PM Plots Anti-Strike Law Amid National Walkout
David Cameron gives every impression of relishing a fight with the trade unions over public sector strikes.
He seemed to take pleasure in announcing to MPs that the next Tory manifesto will include a crackdown on the type of strikes being staged by a host of unions today.
There will be two big curbs on strikes: a threshold on the number of union members voting for a strike and a time limit on holding a strike after a ballot.
Even today, beyond the 11th hour, the Education Secretary Michael Gove is urging teachers to call off their industrial action.
"To those walking out of classrooms to take to the streets - I urge them to reconsider," he will say in a speech. "The unions, in the past, have claimed to 'stand up for education'. Today they're standing up for their own pay and pensions."
Of course, the Conservatives have been promising tougher anti-strike laws for years and blaming their Coalition partners the Liberal Democrats - and the Business Secretary Vince Cable in particular - for blocking them.
Back in 2010, Boris Johnson demanded a 50% threshold in strike ballots during a strike on London Underground. Most union ballots in favour of strike action have a turnout of around 25%. The CBI has called for a 40% minimum.
London's Mayor was shot down, however, by the late Bob Crow, the firebrand RMT leader, who pointed out that Mr Johnson was elected in a vote with a turnout of less than 50%.
Now, though, with the 2015 general election approaching, the Prime Minister has given a firm pledge that the Tories will act on strikes if they win an overall majority. It is an issue which he is convinced is a big vote winner for the Tories and a massive vote loser for Labour.
In a noisy clash with Ed MiIiband at PMQs, he cheerfully read out a briefing note from Labour on today's strike. He said: "It says this: 'Do we support strikes? No. Will we condemn strikes? No.'
"There we have it - that is your leadership summed up in one go."
Cue shrieks of delight from Conservative backbenchers and glum faces all round on the Labour benches.
Later, right at the end of PMQs, in response to a Tory MP's helpful question, Mr Cameron said: "I don't think these strikes are right ... I think people should turn up for work."
And then he declared: "I think the time has come for looking at setting thresholds in strike ballots... The (NUT) strike ballot took place in 2012, based on a 27% turnout.
"How can it possibly be right for our children's education to be disrupted by trade unions acting in that way? It is time to legislate and it will be in the Conservative manifesto."
Labour accuses the Conservatives of making today's situation worse by "ramping up the rhetoric". But the Cabinet Office insists the strike "will achieve nothing and benefit no one".
An official told Sky News: "The vast majority of dedicated public sector workers did not vote for this week's strike action."