(First Published June 29, 2011)
So it’s the eve of the planned industrial strike action. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, then you’ll be in for a large shock tomorrow as the array of everyday public services are disrupted by a mass walk-out by workers heading for the picket lines.
Unison’s general secretary has said the industrial action will be the biggest since the general strike of 1926.Impressive. The Guardian have said this is a load of tosh. Not so impressive.
Your knowledge of this, depending on where you read your news, will of course be obscured by whichever force wants to put their spin on it but in short:
- The Independent: “Miliband joins Cameron in condemning plans for mass strike as up to 750,000 public-sector workers prepare to walk out”I.E. – Opposition to strike action is now officially cross-party and those of you who strike will be attacked from every possible angle.
- The BBC: “Travellers have been warned to expect delays on arrival at UK ports and airports on Thursday as hundreds of immigration and customs officers are due to join the public sector strike.”I.E. – Practically, this will be inconvenient for those of you wanting to get out and about.
- The Mirror: “David Cameron accused of deliberately winding up workers before huge strike”I.E. – Dave wants to go back to the battle of the 80′s and create real tension between Workers and Government.
- The Telegraph: “In funding trade union staff wages, the taxpayer is effectively paying into the Labour Party.”I.E. – Evil Labour are manipulating you out of money and us Tories would never do anything so heinous.
Word Of Mouth:
“I can imagine how tough it is for teachers working today and I completely understand their motivation sfor striking.”
“Personally, I don’t think I would strike as I feel that these cuts are tough but perhaps necessary”
“I am totally exasperated by the Notting Hill Oiks telling me we are all in this together and planning to smack my pension down”
“I think it is a good idea for public-sector workers to go on strike because it is widely known that public-sector workers are paid much less than private-sector workers.”
The fact is, whatever your profession, whatever your stance on the economy and whatever newspaper you read, tomorrow will be an exciting day. Industrial action is the epitome of solidarity, picket lines enforce the morals of solidarity and we will see our country – for the first time in a long time – actually standing up for themselves. The general opinion throughout those who are planning to strike is that they’ve “had enough”. The Governments attacks on pensions, working standards, and the middle and working class has become so frequent that the backlash is rising. The facts and figures they use are false and the propaganda throughout the media causes a divide and dispute between the very people who should be sticking together – which is exactly what the Government want.
When you take your children to school tomorrow, or go to the tube station, or collect your benefits and find that suddenly you can’t do any of those things, instead of being angry at the disruption to the routine of your life, try throwing a little respect to the people who are striking together, in solidarity, for the rights of one another. And before you spin off all the tosh written by the authors of articles I linked you to above, remember that their facts and figures are obscured. Remember that the people striking are the people who are living it, dealing with it, not wannabe-economists applying it to the ever-useful scapegoat exaggeration that is this country’s economy.