the "brothers" in the TUC be banning travel books that write about those places too?
Will they be banning people and TUC members from travelling there?
No...I thought not!
TUC influence and power in this country was destroyed because it was arrogant, corrupt and dictatorial.
We live in a free society (almost), it is up to the individual to decide where he/she goes and what he/she reads/buys. The TUC has no right to interfere, or to dictate in that decision making process.
However, this call for a boycott has served one valuable purpose. It is nice to see the "brothers" reminding us, by this very ignorant call for a boycott, why they have been consigned to the dustbin of history.
Will someone please put them out of our misery once and for all?