The Times – Today’s militants – a cream-puff army out for a jolly ideological picnic. Notebook by Mick Hume

Today’s unions are empty shells of their former selves, whose dreams of yesterday are matched by their nightmares about tomorrow, symbolised by the new focus on pensions rather than pay.

I am not nostalgic about freezing my student ears off while waltzing around with the Greater Manchester Police outside rundown factories. But it will take more than a day out with the kids to change things. It might be a start if we could pension off all those who peddle self-deluding fantasies about the past, and self-defeating fears about the future.