It’s really not that difficult to understand the purpose of a strike.

by Pseud O'Nym

Although it seems various news outlets and politicians struggle with the idea of yes, there is a cost of living crisis causing hardship and misery to millions of people and that something needs to be done about it, but no, that something isn’t some of those same millions wanting better pay and conditions and withdrawing their labour until their employers do so. To them, the workers should ask nicely and being told no, should know their place and shut up about it.

The Daily Mail, which always takes a stance of principled neutrality in these matters, chose to sum it up in a headline that fulminated;

Fresh woe for passengers as train workers strike AGAIN and Grant Shapps blasts union bosses who are ‘hell-bent on causing as much misery as possible’

Not to be out done, with an almost weary predictability ‘The Daily Telegraph’ claimed,

Rail strikes: Britons face fresh travel chaos with only 20pc of train services running

Before helpfully putting the boot in by quoting Transport Secretary Grant Shats, who said: “It’s clear, from their co-ordinated approach, that the unions are hell-bent on causing as much misery as possible to the very same taxpayers who stumped up £600 per household to ensure not a single rail worker lost their job during the pandemic.

“Sadly, union chiefs have short memories and will be repaying this act of good faith by ruining millions of hard-working people’s summer plans.”

Am I missing something here? Of course the strikes should be co-ordinated. Indeed there should even more strikes, more co-ordination, until employers and the government realise that a pay offer well below the rate of inflation is effectively a pay cut. Those ‘millions of hard-working people’ who Shats cares about so much are realising that the strikers of today are themselves tomorrow. They’re in the same boat. And with timing that seemed impeccable, if not actually clairvoyant, today came the news that P&O Ferries will not face any criminal charges relating to the mass sacking, some by text, others by email, of 800 staff in March.

So while people will no doubt take to Twitter to detail the hardship endured by having to do this, or missing that, they might also reflect on the fact that everything isn’t always about them.

In fairness to The Daily Mail, not something I thought I’d ever write, it did add this from Shats. Although as it did come at the bottom of the piece, the word ‘buried’ leaps to mind,

He told Sky News on Friday: ‘What I do know and I can say for sure is if we can’t get this settled in the way that we are proposing, which is, ‘Please put the deal to your membership’, then we will have to move to what is called a section 188; it is a process of actually requiring these changes to go into place so it becomes mandated.”

Hats off Shats, cometh the hour, cometh the charlatan.