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A Kingdom United?

A deeper look into the events and actions within the U.K. Aiming to analyse and discuss the effects events have on our daily lives, the media portrayal of such events and the political wrangling they create.

We Strike, You're out?

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, Opinion
A stylized representation of a red flag, usefu...

So Ed Miliband has been elected the new Labour Party leader, and his Brother David has annouced his retirement from front-line politics.  Ed can thank the Unions in his election, but to anyone who is keeping up with UK news this was always on the cards.  The changes to Government spending has everyone chattering and not a small amount of people ready to join the numerous calls to strike, giving back the power to the Unions that has been absent for so long.

The Unions are already in a strong position.  The Government are playing right into their hands with their reforms, and the media is ensuring that doom gloom and poverty is announced on a daily basis.  Along with bonuses going to bankers that disgust your average man, and the very likelihood of the New Faces of Labour taking the line of "Old Labour", we are well into our "Winter of discontent Part 2 - Where's the hair?".  The departure of David Miliband is likely to see a split in the Labour party, and I do wonder if this is only going to enhance the power of the Unions.

Are  you planning to watch coverage of the Conservative party conference, or perhaps the  Government spending review next month? Will you send you child to school without lunch?  Will you be catching the tube to work?  Think again. Major industrial action looms on the near horizon for Britain, threatening to effect the public in numerous ways.   British Airways are already being plagued by strikes, your bin man is likely to be absent while he protests at  the possibility at being fired and rehired at low pay rates, and without benefits.  Dinner nannies are set to ditch their aprons and protest at their measures and the the London transport system has already been brought to a standstill due to a strike on a Monday morning, with 3 more strikes planned during October.  The NHS are about to get such a kick in the teeth that Cameron is taking photos with staff at every opportunity, possibly with the thinking he may as well get it in while we still have some.

During all this commotion a race is going on.  A race to oust the Government.  Instead of it being through the election process that has seemed have fallen flat on its face in terms of options and backing by the public, this time it will Unionists in the running, and we can expect a daily update of "which communist wears red underwear" thanks to the media coverage, not least of all the BBC who have taken to Tory propoganda spreading as if their bonuses depend upon it.  Which they do it would seem.  The programme "Panorama" would be better suited with the moniker "Political Panderers" judging its recent episodes.

Arthur Scargill, Maesteg

Image by MuseumWales via Flickr

The two front runners for  Strike captain are Bob Crow, head of The RMT, self confessed communist and number one fan of Arthur Scargill, the man that pissed away the opportunity to bring Maggie down.  The other is Brendan Barber, top dog at TUC, a Board of Directors member at The Bank of England an Everton Supporter, which may ease in him into losing if that eventuates, due to their pitiful form this season.

Both of these men seem to have had more experience that the rather fresh faced new Labour leader (in terms of political leadership, certainly not facial appearance), and indeed may be the real force behind the "New Old" Labour.  In terms of Mr Crow, he has made it quite clear that he wishes to cause as much disruption as possible to get what he wants.  Mr Barber on the other hand is a bit of a complex puzzle, I don't truly understand how he can hold the two roles he has without conflict of interest.

Maggie Maggie Maggie

It remains to been seen how all of these scenario's will play out, but it will have the thinking man thinking, and quite a lot of people out in the streets with placards  Will the coalition crumble under the pressure?  Will Labour be electing another Leader in the not to distant future?  Will banks and big business tire of the UK and its problems and move overseas? Will the Flying Pickets and Spitting Image make a comeback?   Will there be any news items not related directly to politics in the near future? And will anyone sport a comb over regularly on T.V. just for my titillation?

Anonymous2's picture

Hey, I just wanted to commend

Hey, I just wanted to commend the article. I don't have anything to add but I'm glad you're writing it. Out of a lack of motivation or a convenient internet connection this is the only thread I'm keeping on British politics. I like the slant on it, it's well written, well linked and bitter. Don't lose heart just cause no cunt replies. Thanks Shaw.

Hewy's picture

This cunt is replying.

I'll start by mirroring what the last guy said dude, obviously.

However both Thatcher and Scargills actions have lead us to a position where apathy towards Trade Unions is only matched by that of politics as a whole. I was a Union Representative in the Rail industry. An industry pilloried by all and sundry in the UK, an industry incidentally which was destroyed by the state's wasteful and inefficient infrastructural and technological management before privatisation. There is the conspiracy that the state planned this by selling the railways off cheaply in the 80's knowing that the outdated and dangerously maintained infrastructure would buckle under the increased traffic caused by companies trying to make a profit. Sort of scuttling the ship you just sold.

What actually happened was a rapid decrease in traffic, as we all know the first thing any company does is get rid of waste, waste in this case being trains with one man and his dog travelling alone for hours. The accidents since privatisation have been a direct result of a government controlling body Network Rail NR (Formerly Railtrack) passing the buck regarding responsibility to the train operating company (TOC). Put simply for every minute a train is delayed a fine is fought over between NR and the TOC. If the issue is related to the actual train, the TOC coughs up and some poor schmuck gets the chop, if the issue is related to anything else NR coughs up. Given that the fine could be anywhere up to £1000 per minute, it's no small sum. The rail industry should have been privatised throughout and not just the rolling stock if it were to be privatised at all.  

As a Union Rep I was propelled into politics deeper than I ever really wanted to be, but it opened my eyes to how sytematically fucked up we are as a country. It all boils down to one word... RESPONSIBILITY.

Unions are responsible to the well-being of their members. But there aren't many members. The reason there aren't is because Unions represent a force where the working people can have some say over there own destiny. People don't want to think about their own destiny, it's not their responsibility. Those men with suits who bleat on about terror and hope, terror and hope, terror and hope between X-Factor and fucking Animals Do the Funniest things. They'll look after us. They will not. They never have done. They never will. They will look after themselves and those who helped them up the ladder. The ones with the better suits we rarely see.

I don't think the Unions have particularly helped Millibrand the Younger to be honest because everybody, especially the Labour movement/party/new labour/ or whatever know full well that the elephant in the room is that the unions have no teeth. Mr Blair saw to that, finished off what Thatcher couldn't do and how? Because he was on the platform pissing in!

I think Millibrand the Elder has came across as a bit of a cock for years, and is guilty by association with an era of the British Labour Movement (just throwing that title out there cos it sounds hard as!) would rather forget, or more to the point want the rest of us to forget. He is unfortunate enough to be in an industry (because that's what it is) where hiding your true facial expression is a must and he looks like lying cunt even when he's telling the truth and plain just confused when he's not. 

We are all fucked because we are all being fucked and couldn't give a fuck and I'll say fuck as much as I fucking well like so fuck you! Fuckers!

Peace and Love to you and yours.

Princess Tinkerbell Hewitt III.

MrShaw's picture

Gentlemen, be gentle.

Thank you both Gentleman, for taking the time to respond, and with such vigour.  I might just remind you though, that I would rather have a well thought out clean insult, and rather less of the bad language, if you don't mind.  Enter into to the spirit of a well timed put down so clean, and yet with such menace as to suggest a link between heaven and hell, for instance.  The bad language will be snipped by a little digital version of the guy that used to eat one of your socks the night before an important evening in with a copy of "Baywatch".  But thanks all the same :)

MrShaw's picture

Firemen look likely to strike.

Due to the cuts in spending by the Government, firemen look set to have to re-apply for their jobs, and the service they will provide will be a seriously cut back version of what we have known.  It looks like that the unions involved have a mass majority for strikes to be held, so that's something to look forward to, perhaps not.

The boss of the Labour party, has quickly joined of the ranks of "make a promise during campaigning, ditch it later if no longer needed" only took him 2 weeks.  Is there now a face in the political hoe-down that could actually be believed anymore? 

Meanwhile, behind the daily facade of "So you think you can be a politician" that is English news, the real news is happening, possibly because most people read a newspaper that begins and ends in sport, and might have a tittilation page...normally Page 3.  England is currently mapping out where to put new Nuclear power stations, children are being killed on a daily basis and Lord Sebastian Coe has come up with "the daddy of all ticket strategies".  I think he referred to it as this, because only spoilt brats and mistresses of Sugar Daddys will be able to afford tickets. How very Tory of him.

MrShaw's picture

Today's the day that Osbourne caused a couple of bones to pick.

Today is "Cuts Wednesday" as it is being called by the press.  George Osborne, the guy that holds the purse strings to the money that Britain has paid in taxes.  George, in his wisdom has decided that he is not going to share that money.  In fact normal allocations for spending is being cut throughout.  Everything from your local policeman right through to your local council are being heavily hit, and in some areas councils are actually going to be closed down.

Mr Osborne has stated that it will be "a hard road, but a better future".  I would like to see his hard road. Mr Osborne is a millionaire, something that may take a little more than reading the average daily newspaper to find out.  He is estimated at a worth around £4 million pounds.  Which makes him one of 23 millionaires that currently run this country.  When you think that there are actually only 29 politicians running the country, does it make you think? I hope so.  George has also been been caught out changing his second home to ensure he pays the least amount of capital gains tax, he must have thought it would be as politically damaging as changing his name.  Lets hope that comes round and bits him on the bum.  Imagine the opportunity to own a second home, never mind star playing tax games to ensure you get the most amount of kickbacks from it.  In terms of a better future, well I think this is perhaps George thinking of his own future.  Its rather rosy.  When Cameron finally parks his backside in a writing chair, Osborne will become the favourite to replace him.  Plus since they have such a good friendship, and promised to look after each others kids, you can be assured that any links and board electorates that are offered to Mr Cameron, there will be similar deals for George.

There seems to be a lack of understanding, or perhaps apathy towards the cuts that are being brought in.  I think this will last about 6 months, as the cuts start to bite deep, and futher cuts are announced and rolled out, and then perhaps we will have the opportunity to question this government on their actions with a majority wondering why they are paying a lot more, for a lot less, and yet the powers that be have their lives all sorted for them, backsides wiped, so to speak.

George....what a total Gideon.

Spending Review

MrShaw's picture

Fire Service very likely to strike on Bonfire Night.

This article, printed by the BBC informs us that talks are being held to try and persuade Firemen not to carryout their proposed strike, which is pencilled to last 47 hours, starting on the 5th of November.  As it happens, Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light occurs on the same day, and there is the chance of a accidental blaze or two million.

The Prime Minister has called the strike "irresponsible".  Those in glass houses David.  I would assume that the powers that be will be running around trying to get this called off, and I salute whoever it was that chose this particular date.  An aid to PM went on to say "The public would not think this is a responsible way of conducting industrial action to choose this particular day for a strike". 

I hope the public see what I see, which is Prime Minister who has behaved exceptionally irresponsible with the purse strings, and men who work very hard, risk their lives, get paid a lot less than Politicians and have recently been told they are going to get even less money, if they still have their jobs dong something about it.  I would quite happily forego the whole "Guy Fawkes" malarkey if it meant safer streets while the "Boxer" character of our very real version of Animal Farm, protests about being sent to the Knackers Yard.

Hewy's picture


Who will be our Guy Fawkes?

Fred Dibnah would have been my choice. But sadly he's dead, crushed by the shear joy the industrial revolution gave him. Legend has it he was dreaming of a large Shire horse (possibly called Boxer) pulling a Hay Wain of naked Lankashire milk-maids through mud and shot his muck. His old clockwork heart bust a coil spring, thus rendering him into the hands of the baby Jesus. He was the master of destroying once productive buildings*  used to build our empire (for what it was) and I fear the House of Commons is no longer fit for purpose, could be fit for a porpoise if the sodding thing was sunk into the Thames though. 

Eieieieieieieieieieieieieieieieieieieieikkkkkkkkkkkkkk! (Porpoise noise... Obviously!)

*Fred, not Jesus... though when bearded the fella did kick off once in a Temple, but that only caused minor furniture damage, he was after all a weak vegetarian hippy.

MrShaw's picture

Operation Treacle is a go.

In Stockport, the local Authorities have put Operation Treacle, a campaign for a safer Halloween and Bonfire night.  Meanwhile Insurance companies are pushing their pet insurance with blanket advertising campaigns, scaring old dears up and down the country with the thought that poor Fido is going to have his hearing permanently damaged by all the pesky bangs and crackles by young reprobates that might just blow their arm off due to irresponsible firework usage.  The Fireman's strike, if it goes ahead, maybe a very real shock to your average sparkler waving moron.  Then again, maybe not.  Personally I am going to stay in doors during the two "English Festival's" and probably have a curry and a couple of pints of Old Speckled Hen, in between bouncing fun sized Mars Bars off the heads of anyone brave enough to rapping on my door.  Trick or Treat? No, how about you dance for your dinner?

MrShaw's picture

Firemans strike goes ahead

As promised more than 5000 firefighters from London started their strike at 10.00am GMT after promised tallks broke down,  The strikes will include a walk out on the 5th of November, if agreements have not been made.  Boris Johnson has said he is disappointed, but possibly not as disappointed as he is over other matters, more to come on that later.  Amid these strikes, it has been revealed that fire crews were not fully equipped to deal with the situation presented to them on the 7th of July bombings, and that situation is only likely to get worse due to the budget being cut.

Hewy's picture


Do you mean the training exercise set up to simulate emergency services response to bombs on the underground that took part that day, or the response to the actual bombs that co-incidentally went off that day too?

What's the chances that could never happen in a million years... oh it already had on 9/11, when NORAD were (apparently) conducting a hijack response training exercise the day some nutters decided to exercise their rights to hijack some aircraft and change the world for ever.

No one think that shit is a bit strange? If I wasn't already cynical enough I would.

Peace and love peeps!

MrShaw's picture

Latest Strike News

It would seem that some last minute dealing between the Union representing the Firemen in London and the London Fire Brigade has managed to avert the strikes with a meeting scheduled on the 16th of November to discuss their differences.  With luck, an agreement will be made that will ensure that those who do not wish to sign new contracts, do not lose their jobs. This will also mean that the injuction by the High Court against picket lines is null and void.

At The BBC, strikes are being carried out today, and the News Service has been heavily reduced with Radio 4's Today programme, BBC 1's 1pm, 6pm and 10pm News bulletin, Newsnight, The Breakfast Service, and the BBC News channel all being effected. The 48 hour strike is in response to pension changes for employees, and possibly very unfair salaries for the select few.

The RMT is going ahead with strikes, starting last night at 7pm and lasting for 24 hours.  Talks will be held today to try and resolve this, and look to avert the planned strikes on the 28th of November.  A promise has been made that their will be no strikes during the Christmas period. This strike is in response to the axing of 800 jobs.

MrShaw's picture

Another strike, I can see a theme here.

Southern Daily Echo workers are due to strike tomorrow due to a 2 year pay freeze, a scrapping of employees final salary scheme and loyalty payments.  It appears to me that media are painting "It's Grim down South". The last laugh may yet be on us "Northern Donkeys".

MrShaw's picture

Student protest turns violent at Millbank on the Thames.

 Student protests in response to increases in fees, has ended with violence.  A stand off with police, thrown missiles, broken windows and scaling of roofs ensueded.  The NUS had nothing to do with it, somebody shamefully mumbled.  An effigy was burned ( I will be following its resemblance with glee), placards were burned and 35 arrests, so far.

MrShaw's picture

BBC Pension bone of contention & Strikes linked to Terrorism

MrShaw's picture

Fire Brigade Strike Talks ongoing

A special panel has been drafted into to try and sort out the Fire Brigade issues.  Recommendations are due next week.  I have my fingers crossed for them.

MrShaw's picture

Tube Brothers in Arms?

The RMT was set to take a ballot on further strike action in response to two workers being sacked, with suggestion it is because of their membership of the RMT.  Obviously this was like a red flag to Bob Crow and the RMT.  Transport London have declared the ballot "irresponsible". I was wondering if this particular moment may be a turnaround before announcements that it may be called off.  I prefer the Fireman strikes to be honest, more my flavour due to a lack of agitated stinkpot dictators aiming for bigger things.

MrShaw's picture

Tube Strike goes ahead

It would seem that Tube workers have several to strike at the moment, and have again walked out  at around 6.30pm GMT in response to cutting of around 800 ticket office workers jobs.  I really do wonder if Bob Crow is stirring all this up in the face of the Coalition Government, as they are looking very unstable and are very unpopular at the moment.  Mr Crow is certainly more of a socialist than Ed Miliband announced he was in the press today.  Is there a credible Member of Parliament at the moment?  Answers again, on a postcard.

MrShaw's picture

Scottish Football Referees Strike, Foreigners brought in

The STUC has backed strikes by Scottish referees in response to criticism into their integrity and abilityFurthermore the referees are affronted by the  reprimand handed out to Dougie McDonald over the penalty he gave to Celtic which he then rescinded during a match against Dundee in October. Foreign referees are being shipped in to cover matches that may not have referees available. Celtic waded in (not for the first time this season) and demanded explanations.  This likely to have consequences for McDonald as previous decisions ruled against Celtic have resulted in harassment and threats to the referee's in question.  The new head of The Scottish FA has called for a "Respect for Referees" initiative starting next year.  Good luck, its sounds like an uphill battle to me as players themselves can be controlled, but in reality it is the fans that need to be educated.