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Will the people blame the strikers? A very different Winter of Discontent is gripping Britain

This is not 1978 (Guy Smallman/Getty Images)

This is not 1978 (Guy Smallman/Getty Images)


December 13, 2022   6 mins

There is nothing like extreme weather to snap a crisis into focus. During the icy winter of 1978-79, the government’s attempts to tackle inflation, and the ensuing wave of pay strikes, all played out amid snowdrifts, burst pipes and icebound roads, crystallising the sense that long-established systems no longer worked. The general mood was easy to gauge: things could not go on like this.

Today, it seems we are here again. Britain, we are told, is on the cusp of its Second Winter of Discontent. But if the struggle for power between government and unions 44 years ago seems eerily similar to today, look closer.

For a start, we are not used to all this — whereas in 1979, the chaos was wearily familiar. It marked a return to the years when governments of both parties had tried and failed to curb union power. A “winter of discontent” had been a long time coming: the Telegraph had warned one was imminent in 1972, as had union leader Hugh Scanlon in 1974, and the new Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher in 1975.

From the mid-Seventies, Labour seemed to have settled with the unions; but when a last-ditch deal broke down in 1978, the country was plunged back into crisis. As the post-war industrial relations consensus finally froze to death, the old images flashed before the public’s eyes one last time. Huge strikes in the car industry. Union leaders trooping into No 10. Strikes stopping trains and shutting down petrol stations and unheated schools. Jumpy talk of the government sending in the troops.

Today’s wave of strikes is a novelty precisely because of the new, less union-friendly consensus that slowly took shape in the years after 1978. The unions were then at the apex of their power, and rapidly losing public sympathy. Today, they are struggling to recover from decades of weakness, and attract much more support than at the end of the Seventies. In 1977, The Sun reported a Marplan poll which suggested 80% of the public thought “union leaders have ‘a lot’ of power and influence in governing the country”. Amid the strikes last August, a poll conducted by Ipsos found only 9% of the British public thought workers had too much power.

Since the war, governments’ main way of squashing wage inflation had been “incomes policy”, by which ministers asked, or ordered, workers to accept a limit on pay increases. The Winter of Discontent was triggered when the Prime Minister James Callaghan insisted on setting this at 5%, well below inflation. Something of this is visible in the Sunak administration’s insistence on below-inflation hikes for public sector workers. But the crucial difference is that Callaghan could reasonably expect the private sector to stick to his limit. In September 1978, the Ford car company was so keen to comply that it endured weeks of strike action before folding and coughing up 17% — even though it could have afforded that at the start. Imagine that now.

Today, most companies don’t have to worry about either powerful unions demanding pay increases or government demands for pay restraint. Only a sixth of private sector workers are in a union at all; many are on insecure contracts. Of course, there are a few exceptions: last winter, strike threats by Unite supermarket workers won pay rises that Tesco had previously said “would not be sustainable”. But 1979 was another world: that January, Mrs Thatcher claimed in the Commons that a full third of factories had suffered all-out strikes in the previous two years.

So, the shock of the Winter of Discontent wasn’t private-sector workers taking industrial action, but low-paid public sector staff, often women, in workplaces that were not obviously militant, such as care homes, and hospital laundries and kitchens. The union to which many of these workers belonged, the National Union of Public Employees, had only recently become radical. Public sector pay had been cut, in the aftermath of economic crisis and high inflation, and some NUPE members were so ill-paid they had to claim in-work state benefits.

Workers in hospitals, bin lorries and graveyards were pushed further towards striking by seeing private-sector workers win higher settlements. In Liverpool, this sense of unfairness was probably not made any better by some of those Ford employees who had just won a stonking raise. As the historian Tara Martin López notes, they took to hurling abuse at picketing gravediggers as they drove into work. This was because the idea of strikes among those charged with burying the dead was a shock, even to fellow trade unionists. Today, it is the other way around. Most of this winter’s strikes are in public services, and former public utilities NUPE’s successor, Unison, is Britain’s biggest union.

But the really glaring difference between then and now is that, across all sectors, the unions in the Seventies had far more leeway. Amid all the folk memories of bin-bag mountains and unburied coffins, we tend to forget the crucial middle phase of the Winter of Discontent: the strike by oil tanker drivers and road hauliers. This won rises of 15-17% — and hardened public opinion before the public sector strikes even started — because the drivers used secondary picketing so effectively. This involved deploying strikers not just at their own workplaces but wherever they would have the greatest impact. Unions set up “command centres”, intelligence systems and permit processes to keep strikes watertight. If you wanted to move goods in and out of Hull or Tilbury, you had to queue up and try to convince a dispensation committee that they were essential. They would very likely say no.

Crucially, the Labour government let this happen: a last-gasp version of the post-war consensus, in which the unions became more dominant than ever. They avoided massive confrontations with the police, but Callaghan’s policy chief Bernard Donoughue was not the only person who saw a government “surrendering to every pressure”. There is zero chance of any such thing happening today. Ever since the early Eighties, secondary picketing has been illegal.

And this is because the Winter of Discontent finally redrew the limits of what was politically possible: old taboos broke, new ones became vividly clear. Long-standing fears that restricting the trade unions would produce intolerable conflict were overridden. Prime Minister Callaghan, a long-term ally of the unions, despaired at their leaders’ inability to see what was coming their way if they refused to co-operate, the Labour government fell, and Margaret Thatcher took over. By 1979, the scope to restrict strikes was just beginning to open up. Fast forward to today, and in response to the current strike wave, Rishi Sunak has said he wants to take this process even further. A new bill, for instance, proposes to mandate minimum service levels for transport, while Downing Street has left open the possibility of outlawing strikes in the emergency services. The Trades Union Congress has objected to “restrictions that will further hinder industrial action”, such as requiring a new ballot for each continuous strike. After years of trade union legislation, critics say further tightening risks effectively making strikes illegal — which, under international law, could itself be illegal.

At the same time, this winter’s strikes may be revealing another hard limit. Public sector pay has been under more pressure, for much longer, than it had been in 1979. Between January 2021 and September 2022, it fell by 7.7%. A quarter of hospital trusts have organised food banks for their staff. This is reflected in the difficulties in filling job vacancies in hospitals and schools, as working conditions drive existing staff to leave, and make it harder to recruit replacements. If public services get much worse, particularly the huge backlogs in the NHS, the situation may become today’s overriding political nightmare.

Meanwhile, the Times reports that the Prime Minister’s allies concede that the Government “is struggling to come up with a coherent message” to explain why it cannot afford to raise nurses’ pay to match inflation. Even the Spectator has suggested we may be at a tipping point: that for ministers, it’s the NHS strikes themselves that may be “politically unaffordable”.

In 1979, by contrast, Thatcher did manage to carve out a coherent message: that it was time to break the taboo on challenging the union’s legal position, because a weak government had allowed a minority of extremists — the “wreckers among us” — far too much power. That “us” is crucial: she sought to swing the rest of the population in behind her, including most trade unionists. In January 1979, she told an audience that “we’re all victims”. In April, campaigning in the general election, she declared:

“All of you have suffered under the rule of the pickets and the strikers this winter. We all saw at first hand that power and felt our own powerlessness. Well, you’re not powerless now. This is a time when the ordinary people of this country in their tens of millions hold the future of our country in their hands. And when you come to decide that future on May 3rd, remember last winter.”

For today’s Leader of the Opposition, such a manoeuvre may not be so easy. Keir Starmer is, to some extent, caught like Callaghan between the pickets and the rest of the public. Perhaps he can ape Thatcher by rising above the fray, casting the strikes as the final breakdown of the old order. But that would involve casting the Government, or indeed profitable companies refusing to raise pay, as the new “wreckers among us”. Thatcher could not have used such language convincingly if it had not chimed with the public mood. Will today’s voters choose to blame union leaders, cast by some as the heirs to Arthur Scargill? Or the allies of what Vince Cable once called the “pin-striped Scargills” in finance capital?

It may be that, like 1979, this winter is a breaking point that will come to haunt the next 40 years. Fairly or otherwise, the first Winter of Discontent became a warning that politicians must never allow a return to the bad old days of rule by picket and strike committee. Perhaps, as train strikes ruin Christmas and un-unionised workers miss much-needed shifts, that will happen again. But it may be that this winter comes to symbolise a different nightmare to which politicians must swear never to go back: that time when the country grew cold, and, even with the energy price guarantee, millions were barely paid enough to keep warm.

***

Order your copy of UnHerd’s first print edition here


Phil Tinline is a documentary-maker with BBC Radio. His most recent documentary, Back Seat Drivers, is available on BBC Sounds. His book The Death of Consensus: 100 Years of British Political Nightmares is published by Hurst.

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Matthew Powell
Matthew Powell
1 year ago

“the Government “is struggling to come up with a coherent message” to explain why it cannot afford to raise nurses’ pay to match inflation.”

Why? Because in a supply side inflationary environment, every pay rise that is equal to or greater than the rate of inflation sustains or adds to that inflation as long as the supply side constraints last.

When it comes to salaries which are under government control, pay rises which are close to matching inflation should only be offered to the lowest paid workers. Since, however, the majority of pubic sector workers are professionals who generally earn more than the national average, granting them a pay rise which matches or exceeds the inflation rate, means that the government is shielding the better off in society from inflation, at the price of inflicting greater inflation on those on lower wages, who do not enjoy the cast iron job security and high wages the public sector uses to leverage strike action.

That seems to me to be a perfectly fair reason as to not grant these pay rises to the public sector, though strangely, those on the left are outraged that people earning 35-40k a year should see their wages cut in real terms to help prevent those earning 20-25k being worse hit by inflation.

Diane Tasker
Diane Tasker
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

What is a ‘Director for Lived Experience’ anybody? NHS Management role £110k – is this role (and no doubt there are others) REALLY necessary? Nurses should be striking to stop all this grandiose and expensive empire building and for Management to get on with being supportive, useful, practical, efficient, skilled (purchasing key) and value for money.

I totally agree with your comments. I find the ‘blunt instrument’ of ‘across the board’ payrises in the public sector totally inappropriate (and LAZY) in our current economic situation. Taking the example of the monolith NHS, with its burden of well paid administrators overseeing outdated systems, is it really deserving of a pay hike at this precarious time for the economy? At ‘point of service’ – allowing for exceptions depending on your particular need, your wallet, where you live, the luck of the draw – access to competent and caring health services diminishes by the day. Not satisfied with limiting access to care, the local ‘businesses’ we must register with to receive it (euphemistically referred to as ‘our local GP surgery’) are becoming ever more dictatic through their well schooled ‘gatekeeper’ (aka the receptionist) This is the every day experiences of many I talk to. The NHS service stepped up when Covid hit, but, let’s be honest here. It was a relatively small cohort of the whole who took huge risks and worked ‘til they dropped’ to keep urgent services running, and no doubt would do so again. Nothing is ever mentioned about the whole remuneration package ‘enjoyed’ when public sector workers pay comes up. Most of the ‘working poor’ a category increasing numbers of competent, educated workers now find themselves in, would kill to have the sort of public sector benefits enjoyed (generous sick leave and sick pay perks for example – which are a valuable and, I am told, well-used and oft abused perk!

Last edited 1 year ago by Diane Tasker
j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Tasker

I agree with the ‘across the board’ criticism. And also that staff above Band 7 shouldn’t get the same as is eventually agreed for those Bands below. It is a problem with a national pay scale that see others benefit if differentials have to be maintained (they should not). The Govt has had 12 years though to untangle nurse pay, esp the lower band nurses where the shortage is greatest, from other staff groups. They haven’t done it, I suspect because it would undercut the argument that is used to suppress nurse pay that others would also get less deserved rises.
Putting aside the individual argument about whether a Band 5 nurse ‘deserves’ at least an inflation-proof pay rise, the arguably more important question is what pay rate do we need to reduce the number of nurse vacancies that is crippling health care services? And bear in mind we are already paying well above inflation when we have to use agency.
One can understand the Govt dilemma and need to hold the line on pay restraint or this just spirals out of control. But for nursing there is a different imperative also needing urgent consideration.

James 0
James 0
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

again no thought in this comment.
band five,is not paid the same as upper bands,that’s because band 7 etc are doing a different job.
it’s about the skills etc.
However if your happy with an untrained ,inexperienced lackey doing an interventional procedure on you or your family you deserve to suffer.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  James 0

Note I said ‘above’ Band 7 and that’s the band for a Ward Sister or Nurse in Charge too. They should also get the same percentage uplift as the Band 5. However that bit of important detail to one side, your contention assumes the differentials were all fair and properly assessed in the first place. My view is they weren’t. In fact I strongly suspect if a majority of nurses were men the differential with other back office type roles would never have been so extensive in the first place. A financial accountant gets more than both.
Not sure what staff you are referring to re: interventional procedures. Can probably give you a thought on that if you indicate which.

Tony Hannigan
Tony Hannigan
1 year ago
Reply to  James 0

Wouldn’t you sound so much more authorative if you knew the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ ? It’s simple English.

How the heck are we meant to take these threads seriously if the English can’t get English right ?

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  James 0

Note I said ‘above’ Band 7 and that’s the band for a Ward Sister or Nurse in Charge too. They should also get the same percentage uplift as the Band 5. However that bit of important detail to one side, your contention assumes the differentials were all fair and properly assessed in the first place. My view is they weren’t. In fact I strongly suspect if a majority of nurses were men the differential with other back office type roles would never have been so extensive in the first place. A financial accountant gets more than both.
Not sure what staff you are referring to re: interventional procedures. Can probably give you a thought on that if you indicate which.

Tony Hannigan
Tony Hannigan
1 year ago
Reply to  James 0

Wouldn’t you sound so much more authorative if you knew the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ ? It’s simple English.

How the heck are we meant to take these threads seriously if the English can’t get English right ?

Diane Tasker
Diane Tasker
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Your opening points are the nub of the problem and successive Governments know it but fear to take it on. From a resourcing perspective I believe the shortage of NHS nurses is partly as a result of the pull of the private / agency sectors where money in the pocket has a pull factor higher than the lower salary coupled with a generous secondary ‘benefits package offered by the NHS. I suspect that if one compares an NHS Nurse’s overall salary and benefits package it might not be that far off an agency nurse with a higher salary but with minimum benefits. However, in these austere times, money in the pocket as an agency nurse trumps the NHS’s lower salary plus the generous benefits package that may never be called on. I wonder what a poll would turn up if the question was to have much higher pay but with a less generous benefits. package….

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Tasker

The fact the agency nurse doesn’t usually have to take quite the same level of responsibility within a team is, unfortunately, another attraction DT. As is ability to pick when and where to work and thus avoid the most challenged places and shifts.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
John Urwin
John Urwin
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Tasker

My wife is a retired nurse who trained under the apprenticeship scheme so she could carry out procedures during training and be paid. She says that even though nursing is more complex we should return to it. Doctors’ letters in the press agree. She says the drop out rate among student nurses is high because many are not suited to the profession. Jeremy Hunt saved money by reducing doctor and nurse training numbers…She also asks why nursing and HCA sickness is so high when that of doctors is not…
On the public sector, David Smith in the Sunday Times said private sector pay increases average 7% but public sector ones are 2%, so some of them have a case. The railway workers do not.
Why don’t media commentators point out that 75% of employees are in the private sector and pay, via their VAT and income taxes for 75% of the wage increases in the public sector?
They might also raise the disparity in the private sector where board members get a stonking rise when the share price or profits reduce….

Last edited 1 year ago by John Urwin
j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Tasker

The fact the agency nurse doesn’t usually have to take quite the same level of responsibility within a team is, unfortunately, another attraction DT. As is ability to pick when and where to work and thus avoid the most challenged places and shifts.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
John Urwin
John Urwin
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Tasker

My wife is a retired nurse who trained under the apprenticeship scheme so she could carry out procedures during training and be paid. She says that even though nursing is more complex we should return to it. Doctors’ letters in the press agree. She says the drop out rate among student nurses is high because many are not suited to the profession. Jeremy Hunt saved money by reducing doctor and nurse training numbers…She also asks why nursing and HCA sickness is so high when that of doctors is not…
On the public sector, David Smith in the Sunday Times said private sector pay increases average 7% but public sector ones are 2%, so some of them have a case. The railway workers do not.
Why don’t media commentators point out that 75% of employees are in the private sector and pay, via their VAT and income taxes for 75% of the wage increases in the public sector?
They might also raise the disparity in the private sector where board members get a stonking rise when the share price or profits reduce….

Last edited 1 year ago by John Urwin
James 0
James 0
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

again no thought in this comment.
band five,is not paid the same as upper bands,that’s because band 7 etc are doing a different job.
it’s about the skills etc.
However if your happy with an untrained ,inexperienced lackey doing an interventional procedure on you or your family you deserve to suffer.

Diane Tasker
Diane Tasker
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Your opening points are the nub of the problem and successive Governments know it but fear to take it on. From a resourcing perspective I believe the shortage of NHS nurses is partly as a result of the pull of the private / agency sectors where money in the pocket has a pull factor higher than the lower salary coupled with a generous secondary ‘benefits package offered by the NHS. I suspect that if one compares an NHS Nurse’s overall salary and benefits package it might not be that far off an agency nurse with a higher salary but with minimum benefits. However, in these austere times, money in the pocket as an agency nurse trumps the NHS’s lower salary plus the generous benefits package that may never be called on. I wonder what a poll would turn up if the question was to have much higher pay but with a less generous benefits. package….

James 0
James 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Tasker

if its that easy why are we so short of nhs staff.
Thought so,your mouths engaged but brains not.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Tasker

I cannot recall a comment to any recent article that I have more enthusiastically agreed with.

Diane Tasker
Diane Tasker
1 year ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

Thankyou!

Diane Tasker
Diane Tasker
1 year ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

Thankyou!

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Tasker

I agree with the ‘across the board’ criticism. And also that staff above Band 7 shouldn’t get the same as is eventually agreed for those Bands below. It is a problem with a national pay scale that see others benefit if differentials have to be maintained (they should not). The Govt has had 12 years though to untangle nurse pay, esp the lower band nurses where the shortage is greatest, from other staff groups. They haven’t done it, I suspect because it would undercut the argument that is used to suppress nurse pay that others would also get less deserved rises.
Putting aside the individual argument about whether a Band 5 nurse ‘deserves’ at least an inflation-proof pay rise, the arguably more important question is what pay rate do we need to reduce the number of nurse vacancies that is crippling health care services? And bear in mind we are already paying well above inflation when we have to use agency.
One can understand the Govt dilemma and need to hold the line on pay restraint or this just spirals out of control. But for nursing there is a different imperative also needing urgent consideration.

James 0
James 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Tasker

if its that easy why are we so short of nhs staff.
Thought so,your mouths engaged but brains not.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Tasker

I cannot recall a comment to any recent article that I have more enthusiastically agreed with.

Chris England
Chris England
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

There is a problem with your argument which I find hard to reconcile- and that is pay relativity.
Certain roles attract higher rates- due to skills responsibility etc etc.
A real concern for those on the higher rate is the erosion of the gap between their pay and those on the lower rate- this is why pay increases are normally in percentage terms. ie I have earnt the right to relatively higher pay through hard work/long hours/ education (not earning)- why did I bother?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris England

Yes, this a 100 times. In order to remain competitive workers are forced to re-skill, usually paying for this from their own pockets. It gets even more disheartening, especially here in the US, where organizational politics and diversity schemes, rather than merit or competency, play a greater role in who gets a promotion or a higher pay check.

Diane Tasker
Diane Tasker
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris England

I would agree with your premise on pay increases but don’t feel the responsibilities or the technical skills on the admin side are justified. There is much that could be improved. One can be more thoroughly informed with up to date information on a medical issue through an internet search than on the NHS website. Yes Dr Google used to be a joke but more than one doctor I’ve consulted used it. Remember when the NHS computer system failed because the IT division didn’t bother installing an update? I had to explain a blood test to my GP who didn’t understand a particular part of the endocrine system but was ‘advising’ me with the aid of the NHS website. Fortunately he didn’t fall back on ‘The computer say no’ answer! I have no quarrel with a GP Googling a reputable medical website. But I’m wary when it’s off the NHS website. I don’t know if it’s lacklustre to it’s heart or it’s lazy management. Perhaps the NHS HR types could introduce a form of performance related pay instead of ever increasing pay deals for all support staff.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Tasker

Having worked most of my life in the private sector that question of performance related pay has often seemed the biggest difference between private and public sectors, and is perhaps one of the biggest shortcomings of the latter. It rewards performance whereas the public sector rewards length of service.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Tasker

Having worked most of my life in the private sector that question of performance related pay has often seemed the biggest difference between private and public sectors, and is perhaps one of the biggest shortcomings of the latter. It rewards performance whereas the public sector rewards length of service.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris England

Yes, this a 100 times. In order to remain competitive workers are forced to re-skill, usually paying for this from their own pockets. It gets even more disheartening, especially here in the US, where organizational politics and diversity schemes, rather than merit or competency, play a greater role in who gets a promotion or a higher pay check.

Diane Tasker
Diane Tasker
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris England

I would agree with your premise on pay increases but don’t feel the responsibilities or the technical skills on the admin side are justified. There is much that could be improved. One can be more thoroughly informed with up to date information on a medical issue through an internet search than on the NHS website. Yes Dr Google used to be a joke but more than one doctor I’ve consulted used it. Remember when the NHS computer system failed because the IT division didn’t bother installing an update? I had to explain a blood test to my GP who didn’t understand a particular part of the endocrine system but was ‘advising’ me with the aid of the NHS website. Fortunately he didn’t fall back on ‘The computer say no’ answer! I have no quarrel with a GP Googling a reputable medical website. But I’m wary when it’s off the NHS website. I don’t know if it’s lacklustre to it’s heart or it’s lazy management. Perhaps the NHS HR types could introduce a form of performance related pay instead of ever increasing pay deals for all support staff.

Bob Pugh
Bob Pugh
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

Also it’s not only supply side pressure that’s fuelling inflation. Thatcher had a “Dash for Gas” which was a coherent energy policy that removed polluting coal from our power stations and removed the mineworkers union from having power over the government. The complete absence of an energy policy ever since coupled to net zero zealotry and excessive covid lockdowns and hand-outs had driven energy prices and hence inflation up before the supply side pinch happened. We must not let our moronic political elite hide using “Putin stole my dinner money” excuses for a situation they had a big hand in creating. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6y-8kfjEWM

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

You’ve completely ignored the fact that the NHS is struggling to recruit nurses. In such circumstances, the free market solution is to raise nurses’ pay in order to increase the number of nurses offering their services.
This is the dilemma for the government. The government either continues to fail to offer adequate services through the NHS or it accepts a pay demand that it cannot afford and which would encourage others to demand more, leading to higher interest rates and lower house prices. The solution is to redirect funding in the NHS away from unproductive management and into the front line services. Unfortunately, no one in the government or the Civil Service seems to have a clue how to do this.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago

You speak as if higher interest rates and lower house prices would be a bad thing, when in my opinion that’s what the country should be aiming for. Lower house prices would see more young families own a home, and higher interest rates would wipe away many zombie companies currently holding back productivity.
Also I fully support any worker demanding their pay rises in line with inflation. Why should they take a pay cut to fix the mistakes of the wealthy?

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Higher interest rates and lower house prices would be a good thing in the long run, but cause a lot of pain in the short term and no sitting government will risk that, nor any prospective government.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Higher interest rates and lower house prices would be a good thing in the long run, but cause a lot of pain in the short term and no sitting government will risk that, nor any prospective government.

Diane Tasker
Diane Tasker
1 year ago

Exactly!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago

You speak as if higher interest rates and lower house prices would be a bad thing, when in my opinion that’s what the country should be aiming for. Lower house prices would see more young families own a home, and higher interest rates would wipe away many zombie companies currently holding back productivity.
Also I fully support any worker demanding their pay rises in line with inflation. Why should they take a pay cut to fix the mistakes of the wealthy?

Diane Tasker
Diane Tasker
1 year ago

Exactly!

Diane Tasker
Diane Tasker
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

What is a ‘Director for Lived Experience’ anybody? NHS Management role £110k – is this role (and no doubt there are others) REALLY necessary? Nurses should be striking to stop all this grandiose and expensive empire building and for Management to get on with being supportive, useful, practical, efficient, skilled (purchasing key) and value for money.

I totally agree with your comments. I find the ‘blunt instrument’ of ‘across the board’ payrises in the public sector totally inappropriate (and LAZY) in our current economic situation. Taking the example of the monolith NHS, with its burden of well paid administrators overseeing outdated systems, is it really deserving of a pay hike at this precarious time for the economy? At ‘point of service’ – allowing for exceptions depending on your particular need, your wallet, where you live, the luck of the draw – access to competent and caring health services diminishes by the day. Not satisfied with limiting access to care, the local ‘businesses’ we must register with to receive it (euphemistically referred to as ‘our local GP surgery’) are becoming ever more dictatic through their well schooled ‘gatekeeper’ (aka the receptionist) This is the every day experiences of many I talk to. The NHS service stepped up when Covid hit, but, let’s be honest here. It was a relatively small cohort of the whole who took huge risks and worked ‘til they dropped’ to keep urgent services running, and no doubt would do so again. Nothing is ever mentioned about the whole remuneration package ‘enjoyed’ when public sector workers pay comes up. Most of the ‘working poor’ a category increasing numbers of competent, educated workers now find themselves in, would kill to have the sort of public sector benefits enjoyed (generous sick leave and sick pay perks for example – which are a valuable and, I am told, well-used and oft abused perk!

Last edited 1 year ago by Diane Tasker
Chris England
Chris England
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

There is a problem with your argument which I find hard to reconcile- and that is pay relativity.
Certain roles attract higher rates- due to skills responsibility etc etc.
A real concern for those on the higher rate is the erosion of the gap between their pay and those on the lower rate- this is why pay increases are normally in percentage terms. ie I have earnt the right to relatively higher pay through hard work/long hours/ education (not earning)- why did I bother?

Bob Pugh
Bob Pugh
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

Also it’s not only supply side pressure that’s fuelling inflation. Thatcher had a “Dash for Gas” which was a coherent energy policy that removed polluting coal from our power stations and removed the mineworkers union from having power over the government. The complete absence of an energy policy ever since coupled to net zero zealotry and excessive covid lockdowns and hand-outs had driven energy prices and hence inflation up before the supply side pinch happened. We must not let our moronic political elite hide using “Putin stole my dinner money” excuses for a situation they had a big hand in creating. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6y-8kfjEWM

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

You’ve completely ignored the fact that the NHS is struggling to recruit nurses. In such circumstances, the free market solution is to raise nurses’ pay in order to increase the number of nurses offering their services.
This is the dilemma for the government. The government either continues to fail to offer adequate services through the NHS or it accepts a pay demand that it cannot afford and which would encourage others to demand more, leading to higher interest rates and lower house prices. The solution is to redirect funding in the NHS away from unproductive management and into the front line services. Unfortunately, no one in the government or the Civil Service seems to have a clue how to do this.

Matthew Powell
Matthew Powell
1 year ago

“the Government “is struggling to come up with a coherent message” to explain why it cannot afford to raise nurses’ pay to match inflation.”

Why? Because in a supply side inflationary environment, every pay rise that is equal to or greater than the rate of inflation sustains or adds to that inflation as long as the supply side constraints last.

When it comes to salaries which are under government control, pay rises which are close to matching inflation should only be offered to the lowest paid workers. Since, however, the majority of pubic sector workers are professionals who generally earn more than the national average, granting them a pay rise which matches or exceeds the inflation rate, means that the government is shielding the better off in society from inflation, at the price of inflicting greater inflation on those on lower wages, who do not enjoy the cast iron job security and high wages the public sector uses to leverage strike action.

That seems to me to be a perfectly fair reason as to not grant these pay rises to the public sector, though strangely, those on the left are outraged that people earning 35-40k a year should see their wages cut in real terms to help prevent those earning 20-25k being worse hit by inflation.

Ben J
Ben J
1 year ago

The other difference between now and 1979 is we didn’t pay people to stay at home for two years based on a bed-wetting aversion to risk. This is one of the reasons we’re in an economic hole and, if I remember correctly, was fully supported by the Left and the Unions. Now that economic chicken has come home to roost they’re bleating about it.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben J

Ironically the vast majority of those striking weren’t paid to stay at home. Quite the reverse in fact.
Unlike many of us currently bashing our keyboards during the normal working day, our nurses, rail workers, posties etc will be at work and won’t have the wonderful post Covid option of a day WFH! (unless of course on strike).
I suspect the bed wetters are much more likely to be likes of us.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

‘Us?’ speak for yourself.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Well, not you and me, obviously. He means ‘them’ i.e. the Civil Service-MSM-political-academic-3rd sector-HR-Remain tuwatocracy.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Well, not you and me, obviously. He means ‘them’ i.e. the Civil Service-MSM-political-academic-3rd sector-HR-Remain tuwatocracy.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

‘Us?’ speak for yourself.

glyn harries
glyn harries
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben J

Stupid comment. As J Watson says those on strike now were 100% those who worked and suffered through Covid; the transport workers, the nurses, the postal workers etc etc.

Stu N
Stu N
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

We didn’t suffer Glyn, we just went to work and did our jobs, as usual. Those who were locked down are now starting to realise the whole thing was pointless, I could have told them that 18 months ago.

My workplace sailed through the whole ‘pandemic’ with the staff ignoring most of the ludicrous regulations. I finally got covid last month, felt a bit crappy for a week then went back to work.

Essential workers don’t have the right to call for massive pay increases as some kind of ‘compensation’ for the mass covid mental breakdown.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Stu N

Completely agree with you about the COVID hyperbole.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Stu N

Completely agree with you about the COVID hyperbole.

Glyn R
Glyn R
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

Many wards were cleared and staff sent home – not all nurses were overworked and certainly not overwhelmed by the pandemic.
Two nurses in my family and they were furious and embarrassed by the fuss and absurdity of NHS worship during the lockdown. As my sister said, she was simply doing her job – a hospice nurse- and it was no harder than usual. She added that as usual the overwhelming majority of the dying were suffering from diseases such a cancer and organ failure and not covid… although all patients, no matter how advanced their illnesses, were tested for covid and if found positive then that would be on the death certificate even if they died covid symptom free yet riddled with cancer.
She was shocked by the manner in which so many nhs staff and management never questioned any of the inhumane ‘covid safe ’ protocols that were mindlessly enforced.
All that said, she would welcome a pay rise.

Last edited 1 year ago by Glyn R
Stu N
Stu N
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

We didn’t suffer Glyn, we just went to work and did our jobs, as usual. Those who were locked down are now starting to realise the whole thing was pointless, I could have told them that 18 months ago.

My workplace sailed through the whole ‘pandemic’ with the staff ignoring most of the ludicrous regulations. I finally got covid last month, felt a bit crappy for a week then went back to work.

Essential workers don’t have the right to call for massive pay increases as some kind of ‘compensation’ for the mass covid mental breakdown.

Glyn R
Glyn R
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

Many wards were cleared and staff sent home – not all nurses were overworked and certainly not overwhelmed by the pandemic.
Two nurses in my family and they were furious and embarrassed by the fuss and absurdity of NHS worship during the lockdown. As my sister said, she was simply doing her job – a hospice nurse- and it was no harder than usual. She added that as usual the overwhelming majority of the dying were suffering from diseases such a cancer and organ failure and not covid… although all patients, no matter how advanced their illnesses, were tested for covid and if found positive then that would be on the death certificate even if they died covid symptom free yet riddled with cancer.
She was shocked by the manner in which so many nhs staff and management never questioned any of the inhumane ‘covid safe ’ protocols that were mindlessly enforced.
All that said, she would welcome a pay rise.

Last edited 1 year ago by Glyn R
Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben J

Good point. The entire political Establishment and public sector were united in willing a hard lockdown to ‘save’ the NHS. Now they want to exact a further penalty upon the nation and private sector in a de facto strike. Surely this stromg arming by the largely graduate whote collar public sector is v different from the 70s. Then it was a classic battle between labour and capital – armies of now non existent working class males. Labour has shrivelled into the party of these striking public sector workers. It is the party of this now workshy WFH under performing Blob. I do not see how Starmer can stay neutral. I do not see how his and Labour’s direct alliances with a public sector openly risking our lives and casually smashing our prosperity will not gravely harm his electoral prospects. They are warring on us. Take a stand Labour. We will not be happy with the Blob and you after this winter of discontent.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben J

Ironically the vast majority of those striking weren’t paid to stay at home. Quite the reverse in fact.
Unlike many of us currently bashing our keyboards during the normal working day, our nurses, rail workers, posties etc will be at work and won’t have the wonderful post Covid option of a day WFH! (unless of course on strike).
I suspect the bed wetters are much more likely to be likes of us.

glyn harries
glyn harries
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben J

Stupid comment. As J Watson says those on strike now were 100% those who worked and suffered through Covid; the transport workers, the nurses, the postal workers etc etc.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben J

Good point. The entire political Establishment and public sector were united in willing a hard lockdown to ‘save’ the NHS. Now they want to exact a further penalty upon the nation and private sector in a de facto strike. Surely this stromg arming by the largely graduate whote collar public sector is v different from the 70s. Then it was a classic battle between labour and capital – armies of now non existent working class males. Labour has shrivelled into the party of these striking public sector workers. It is the party of this now workshy WFH under performing Blob. I do not see how Starmer can stay neutral. I do not see how his and Labour’s direct alliances with a public sector openly risking our lives and casually smashing our prosperity will not gravely harm his electoral prospects. They are warring on us. Take a stand Labour. We will not be happy with the Blob and you after this winter of discontent.

Ben J
Ben J
1 year ago

The other difference between now and 1979 is we didn’t pay people to stay at home for two years based on a bed-wetting aversion to risk. This is one of the reasons we’re in an economic hole and, if I remember correctly, was fully supported by the Left and the Unions. Now that economic chicken has come home to roost they’re bleating about it.

Andrew Buckley
Andrew Buckley
1 year ago

Conflated on striking, really don’t like strikes of any sort, especially around public service, after all this is what I pay quite a bit of tax for.
But, the low wage economy (in all areas) really annoys me. Especially around the comfortably off moaning when someone doesn’t provide the service said comfortably off person thinks they are entitled to and then goes on about the laziness of the bin man, delivery driver, shelf stacker or whatever.
And another but, the gap in wages has been growing for the past 30 years (at least) with percentage pay rises fueling this (10% of £20,000 is £2,000 whereas 10% of £50,000 is £5,000 so the “manager” is £3,000 better off than the lower paid person).
My solution, which could work in the Public Sector, would be a flat pay rise independent of salary. £5,000, say, would be a decent uplift if on £20K pa and worthwhile and this then steadily reduces as salary goes up.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Buckley

Very good idea. Watch the zoom class squeal.

In my last job (private sector) they did once freeze salaries above £50k but gave an inflation increase to everybody else. The people at the top sucked it up without too much complaint. Not sure the ethos in the public sector is quite the same,

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Buckley

I’d add whilst we all fixate on public sector strikers the real criminals are laughing all the way to the bank. What was it £9-11b on wasted PPE contracts with private sector suppliers providing not fit for purpose products. £4.3b and counting on Covid Business Loan fraud. Etc
Strange isn’t how instead we get angry about a junior nurse who worked all through Covid fighting to maintain their standard of living.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Not to mention QE, which runs into trillions

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

The object of the exercise is to divert your attention away from the fat cats. You’re not playing the game here!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

For once I agree with you. Why should the workers suffer with pay cuts for the mistakes of the wealthy who have benefitted enormously due to QE causing asset prices to skyrocket

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

For once I agree with you. Why should the workers suffer with pay cuts for the mistakes of the wealthy who have benefitted enormously due to QE causing asset prices to skyrocket

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Not to mention QE, which runs into trillions

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

The object of the exercise is to divert your attention away from the fat cats. You’re not playing the game here!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Buckley

You forget George Carlin’s line:
“The poor are there to scare the shit of of the low/ middle income group” …and divert their attention away from the greedy 1%.
Eliminating poverty would therefore scare the shit out of the 1%!

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Buckley

There is a tax burden difference in your example that needs to be considered. The manager on 50K would see a little less than half in take home salary whereas the 20K worker would see about three quarters. It would be about £1,500 vs about £2,300. Still a gap, but not quite so large.
Although it’s also fair to say that the increase any pay rise has is best viewed from disposable income. If inflation in the cost of a persons mandatory goods and bills is less than the overall increase in disposable income, then that person is doing a lot better out of the situation irrespective of what the gross pay rise is.
All of this aside, I don’t think we can fix a supply side calamity by printing money. If the government want to do something useful with that money, maybe spend it on infrastructure that will prevent these kinds of disaster in future.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Yes, well it’s high time we got back to the Gold Standard. Or bimetallism, at any rate. We need something to anchor the thugslobs who rule us to economic and fiscal reality.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Yes, well it’s high time we got back to the Gold Standard. Or bimetallism, at any rate. We need something to anchor the thugslobs who rule us to economic and fiscal reality.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Buckley

Ah yes, you’re taking me back to the Trades Union Congress circa 1977, live all afternoon on BBC 2, and Rodney Bickerstaff of the PCSU- or perhaps it was Mick McGahey of the NUM – impassionedly screeching: ‘Comrades!! I say to you!!!! A percentage pay rise!!! Gives least!! To those!!!! Who need it MOST!!!!! And MOST to those!! Who!!!!!! Need!!!!!!!! It!!!!!!! LEASSSSTTT!!!!!!!!!

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Buckley

Very good idea. Watch the zoom class squeal.

In my last job (private sector) they did once freeze salaries above £50k but gave an inflation increase to everybody else. The people at the top sucked it up without too much complaint. Not sure the ethos in the public sector is quite the same,

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Buckley

I’d add whilst we all fixate on public sector strikers the real criminals are laughing all the way to the bank. What was it £9-11b on wasted PPE contracts with private sector suppliers providing not fit for purpose products. £4.3b and counting on Covid Business Loan fraud. Etc
Strange isn’t how instead we get angry about a junior nurse who worked all through Covid fighting to maintain their standard of living.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Buckley

You forget George Carlin’s line:
“The poor are there to scare the shit of of the low/ middle income group” …and divert their attention away from the greedy 1%.
Eliminating poverty would therefore scare the shit out of the 1%!

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Buckley

There is a tax burden difference in your example that needs to be considered. The manager on 50K would see a little less than half in take home salary whereas the 20K worker would see about three quarters. It would be about £1,500 vs about £2,300. Still a gap, but not quite so large.
Although it’s also fair to say that the increase any pay rise has is best viewed from disposable income. If inflation in the cost of a persons mandatory goods and bills is less than the overall increase in disposable income, then that person is doing a lot better out of the situation irrespective of what the gross pay rise is.
All of this aside, I don’t think we can fix a supply side calamity by printing money. If the government want to do something useful with that money, maybe spend it on infrastructure that will prevent these kinds of disaster in future.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Buckley

Ah yes, you’re taking me back to the Trades Union Congress circa 1977, live all afternoon on BBC 2, and Rodney Bickerstaff of the PCSU- or perhaps it was Mick McGahey of the NUM – impassionedly screeching: ‘Comrades!! I say to you!!!! A percentage pay rise!!! Gives least!! To those!!!! Who need it MOST!!!!! And MOST to those!! Who!!!!!! Need!!!!!!!! It!!!!!!! LEASSSSTTT!!!!!!!!!

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Andrew Buckley
Andrew Buckley
1 year ago

Conflated on striking, really don’t like strikes of any sort, especially around public service, after all this is what I pay quite a bit of tax for.
But, the low wage economy (in all areas) really annoys me. Especially around the comfortably off moaning when someone doesn’t provide the service said comfortably off person thinks they are entitled to and then goes on about the laziness of the bin man, delivery driver, shelf stacker or whatever.
And another but, the gap in wages has been growing for the past 30 years (at least) with percentage pay rises fueling this (10% of £20,000 is £2,000 whereas 10% of £50,000 is £5,000 so the “manager” is £3,000 better off than the lower paid person).
My solution, which could work in the Public Sector, would be a flat pay rise independent of salary. £5,000, say, would be a decent uplift if on £20K pa and worthwhile and this then steadily reduces as salary goes up.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

Private companies’ earnings go up and down. So do those of many of their employees.
Public sector pay rises given now will never go down. (Who has received a 7.7% pay reduction? Really?) And what about the benefits that nobody else gets? Weren’t these supposed to compensate for the relatively low pay? Wasn’t that the trade-off?
Meanwhile the rest of us will continue paying for the current and future pensions and benefits of public employees while watching our own funds dwindle.
It’s hardly escaped our notice that those screaming loudness for longer, deeper, harder, lockdowns and closures because “lives are more important than money” are now the ones screaming loudest for – guess what – more money.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

I seem to recall that President Ronald Reagan started his ‘innings’ with a Public Sector contest. Air Traffic Controllers, smugly thought they were indispensable and ‘downed tools’.
Reagan “broke them”, and also denied then any further employment with the US Public Sector, FOREVER!

Sunak & shower should try to emulate this stunning victory forthwith or they are doomed.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Quite right Charlie.. and a little public flogging wouldn’t go amiss either methinks. If that doesn’t work then a little decimation and public hangings should be tried right?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Did you manage to visit ALCANTARA?

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago

What’s that? Franco’s memorial tomb?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

No, that was in the ‘Valle de los Caídos’, until it was desecrated fairly recently.

Alcantara is Arabic for ‘The Bridge’ and describes the finest surviving Roman Bridge that spans the River Tagus close to the Portuguese frontier.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

…. and the roof lining material for Darren and Kayleighs smart Tesla

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

…. and the roof lining material for Darren and Kayleighs smart Tesla

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Duplication due to slovenly censorship.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

No.

(* Other reply Censored!)

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

No, that was in the ‘Valle de los Caídos’, until it was desecrated fairly recently.

Alcantara is Arabic for ‘The Bridge’ and describes the finest surviving Roman Bridge that spans the River Tagus close to the Portuguese frontier.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Duplication due to slovenly censorship.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

No.

(* Other reply Censored!)

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago

What’s that? Franco’s memorial tomb?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Did you manage to visit ALCANTARA?

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago

As a matter of interest – and with direct application to, say, nursing and train driving and the like – what did the USSA then do for Air Traffic Controllers for the next couple of years?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

They brought in retirees, and the military.…..it worked!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

They brought in retirees, and the military.…..it worked!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Quite right Charlie.. and a little public flogging wouldn’t go amiss either methinks. If that doesn’t work then a little decimation and public hangings should be tried right?

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago

As a matter of interest – and with direct application to, say, nursing and train driving and the like – what did the USSA then do for Air Traffic Controllers for the next couple of years?

Ben J
Ben J
1 year ago

Ironically, public sector workers who can’t strike have seen cuts to real-terms pay before the recent inflationary spiral. Since 2012, police officers have seen their pay cut by nearly 11% and their pensions altered significantly. But, as I said, they can’t strike. Armed forces pay rises run roughly -10% below inflation. Again, can’t strike and of course are required to fill in for better paid public sector workers who can.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben J

What are you referring to by “real-terms”?
Do you mean actual contracted pay amounts , or buying power adjusted for inflation?
Do you realise that most people don’t have their pay automatically adjusted for inflation, by any percentage, and do not refer to this as a “pay cut”?

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben J

So far as I can see, the Police have largely been on strike for years. Or Work to Rule, anyway.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben J

no such thing as a police ” officer” they are all ” other ranks”.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben J

What are you referring to by “real-terms”?
Do you mean actual contracted pay amounts , or buying power adjusted for inflation?
Do you realise that most people don’t have their pay automatically adjusted for inflation, by any percentage, and do not refer to this as a “pay cut”?

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben J

So far as I can see, the Police have largely been on strike for years. Or Work to Rule, anyway.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben J

no such thing as a police ” officer” they are all ” other ranks”.

glyn harries
glyn harries
1 year ago

Are you really unaware that public sector wages have been below inflation for many years and are now below private sector wages? And are you also really not aware that the train workers ( and postal workers ) are actually in the private sector??? Btw a private sector that is bankrolled by the taxpayer, but where a significant % of that money is simply shovelled to shareholders instead of to the workers. https://www.ft.com/content/48dafbb9-371d-4683-9afb-26652add888c

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

You may be confusing the Civil service with the Public service?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

I seem to recall that President Ronald Reagan started his ‘innings’ with a Public Sector contest. Air Traffic Controllers, smugly thought they were indispensable and ‘downed tools’.
Reagan “broke them”, and also denied then any further employment with the US Public Sector, FOREVER!

Sunak & shower should try to emulate this stunning victory forthwith or they are doomed.

Ben J
Ben J
1 year ago

Ironically, public sector workers who can’t strike have seen cuts to real-terms pay before the recent inflationary spiral. Since 2012, police officers have seen their pay cut by nearly 11% and their pensions altered significantly. But, as I said, they can’t strike. Armed forces pay rises run roughly -10% below inflation. Again, can’t strike and of course are required to fill in for better paid public sector workers who can.

glyn harries
glyn harries
1 year ago

Are you really unaware that public sector wages have been below inflation for many years and are now below private sector wages? And are you also really not aware that the train workers ( and postal workers ) are actually in the private sector??? Btw a private sector that is bankrolled by the taxpayer, but where a significant % of that money is simply shovelled to shareholders instead of to the workers. https://www.ft.com/content/48dafbb9-371d-4683-9afb-26652add888c

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

You may be confusing the Civil service with the Public service?

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

Private companies’ earnings go up and down. So do those of many of their employees.
Public sector pay rises given now will never go down. (Who has received a 7.7% pay reduction? Really?) And what about the benefits that nobody else gets? Weren’t these supposed to compensate for the relatively low pay? Wasn’t that the trade-off?
Meanwhile the rest of us will continue paying for the current and future pensions and benefits of public employees while watching our own funds dwindle.
It’s hardly escaped our notice that those screaming loudness for longer, deeper, harder, lockdowns and closures because “lives are more important than money” are now the ones screaming loudest for – guess what – more money.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago

Inflation is Tax. The Gov wants to spend more than IRS Taxes brings, to buy votes, and to buy favors for important friends, or to not lose them to the other party, And to not raise ‘Taxes’

They (say) spend £2 Trillion into a 8 £Trillion economy – Borrowed from themselves. (Print Gilts, sell them as a promise of money and interest in the future, then having the money from the sale – ‘Print’ off the Trillions of £ and spend them. (monetize the debt))

Friedman said ” Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon’ ”

Say: 2 £Trillion ‘borrowed’ pounds spent out into the 8 £Trillion economy – same (or less) goods and services, pies, barbers, TVs, beer and houses – but now 20% more £ – Bang – and every £ in your savings, pension, bank, wallet is now worth 80 pence. You just lost 20% of everything you own in ‘Real Terms’. An 80 pence can of beans is now £1. (It does not really go quite like this)

Inflation is the expanding of money supply without expanding the amount of goods and services.

This ‘Inflates away the gov Debt. (and private debt – but remember every debt is someone else’s income/wealth) Your wealth was taxed away by stealth at 20%, as is your income unless you can force a pay rise.

So you abuse your position of power and extort a %20 pay rise so you do not have to share the pain going forward that everyone in the country does. You refuse the ‘all in this hard thing together’ and get a rise so your income is free of this stealth tax – and you let the Less Well Off and small business pay their stealth Tax – and your share too. (a tax called inflation)

Your increased wages mean more money printed – so you have a ‘Wage/Price Death Spiral’ and inflation increases. But it is OK – you have a vital job – strike for more next year. Now – everyone on a private pension, or cannot strike for more wages, small business, and so on – they go 40% behind next year – but no worries, You went on strike – you are fine. You do not share in the national belt tightening – in fact you make it worse – Because you can – Right Train drivers and Border Control and Ambulance, and others who can?, you get a pass….because you can withhold your work as it is needed and you are all organized, and can extort for a pay rise. (plus the fact poor workers could not get to work and lost a weeks pay for Christmas)

Last edited 1 year ago by Jonas Moze
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

..that’s half the story. Tell the other half please: say where the wealth is, went, gas been syphoned off for decades.. You seem to be an ‘agitator’ ie your role is to set the poor against the not so poor thereby diverting attention from the real villains.
Follow the money….
Qui bono (maximo)..
You focus on crumbs while the fat cats gorge themselves!

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Exactly so. Who got the £39 billion (yes, not £39 million, not £390m, not £3.9 billion, £39 BILLION) allegedly spent (how!!!) on a Test & Trace System (a piece of software!) that never even properly materialised? Where did that TAXPAYERS’ money go? Who received it, and why such an unbelievably vast sum? Where is it now?
‘Lady’ Mone and her alleged £29m family trust fund allegedly provided by PPE contractors is small fry by comparison.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

I must admit, through no fault of my own, that I was a grateful beneficiary of a minute amount of that largesse!

“Every cloud etc………”

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

I must admit, through no fault of my own, that I was a grateful beneficiary of a minute amount of that largesse!

“Every cloud etc………”

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Exactly so. Who got the £39 billion (yes, not £39 million, not £390m, not £3.9 billion, £39 BILLION) allegedly spent (how!!!) on a Test & Trace System (a piece of software!) that never even properly materialised? Where did that TAXPAYERS’ money go? Who received it, and why such an unbelievably vast sum? Where is it now?
‘Lady’ Mone and her alleged £29m family trust fund allegedly provided by PPE contractors is small fry by comparison.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

..that’s half the story. Tell the other half please: say where the wealth is, went, gas been syphoned off for decades.. You seem to be an ‘agitator’ ie your role is to set the poor against the not so poor thereby diverting attention from the real villains.
Follow the money….
Qui bono (maximo)..
You focus on crumbs while the fat cats gorge themselves!

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago

Inflation is Tax. The Gov wants to spend more than IRS Taxes brings, to buy votes, and to buy favors for important friends, or to not lose them to the other party, And to not raise ‘Taxes’

They (say) spend £2 Trillion into a 8 £Trillion economy – Borrowed from themselves. (Print Gilts, sell them as a promise of money and interest in the future, then having the money from the sale – ‘Print’ off the Trillions of £ and spend them. (monetize the debt))

Friedman said ” Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon’ ”

Say: 2 £Trillion ‘borrowed’ pounds spent out into the 8 £Trillion economy – same (or less) goods and services, pies, barbers, TVs, beer and houses – but now 20% more £ – Bang – and every £ in your savings, pension, bank, wallet is now worth 80 pence. You just lost 20% of everything you own in ‘Real Terms’. An 80 pence can of beans is now £1. (It does not really go quite like this)

Inflation is the expanding of money supply without expanding the amount of goods and services.

This ‘Inflates away the gov Debt. (and private debt – but remember every debt is someone else’s income/wealth) Your wealth was taxed away by stealth at 20%, as is your income unless you can force a pay rise.

So you abuse your position of power and extort a %20 pay rise so you do not have to share the pain going forward that everyone in the country does. You refuse the ‘all in this hard thing together’ and get a rise so your income is free of this stealth tax – and you let the Less Well Off and small business pay their stealth Tax – and your share too. (a tax called inflation)

Your increased wages mean more money printed – so you have a ‘Wage/Price Death Spiral’ and inflation increases. But it is OK – you have a vital job – strike for more next year. Now – everyone on a private pension, or cannot strike for more wages, small business, and so on – they go 40% behind next year – but no worries, You went on strike – you are fine. You do not share in the national belt tightening – in fact you make it worse – Because you can – Right Train drivers and Border Control and Ambulance, and others who can?, you get a pass….because you can withhold your work as it is needed and you are all organized, and can extort for a pay rise. (plus the fact poor workers could not get to work and lost a weeks pay for Christmas)

Last edited 1 year ago by Jonas Moze
AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

When I started work in the 70s in part of the Civil Service (later privatised) it was understood that the pay was appreciably less than the private sector but also that the jobs were more secure and the pensions much better. The impetus for a substantial pay rises was limited to that necessary to stem people leaving for better paid jobs in ‘outside industry’.
So one option, for say NHS workers and managers, would be to increase pay but align job security, manning levels and pensions with private industry. This change need not be brutal but it should be inexorable. Do the politicians have enough moral strength for such a task? Or will they defer the problem to a Royal Commission and leave the ongoing problems for someone else to solve?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

The answer to your last point is no, but it’s unfair to characterise it as a lack of moral fibre in politicians (which isn’t to say they’re brimming with it). It’s more a question of what might be politically possible. An attempt to rebalance public/private sector job remunerations would be characterised as “an attack on the nurses” or suchlike and i very much doubt we as an electorate have the moral fibre to withstand the media onslaught that would ensue. When i say “we”, i mean in general of course.

The moral of all this is that we, the general public, are not just the recipients of a sub-standard service, but part of the reason its the way it is. Those GPs and their receptionists are also part of the same public, and given a bit of power have taken liberties with the rest of us, as tends to happen. Similarly in acute services (hospitals) throughout the land, where during my NHS career the same ‘little Hitler’ syndrome was prevalent, alongside the good people who wanted to do their best without it going to their heads. Unfortunately, the tyrants tended to elbow their way to positions of authority.

We see this also with the hierarchy in unions. The issue then, is human nature. To change the system would indeed require the neutrality of something like a Royal Commission, or the collapse of the current system which appears to be an ever-increasing possibility.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Do the politicians have enough guile to reverse any such benefits? The same people who saw to dismantling the few labour rights laws we had? “By their works shall ye know them”..

Chris England
Chris England
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

It is happening, but slowly, and employer contributions are still very high – eg move pensions to average earnings instead of final earnings.
It doesn’t seem to have kept up with pay increases which jumped hugely during the Blair years to the point where public sector pay was higher than private (like for like).

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

The answer to your last point is no, but it’s unfair to characterise it as a lack of moral fibre in politicians (which isn’t to say they’re brimming with it). It’s more a question of what might be politically possible. An attempt to rebalance public/private sector job remunerations would be characterised as “an attack on the nurses” or suchlike and i very much doubt we as an electorate have the moral fibre to withstand the media onslaught that would ensue. When i say “we”, i mean in general of course.

The moral of all this is that we, the general public, are not just the recipients of a sub-standard service, but part of the reason its the way it is. Those GPs and their receptionists are also part of the same public, and given a bit of power have taken liberties with the rest of us, as tends to happen. Similarly in acute services (hospitals) throughout the land, where during my NHS career the same ‘little Hitler’ syndrome was prevalent, alongside the good people who wanted to do their best without it going to their heads. Unfortunately, the tyrants tended to elbow their way to positions of authority.

We see this also with the hierarchy in unions. The issue then, is human nature. To change the system would indeed require the neutrality of something like a Royal Commission, or the collapse of the current system which appears to be an ever-increasing possibility.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Do the politicians have enough guile to reverse any such benefits? The same people who saw to dismantling the few labour rights laws we had? “By their works shall ye know them”..

Chris England
Chris England
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

It is happening, but slowly, and employer contributions are still very high – eg move pensions to average earnings instead of final earnings.
It doesn’t seem to have kept up with pay increases which jumped hugely during the Blair years to the point where public sector pay was higher than private (like for like).

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

When I started work in the 70s in part of the Civil Service (later privatised) it was understood that the pay was appreciably less than the private sector but also that the jobs were more secure and the pensions much better. The impetus for a substantial pay rises was limited to that necessary to stem people leaving for better paid jobs in ‘outside industry’.
So one option, for say NHS workers and managers, would be to increase pay but align job security, manning levels and pensions with private industry. This change need not be brutal but it should be inexorable. Do the politicians have enough moral strength for such a task? Or will they defer the problem to a Royal Commission and leave the ongoing problems for someone else to solve?

Adrian Doble
Adrian Doble
1 year ago

It’s refreshing to see a commentator setting out the vast difference between people in 1979 and 2022. In 1979 the working classes (as they were called) lived on income alone. Now they have assets, cars, homes, pensions, aspiration. It’s wrong to compare the two.

Regarding the lack of voice or strategy from the conservatives this is what happens when you put suits in charge. As CS Lewis said ‘close shaving quiet men in suits planning and implementing through others’ The Managerial Class.

Leadership has all to do with character and f*** all to do with management.

Nobody voted for the Cult of Hunt. In fact he was voted out of the leadership race. Sunak is a manager. Together they are a dangerous act.

The Tory party needs to fail before it can reinvent itself.

Last edited 1 year ago by Adrian Doble
Adrian Doble
Adrian Doble
1 year ago

It’s refreshing to see a commentator setting out the vast difference between people in 1979 and 2022. In 1979 the working classes (as they were called) lived on income alone. Now they have assets, cars, homes, pensions, aspiration. It’s wrong to compare the two.

Regarding the lack of voice or strategy from the conservatives this is what happens when you put suits in charge. As CS Lewis said ‘close shaving quiet men in suits planning and implementing through others’ The Managerial Class.

Leadership has all to do with character and f*** all to do with management.

Nobody voted for the Cult of Hunt. In fact he was voted out of the leadership race. Sunak is a manager. Together they are a dangerous act.

The Tory party needs to fail before it can reinvent itself.

Last edited 1 year ago by Adrian Doble
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

Absolutely right that people should blame the strikers.
First, they are in receipt of salaries/benefits that the majority of people employed in the private sector can only dream of.
Second, those of us in the private sector realise that our employers do what they can but cannot afford to give pay increases that match the rate of inflation. Moreover, if we were to go on strike to demand inflation matching pay increases the response would be redundancies.
Third, most rational people realised that there would be a price to pay for the Covid lockdowns, namely, inflation and a fall in living standards. Apparently, the public sector expect privileged treatment and economic reality does not apply to them.
Fourth, not only do public sector workers expect privileged treatment but they believe that they are entitled to it at the expense of further impoverishing the rest of us. Who do they think to going to fund their pay increases?
Fifth, so far as the rest of the world is concerned, if you don’t like your terms and conditions find another job. Trouble is it is a hard world out there and better remunerated jobs are hard to find, particularly if you work in the public sector. Public sector workers know which side their bread is buttered.

glyn harries
glyn harries
1 year ago

Another mug who believes the Tory lies. 1) Majority of workers the RMT represents are on shit wages – the are the dogsbodies who clean and maintain the railways 2) The railway workers are in the private sector! 3) Why do the poorest have to pay when the richest have trillions stashed offshore? 4) Private sector wages are higher that public sector. https://www.ft.com/content/48dafbb9-371d-4683-9afb-26652add888c 5) Pathetic attitude

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

I am so please I got this reply.
No the majority of RMT employees are not on shit wages. I hve been there. They are on legacy terms which mean back in the day, when the Government could not be seen to cave in, wage increases were dressed up. There is the shift allowance, the dirty jobs allowance, rest day, off day an the rest. Throw in the pension and you have a nice package.
The rail workers are most certainly not in the private sector. The whole thing is propped up by public money. If this were not the case there would already have been significant rationalization across the industry and they would be subject to the same hard reality as the rest of us.
Then we have the mythical richest who have trillions stashed offshore. Who are these mythical rich? I do not know any. Sure there are always going to be a few rich people and these day you have likes of Gates and Musk. But they are irrelevant to the debate. First, the UK does not have that many truly wealthy individuals in so far as what they have would not make any material difference. Second, the really wealthy are portable. if they don’t like the tax regime here they can just find another country. Third, there is no moral case for the wealth to pay penal taxes in order to provide the feckless and work shy with a comfortable life.
As to the private sector paying higher wages, well if that were true then logically most of the rail workers would have made the move. However, as I say above, once you take into account the additional payments and pension the public sector package does not look half bad by comparison.
Of course, even if the private sector paid a bit more, public sector workers would hesitate to move because they are not so foolish that they do not know that life in the private sector is a lot harder. I will let you in as a clue, part of my job as a 17 year old was to clock on and off people who never turned up work. The managers knew this was happening but did not do anything about it. The public sector has not changed.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

“Private sector wages are higher that public sector.”
Just out of interest, what private sector jobs are duplicated in the public sector?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

I am so please I got this reply.
No the majority of RMT employees are not on shit wages. I hve been there. They are on legacy terms which mean back in the day, when the Government could not be seen to cave in, wage increases were dressed up. There is the shift allowance, the dirty jobs allowance, rest day, off day an the rest. Throw in the pension and you have a nice package.
The rail workers are most certainly not in the private sector. The whole thing is propped up by public money. If this were not the case there would already have been significant rationalization across the industry and they would be subject to the same hard reality as the rest of us.
Then we have the mythical richest who have trillions stashed offshore. Who are these mythical rich? I do not know any. Sure there are always going to be a few rich people and these day you have likes of Gates and Musk. But they are irrelevant to the debate. First, the UK does not have that many truly wealthy individuals in so far as what they have would not make any material difference. Second, the really wealthy are portable. if they don’t like the tax regime here they can just find another country. Third, there is no moral case for the wealth to pay penal taxes in order to provide the feckless and work shy with a comfortable life.
As to the private sector paying higher wages, well if that were true then logically most of the rail workers would have made the move. However, as I say above, once you take into account the additional payments and pension the public sector package does not look half bad by comparison.
Of course, even if the private sector paid a bit more, public sector workers would hesitate to move because they are not so foolish that they do not know that life in the private sector is a lot harder. I will let you in as a clue, part of my job as a 17 year old was to clock on and off people who never turned up work. The managers knew this was happening but did not do anything about it. The public sector has not changed.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

“Private sector wages are higher that public sector.”
Just out of interest, what private sector jobs are duplicated in the public sector?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

You make no mention of record profits, huge dividends, price gouging, market manipulation, bankster and other super rich remuneration.
The MSM have you well schooled and you’re doing a sterling job turning on your own and allowing the obscenely greedy oligarch class get richer and richer and your expense! Well done!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Se my above response

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Se my above response

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago

Private sector salaries are above those in the public sector when you’re talking about comparable industries, and in Britain they’re growing further apart. This used to be offset by generous pension schemes in the public sector but these are also being wound down, with final salary schemes all but extinct.
Those striking are generally low paid, and are simply trying to prevent their employers forcing them to take what is essentially a pay cut

glyn harries
glyn harries
1 year ago

Another mug who believes the Tory lies. 1) Majority of workers the RMT represents are on shit wages – the are the dogsbodies who clean and maintain the railways 2) The railway workers are in the private sector! 3) Why do the poorest have to pay when the richest have trillions stashed offshore? 4) Private sector wages are higher that public sector. https://www.ft.com/content/48dafbb9-371d-4683-9afb-26652add888c 5) Pathetic attitude

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

You make no mention of record profits, huge dividends, price gouging, market manipulation, bankster and other super rich remuneration.
The MSM have you well schooled and you’re doing a sterling job turning on your own and allowing the obscenely greedy oligarch class get richer and richer and your expense! Well done!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago

Private sector salaries are above those in the public sector when you’re talking about comparable industries, and in Britain they’re growing further apart. This used to be offset by generous pension schemes in the public sector but these are also being wound down, with final salary schemes all but extinct.
Those striking are generally low paid, and are simply trying to prevent their employers forcing them to take what is essentially a pay cut

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

Absolutely right that people should blame the strikers.
First, they are in receipt of salaries/benefits that the majority of people employed in the private sector can only dream of.
Second, those of us in the private sector realise that our employers do what they can but cannot afford to give pay increases that match the rate of inflation. Moreover, if we were to go on strike to demand inflation matching pay increases the response would be redundancies.
Third, most rational people realised that there would be a price to pay for the Covid lockdowns, namely, inflation and a fall in living standards. Apparently, the public sector expect privileged treatment and economic reality does not apply to them.
Fourth, not only do public sector workers expect privileged treatment but they believe that they are entitled to it at the expense of further impoverishing the rest of us. Who do they think to going to fund their pay increases?
Fifth, so far as the rest of the world is concerned, if you don’t like your terms and conditions find another job. Trouble is it is a hard world out there and better remunerated jobs are hard to find, particularly if you work in the public sector. Public sector workers know which side their bread is buttered.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t any of the people striking on quite reasonable incomes already ? And are these strikes always about pay ? The RMT strike appears to be also be about resistance to more efficient working practices (which could allow higher pay). And there is certainly a political undercurrent to some of the strikes.
There’s certainly a case for being more generous to lower paid workers right now as some have argued here (and in fact the budget’s minimum wage increase will do just this). I’m not convinced that that is the point at issue in most of the strikes though.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Most strikes are the same, especially where the RMT’s concerned. Many of the drivers simply want more dosh / more preferable Ts & Cs. The leadership want that too, but they’re also marinated in hoary 70s style class warfare Marxism. Listen to Lynch – he can’t help himself. Neither can the others. It’s why strikes fail, just like this one; as the pay offer rises (it’s now 9%) the non-ideologue members begin to buckle and the strike begins to lose momentum (nobody wants to lose pay near Christmas). Lynch and Co’s job is to keep them on strike to fight their pound shop class war. How they do that is for a union member to tell us. In any case, this strike will be resolved at a fraction of a percent under 10%, the drivers will continue to earn excellent money for operating legacy technology and Lynch can go home and admire his bust of Lenin. #
Until next time.

glyn harries
glyn harries
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Yet another muppet who has probably spent months moaning about these strikes and still doesn’t realise the drivers are and always have been in ASLEF. idiot. Are you ToryBoy Pierce by any chance?

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

It’s just leftist acronym soup to me, sweetie.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

It’s just leftist acronym soup to me, sweetie.

glyn harries
glyn harries
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Yet another muppet who has probably spent months moaning about these strikes and still doesn’t realise the drivers are and always have been in ASLEF. idiot. Are you ToryBoy Pierce by any chance?

glyn harries
glyn harries
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

You are wrong. The RMT represents the low paid workers on the railways, as does the RCN predominantly under-paid nurses and postal workers aren’t well paid either!
And you are wrong about ‘working practices’. It’s not efficiency but simply coats cutting to increase profits for shareholder.

Stu N
Stu N
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

If you think railway staff are low paid, I’d love to know what your annual income is.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Stu N

The staff represented by the RMT are generally low paid, the drivers who earn the good money (which have been sneakily included by those against the strikes to push up the average earnings in the sector to make the strikers appear greedy) are represented by a different union

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Stu N

The well-paid ones are the drivers. And the main reason for that is that they are time-consuming and expensive to train. And all the privatised, here-today-gone-tomorrow chancer franchise operators brought into being by the cockeyed privatisation under Major – who essentially collected a fat guaranteed management fee for painting a new livery on their leased trains every three years or so – were too cheap and ephemeral to train their own, so instead they just poached drivers from other franchisees. That bid up the pay rates. They had to raise pay to recruit them, then raise it further to keep the ones they poached. Still, it was cheaper in the short run than training their own. But there were never enough to go round.
A squaddie can easily drive a Green Goddess or operate a fire engine, but he can hardly drive the KX to Waverley express.
Most train staff aren’t train divers on £80k a year. Most are hapless ticket collectors, guards, cleaners, signalmen and buffet car attendants. They don’t see what their modest living standards should be crushed as a result of 12 years of selfish laptop-class/ ruling elite posturing, nest-feathering and serial financial incompetence, particularly with a billionaire like Sunak in No 10 and frankly, neither do I.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Stu N

The staff represented by the RMT are generally low paid, the drivers who earn the good money (which have been sneakily included by those against the strikes to push up the average earnings in the sector to make the strikers appear greedy) are represented by a different union

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Stu N

The well-paid ones are the drivers. And the main reason for that is that they are time-consuming and expensive to train. And all the privatised, here-today-gone-tomorrow chancer franchise operators brought into being by the cockeyed privatisation under Major – who essentially collected a fat guaranteed management fee for painting a new livery on their leased trains every three years or so – were too cheap and ephemeral to train their own, so instead they just poached drivers from other franchisees. That bid up the pay rates. They had to raise pay to recruit them, then raise it further to keep the ones they poached. Still, it was cheaper in the short run than training their own. But there were never enough to go round.
A squaddie can easily drive a Green Goddess or operate a fire engine, but he can hardly drive the KX to Waverley express.
Most train staff aren’t train divers on £80k a year. Most are hapless ticket collectors, guards, cleaners, signalmen and buffet car attendants. They don’t see what their modest living standards should be crushed as a result of 12 years of selfish laptop-class/ ruling elite posturing, nest-feathering and serial financial incompetence, particularly with a billionaire like Sunak in No 10 and frankly, neither do I.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Stu N
Stu N
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

If you think railway staff are low paid, I’d love to know what your annual income is.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Most strikes are the same, especially where the RMT’s concerned. Many of the drivers simply want more dosh / more preferable Ts & Cs. The leadership want that too, but they’re also marinated in hoary 70s style class warfare Marxism. Listen to Lynch – he can’t help himself. Neither can the others. It’s why strikes fail, just like this one; as the pay offer rises (it’s now 9%) the non-ideologue members begin to buckle and the strike begins to lose momentum (nobody wants to lose pay near Christmas). Lynch and Co’s job is to keep them on strike to fight their pound shop class war. How they do that is for a union member to tell us. In any case, this strike will be resolved at a fraction of a percent under 10%, the drivers will continue to earn excellent money for operating legacy technology and Lynch can go home and admire his bust of Lenin. #
Until next time.

glyn harries
glyn harries
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

You are wrong. The RMT represents the low paid workers on the railways, as does the RCN predominantly under-paid nurses and postal workers aren’t well paid either!
And you are wrong about ‘working practices’. It’s not efficiency but simply coats cutting to increase profits for shareholder.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t any of the people striking on quite reasonable incomes already ? And are these strikes always about pay ? The RMT strike appears to be also be about resistance to more efficient working practices (which could allow higher pay). And there is certainly a political undercurrent to some of the strikes.
There’s certainly a case for being more generous to lower paid workers right now as some have argued here (and in fact the budget’s minimum wage increase will do just this). I’m not convinced that that is the point at issue in most of the strikes though.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

A few very basic facts loom in the background to the nitty gritty of specific cases with multiple arguments this way and that. They are…
1. Huge transfer of wealth from the 90% to the 10% and especially the 1% on recent decades. Sure, this was done legally: however, “legally” simply means laws were enacted, manipulated, by-passed, ignored by (or under irresistible pressure from) the very people who benefitted. That is simply theft via the legal route!
2. Gross profiteering and price gouging is now normal: it used to be a crime but as laws are tools made, owned and used exclusively for the benefit of the 1% they too are “legal”.
3. Draconian labour laws allowing for zero hours contracts and a host of other abuses have been passed by/for the 1% to screw the 90% into real poverty, homelessness, cold and hunger.
4. The class war is in full swing with no legal support for the screwed working poor while the greed of the 1% is now unlimited.
5. With police and army in the role of Orwell’s dogs the evil oligarchs feel as unassailable as did the French aristocracy just before the 1789 revolution.
Whether turning commuter against driver or patient against nurse etc. will work this time remains to be seen. My money is on all the screwed finally waking up and seeing the light.

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
glyn harries
glyn harries
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Yup and interesting how those who call themselves conservatives are accelerating the UKs descent into chaos.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Some bizarre fantasy history here. Was there really a time when “Gross profiteering and price gouging” were a crime ? What were those laws ? And when were they repealed ?
Didn’t zero hours contracts emerge some time during the New Labour era ?
A lot of this wealth transfer came about through the effects of global technology advances and far less some conspiracy of exploitative oligarchs. When there’s a single global market for things like mobile phones, the winners will get bigger. Success always brings with it some new problems and challenges.
The way I read your comments, you’re just as committed to class war and setting one group of people against another as anyone else ! You’ll probably need to be rather more thoughtful and open-minded if you hope to persuade anyone of your case.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Laws on monopoly, cartels, blackmarketeering, price fixing etc. largely dismantled by the EU!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

..sorry: I mean the EU created and enforced laws opposing those abuses. That was the real reason for Brexit, ie so the obscenely rich would not be exposed!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You are truly delusional.
The real reason for Brexit was that sensed it was the only opportunity to reverse some of the trends that have done damage to this country over the last 4 decades. Whether this can be delivered remains to be seen.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Reverse the damaging trends? Assume this is tongue in cheek ER. What trends have got better may one ask? Immigration? GDP? Trade deals?
I think you even used ‘delusional’ in the same comment. British humour is at it’s best when irony to the fore. Chapeau.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Reverse the damaging trends? Assume this is tongue in cheek ER. What trends have got better may one ask? Immigration? GDP? Trade deals?
I think you even used ‘delusional’ in the same comment. British humour is at it’s best when irony to the fore. Chapeau.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Didn’t the votes of 17.4 million people have something to do with it?
And if – as you suggest – the corrupt Establishment was aiming for a Brexit win, they certainly put one hell of a lot of effort and resources and rigging of the campaign rules into the campaign for Remain. And then, indeed, into three or four years trying to ignore or reverse the result.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Please list the relevant EU laws that have been repealed and the dates those occurred. I have no recollection of any such events. But happy to be corrected.
Also worth noting that this country had a monopolies and mergers commission well before the EU was formed. In fact, we regularly used to hear about takeover bids being referred in the 1980s and even 1990s. Funnily enough, it seemed to stop doing any useful work around the time of New Labour and the advent of the EU.
Your perspective on business and law is certainly interesting. But not it would appear based on any historical record.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You are truly delusional.
The real reason for Brexit was that sensed it was the only opportunity to reverse some of the trends that have done damage to this country over the last 4 decades. Whether this can be delivered remains to be seen.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Didn’t the votes of 17.4 million people have something to do with it?
And if – as you suggest – the corrupt Establishment was aiming for a Brexit win, they certainly put one hell of a lot of effort and resources and rigging of the campaign rules into the campaign for Remain. And then, indeed, into three or four years trying to ignore or reverse the result.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Please list the relevant EU laws that have been repealed and the dates those occurred. I have no recollection of any such events. But happy to be corrected.
Also worth noting that this country had a monopolies and mergers commission well before the EU was formed. In fact, we regularly used to hear about takeover bids being referred in the 1980s and even 1990s. Funnily enough, it seemed to stop doing any useful work around the time of New Labour and the advent of the EU.
Your perspective on business and law is certainly interesting. But not it would appear based on any historical record.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

..sorry: I mean the EU created and enforced laws opposing those abuses. That was the real reason for Brexit, ie so the obscenely rich would not be exposed!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I note you made no mention of the failure of huge corporations – not least the high tech ones – that pay virtually no taxes! Is it just coincidence that tax laws seem to allow this or might political contributions, lobbying and the revolving doors not be playing a part? How naïve can you be?
A major role of government used too be redistribution of wealth since the rich and powerful are best placed to hover up all the wealth created through work. But now govt is intent on doing the opposite! ie assisting the super rich to hover up all the wealth and keep it, tax free!
Redistribution is no longer from the ultra rich: instead they take it all.. and there is no end to their greed except a full blown class war. There are millionaires out there asking to be taxed lest the pitchforks and burning torches get them first but govts won’t tax them because most of the super rich are super greedy and won’t permit it.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Where did I offer any opinion on large corporations and taxes ? How do you know what my opinion on these is ?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Where did I offer any opinion on large corporations and taxes ? How do you know what my opinion on these is ?

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I haven’t noticed Mr O’Mahony defending the sleazy, Big Corporate-friendly policies of the shysters of New Labour. Blair and Mandelson, as is well known, have banked £ tens of millions since leaving office. Cameron and Osborne monetised office to the tune of millions too.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Laws on monopoly, cartels, blackmarketeering, price fixing etc. largely dismantled by the EU!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I note you made no mention of the failure of huge corporations – not least the high tech ones – that pay virtually no taxes! Is it just coincidence that tax laws seem to allow this or might political contributions, lobbying and the revolving doors not be playing a part? How naïve can you be?
A major role of government used too be redistribution of wealth since the rich and powerful are best placed to hover up all the wealth created through work. But now govt is intent on doing the opposite! ie assisting the super rich to hover up all the wealth and keep it, tax free!
Redistribution is no longer from the ultra rich: instead they take it all.. and there is no end to their greed except a full blown class war. There are millionaires out there asking to be taxed lest the pitchforks and burning torches get them first but govts won’t tax them because most of the super rich are super greedy and won’t permit it.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I haven’t noticed Mr O’Mahony defending the sleazy, Big Corporate-friendly policies of the shysters of New Labour. Blair and Mandelson, as is well known, have banked £ tens of millions since leaving office. Cameron and Osborne monetised office to the tune of millions too.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I don’t think you understand what “draconian” means. Literally “harsh and excessive” but it’s more about “forbidding” than “allowing”. I worked for many years on “day rates” aka “freelancing” labouring jobs which afforded me far fewer benefits and protection than current “zero hours contracts”.
But guess what ? Nobody forced me to, the money was good enough, and it paid the bills. I learned a lot of job-knowledge and technical know-how in the process and built up a good reputation, both of which helped me later in life.
I doubt the jobs would even had existed if the employers had not been allowed to employ this way and been forced to take me on permanently.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Exactly. Yet the comments on the DT are full of spittle-flecked loons ranting at the weevil thieving oligarchs of Russia. Well, they may have screwed the Russians, but the people who have done much the equivalent to the peoples of ‘the west’ are a lot closer to home – and the same dullards who vomit daily spleen on Deripaska et al seem remarkably blind to it.
I guess they imagine that owning their own home and having a modest private pension fund places them on the UK oligarch side. Wait till they see what 2023 does to the real value of both…

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
glyn harries
glyn harries
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Yup and interesting how those who call themselves conservatives are accelerating the UKs descent into chaos.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Some bizarre fantasy history here. Was there really a time when “Gross profiteering and price gouging” were a crime ? What were those laws ? And when were they repealed ?
Didn’t zero hours contracts emerge some time during the New Labour era ?
A lot of this wealth transfer came about through the effects of global technology advances and far less some conspiracy of exploitative oligarchs. When there’s a single global market for things like mobile phones, the winners will get bigger. Success always brings with it some new problems and challenges.
The way I read your comments, you’re just as committed to class war and setting one group of people against another as anyone else ! You’ll probably need to be rather more thoughtful and open-minded if you hope to persuade anyone of your case.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I don’t think you understand what “draconian” means. Literally “harsh and excessive” but it’s more about “forbidding” than “allowing”. I worked for many years on “day rates” aka “freelancing” labouring jobs which afforded me far fewer benefits and protection than current “zero hours contracts”.
But guess what ? Nobody forced me to, the money was good enough, and it paid the bills. I learned a lot of job-knowledge and technical know-how in the process and built up a good reputation, both of which helped me later in life.
I doubt the jobs would even had existed if the employers had not been allowed to employ this way and been forced to take me on permanently.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Exactly. Yet the comments on the DT are full of spittle-flecked loons ranting at the weevil thieving oligarchs of Russia. Well, they may have screwed the Russians, but the people who have done much the equivalent to the peoples of ‘the west’ are a lot closer to home – and the same dullards who vomit daily spleen on Deripaska et al seem remarkably blind to it.
I guess they imagine that owning their own home and having a modest private pension fund places them on the UK oligarch side. Wait till they see what 2023 does to the real value of both…

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Joy
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

A few very basic facts loom in the background to the nitty gritty of specific cases with multiple arguments this way and that. They are…
1. Huge transfer of wealth from the 90% to the 10% and especially the 1% on recent decades. Sure, this was done legally: however, “legally” simply means laws were enacted, manipulated, by-passed, ignored by (or under irresistible pressure from) the very people who benefitted. That is simply theft via the legal route!
2. Gross profiteering and price gouging is now normal: it used to be a crime but as laws are tools made, owned and used exclusively for the benefit of the 1% they too are “legal”.
3. Draconian labour laws allowing for zero hours contracts and a host of other abuses have been passed by/for the 1% to screw the 90% into real poverty, homelessness, cold and hunger.
4. The class war is in full swing with no legal support for the screwed working poor while the greed of the 1% is now unlimited.
5. With police and army in the role of Orwell’s dogs the evil oligarchs feel as unassailable as did the French aristocracy just before the 1789 revolution.
Whether turning commuter against driver or patient against nurse etc. will work this time remains to be seen. My money is on all the screwed finally waking up and seeing the light.

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

I had the opportunity to discuss with some Border Force people at Heathrow, their version of the reason for the strike. My understanding is that the government are trying to cut the hours of Border Force workers, to reduce costs, so creating the long queues and inefficiency, and putting the blame on Border Force. They also told me that the electronic passport gates dont work, and that the goverment had wasted money on low rent IT, and refuse to put it right. I know who I believe!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

I had the opportunity to discuss with some Border Force people at Heathrow, their version of the reason for the strike. My understanding is that the government are trying to cut the hours of Border Force workers, to reduce costs, so creating the long queues and inefficiency, and putting the blame on Border Force. They also told me that the electronic passport gates dont work, and that the goverment had wasted money on low rent IT, and refuse to put it right. I know who I believe!

glyn harries
glyn harries
1 year ago

Not the workers who have trashed this country but the thieves and traitors of the 10% with their hidden offshore billions. This country needs a serious righting, it’s tipped so far in the interests of the uber-rich it’s falling into total chaos.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

Do you mean the 1% ? Or 0.1% ? Or 0.01% ?
The top 10% are paying most of the taxes for public services and are hardly “uber rich”.
Everyone who has a job is a “worker”, regardless of income. How about showing some respect and thanks for those workers who pay the most in taxes ? It’s not a zero sum game here, nor a class war. However much you might wish to believe that. The real world’s a far more complex and interesting place than your slogans claim it is.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Well said Peter.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Well said Peter.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

Wrong Glyn, you mean top 0.01%
Apparently you need a net wealth of around 1 million (inc house equity) to be in the top 1%, and these people and others similar ARE paying the majority of taxis. Btw I am self employed my partner is in recruitment and has had one pay rise of 5% in the last 5 years (its an important job) I do not raise my prices because inflation has gone up, why should I pass this on to my customers who are also struggling?
I didn’t vote Tory and a lot of my wealthy customers don’t vote Tory, yet who keeps putting them in power? Fools is the answer and they are easily parted from their money…. Boris Johnson with an 80 seat majority????? God help us! (ps I doubt he votes Tory either)

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

Which were it here invested in UK equities, lent to governments via the purchase of gilts, and here on shore would make a massive contribution to the economy, hence why low taxes on such funds, as in Switzerland, Liechtenstein and offshore tax havens are so attractive, but not if WE attracted them instead.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

Do you mean the 1% ? Or 0.1% ? Or 0.01% ?
The top 10% are paying most of the taxes for public services and are hardly “uber rich”.
Everyone who has a job is a “worker”, regardless of income. How about showing some respect and thanks for those workers who pay the most in taxes ? It’s not a zero sum game here, nor a class war. However much you might wish to believe that. The real world’s a far more complex and interesting place than your slogans claim it is.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

Wrong Glyn, you mean top 0.01%
Apparently you need a net wealth of around 1 million (inc house equity) to be in the top 1%, and these people and others similar ARE paying the majority of taxis. Btw I am self employed my partner is in recruitment and has had one pay rise of 5% in the last 5 years (its an important job) I do not raise my prices because inflation has gone up, why should I pass this on to my customers who are also struggling?
I didn’t vote Tory and a lot of my wealthy customers don’t vote Tory, yet who keeps putting them in power? Fools is the answer and they are easily parted from their money…. Boris Johnson with an 80 seat majority????? God help us! (ps I doubt he votes Tory either)

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  glyn harries

Which were it here invested in UK equities, lent to governments via the purchase of gilts, and here on shore would make a massive contribution to the economy, hence why low taxes on such funds, as in Switzerland, Liechtenstein and offshore tax havens are so attractive, but not if WE attracted them instead.

glyn harries
glyn harries
1 year ago

Not the workers who have trashed this country but the thieves and traitors of the 10% with their hidden offshore billions. This country needs a serious righting, it’s tipped so far in the interests of the uber-rich it’s falling into total chaos.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

I’d be more sympathetic to the mailmen if my office mail came regularly (now & for last 2 years about once a week at best – in London) or my home mail (about 3x a week).
and to the railways if trains weren’t so often cancelled due to staff shortages….just after matchdays and highdays.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

If the trains are being cancelled due to staff shortages, then surely that implies the pay and conditions aren’t sufficient to attract the workers and therefore need to improve? That’s how our supply and demand economy is supposed to function is it not?

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Maybe, or maybe people know they’ll get paid anyway, and commitment to work is slackening off. Maybe both are true at the same time. The trains issue is likely not actually a staff shortage – the people would have been rostered in, and then did not turn up for work. Similarly, 2 days a week post for 2 years, in locations in central London – and I’ve heard nothing of shortages of posties, as such.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Most of the railways have been privatised, so are you accusing the private sector employees of being lazy and entitled? Also if the company hasn’t got enough staff to cover sickness then either the company is incompetent and should be heavily fined for failing to provide the service it’s handsomely paid for, or there is indeed a staff shortage caused by low pay and poor working conditions.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Most of the railways have been privatised, so are you accusing the private sector employees of being lazy and entitled? Also if the company hasn’t got enough staff to cover sickness then either the company is incompetent and should be heavily fined for failing to provide the service it’s handsomely paid for, or there is indeed a staff shortage caused by low pay and poor working conditions.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Last winter our local bus company union members went on strike for better pay and conditions and succeeded in getting them. Now we regularly have buses cancelled because of a lack of staff. Go figure!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

If they still can’t attract staff after a pay rise, the wages must have been truly appalling beforehand. If they can’t get staff then they need to pay higher wages, it’s how supply and demand works

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Sorry Bob, but I think you’re being a tad naive. Again, both things can be true at the same time; private/public is largely irrelevant to my points; and its not character that is the fault (lazy etc) but the system – one which lately has dissolved into one where actually working is often unnecessary, and many jobs manual or office, private or public, are non productive.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Sorry Bob, but I think you’re being a tad naive. Again, both things can be true at the same time; private/public is largely irrelevant to my points; and its not character that is the fault (lazy etc) but the system – one which lately has dissolved into one where actually working is often unnecessary, and many jobs manual or office, private or public, are non productive.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

If they still can’t attract staff after a pay rise, the wages must have been truly appalling beforehand. If they can’t get staff then they need to pay higher wages, it’s how supply and demand works

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Maybe, or maybe people know they’ll get paid anyway, and commitment to work is slackening off. Maybe both are true at the same time. The trains issue is likely not actually a staff shortage – the people would have been rostered in, and then did not turn up for work. Similarly, 2 days a week post for 2 years, in locations in central London – and I’ve heard nothing of shortages of posties, as such.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Last winter our local bus company union members went on strike for better pay and conditions and succeeded in getting them. Now we regularly have buses cancelled because of a lack of staff. Go figure!