The Strike Before Christmas

Goodwill is in short supply this festive season. Rail workers, postal workers, nurses, ambulance workers and more have all called strike action.

The railway is in such a state in parts that it doesn’t need workers to strike to cause disruption, as customers of Transpennine Express and Avanti West Coast, among others, can testify.

The NHS is in meltdown due to chronic underfunding and understaffing caused by mismanagement. Even on non-strike days, people are waiting hours for ambulances. Is it any wonder that nurses and ambulance workers have had enough?

The government has naturally attacked the striking workers, and is now planning to pass draconian anti-strike laws. Add this to the recent laws passed cracking down on protests, and we have a government that can only hang on to control by crushing its opposition.

These are workers who were lauded as “key workers” during the pandemic, dutifully heading into work while the rest of us stayed home and baked banana bread. People stood on their doorsteps and clapped for them, now they are being attacked as lazy and greedy for making some perfectly reasonable demands. After years of pay failing to keep up with inflation, prices are spiralling. People are being forced to choose between heating their homes or eating properly. Some can’t afford to do either.

We all need a pay rise, and for public services to be funded properly. We are in one of the richest economies in the world, it could easily be done.

I am inconvenienced by cancelled trains, and delayed post, but even so: solidarity to all those who are campaigning, and Merry Christmas.