Monday 19 December 2016


Well, in news to no one, the papers over the weekend have finally exposed what the RMT is up to with the Southern Rail strikes, here is The Times:

A militant union leader behind the rail strikes causing chaos for millions says unions are co-ordinating action to “bring down this bloody working-class-hating Tory government”.
Sean Hoyle, president of the RMT, declared that “rule No 1” for his union, whose members have held a string of strikes on the beleaguered Southern rail network, was to “strive to replace the capitalist system with a socialist order”, telling a meeting of hard-left activists last month, “if we all spit together we can drown the bastards".

(Note the terrible Grammar, in The Times....)

I don't get the impression that Mr Hoyle and myself would get on all that well, but you never know. The thing it makes me realise is how detached these people really are. The UK today is a long-way off my idea of a Capitalist paradise. We live in a highly-regulated, state-led, welfare based economy with a crazed socialist approach to money printing to boot.

In no way are Philip Hammond or Theresa May right-wing nutjobs either. They have taken large parts of Ed Milliband and Ed Balls' prescriptions for the Country and implemented them - as did David Cameron and George Osborne before them.

Only if you subscribe to the idea that Venezuela is a suitable economic model would you get to the place where the UK would be viewed as a 'hard right' country. Yet, to the left wing in this country this is where we are, it is why they elected someone like Jeremy Corbyn to lead the Labour party.

As amusing as this is, the effect on the Country is becoming a heavier burden. Strikes aplenty this week, the train services from the Sussex coast in meltdown for no real reason being the worst case. All to achieve nothing. The anger that this generates is something that the Left seem to thrive on - not seeing that the true backlash to their nihilism is the rise of UKIP and the abject surrender of the Labour Party.


Steven_L said...

Only if you subscribe to the idea that Venezuela is a suitable economic model would you get to the place where the UK would be viewed as a 'hard right' country.

You completely miss-understand the south-east trade unionist hard leftie. It's not about Venezuela or the UK or any other country. They believe in world socialism and borders are just another conspiracy of the global elite to divide and rule the workers.

From what I saw, these folk run the public sector unions in south east England at a local level. The are the sort of folk who spend their spare time attending obscure meetings at the Quakers meeting house, manning Palestinian solidarity stands and staging bizarre impromptu protests in Waitrose about Israeli potatoes.

dustybloke said...

Sean didn't add "then I can rule in their place", but I bet he thought it.

Demetrius said...

As one who recalls the refugees from East Germany in 1953 and those from Hungary a little later, I wonder how these trade union leaders might fare if we had a truly Communist government and they tried to go on strike?

dustybloke said...

Sean also said it because it plays so much better than "We are striking over who decides when to press the button that starts the train moving."

dearieme said...

Stop pissing about. Just hang 'em. It would take a bit of time to charge, try, convict, and sentence them, but surely no more than a couple of weeks. We could call their offence "economic crimes": that's what Stalin did to Trots, wasn't it?

Blue Eyes said...

But there must be enough RMT members who go along with this nonsense to get the strikes approved by ballot.

Blue Eyes said...

Obviously I sympathise with Southern victims. But my brother says that during the strikes Thameslink trains have been as punctual as anything.

Lefty friends blame this mess onthe evil Capitalist lags of the privatised railway.

Nick Drew said...

at the height of the Battle of Britain, the Liverpool dockers were on strike

as my father never tired of pointing out (this duty now falls to me)

decnine said...

Trade Union exemptions against liability for losses to third parties damages caused by strikes should be abolished for (mostly, partly) politically motivated actions. In such disputes, all those affected by striking should also get a vote.

In the case of 'intractable' disputes, they should be referred to a Tribunal to judge the merits of the arguments on both sides. The verdict would go 100% in favour of the side with the better case. From that point, the loser would be liable for all damages caused to third parties from the beginning of the dispute.

dearieme said...

@Nick: indeed. My father used to say that if he'd been ordered to return home to shoot striking dockers and miners he'd have leapt at the chance.

PJH said...

And here was I, being led to believe all this striking was for the benefit of passenger/patient safety...

Blue Eyes said...

Haha good one PJH!

Bill Quango MP said...

Thing about the miners and dockworker strikes in WW2, and God help me for defending them, BUT...

Due to the post 1929 and pre-WW2 recession, wages had fallen considerably.The promise of higher pay was offered, but not delivered upon by 1940, so the militants did the usual striking.
And , as the Soviet Union was at that time effectively a German ally, communist union members were told not to help the war effort.

The Miners in particular, had a stranglehold over the government by 1944. And the strike of 1944 was resolved by government intervention that saw miners pay far, far exceed combat service people's pay.
IIRC it went from 100th on the average earnings list in 1938 to 15th in 1944.

E-K said...

I resent the politicisation of our workforce. There is a clear threat to the guards' grade and drivers want to help their mates. Is it better to have guards on trains ? I think yes in most cases. This is what has motivated the vote - not some crackers attempt to defeat capitalism, which will be news to the majority of the membership.

Blue Eyes said...

But Southern aren't getting rid of guards!!!

PJH said...

"I resent the politicisation of our workforce. "

Tell that to The Unions - the workers are the pawns in this battle, not the reason for it to start with.

And it's The Unions putting them in that position.

PJH said...

"But Southern aren't getting rid of guards!!!"

They're getting rid of button pushers apparently.

Or that aspect of their job.

Guard: "I can't push buttons any more - the driver has to do it!"
Union Rep: "Let's call a strike!"
Guard: "But I can still fine people for not having their student pass with their ticket!"
Union Rep: "Sorry - got to go to my boss with this...."
Guard: "But what about abusing OAP's having a glass/plastic of wine with their pack lunch on the way to York?!?!"
Union Rep: [exit stage left]

Repeat, mutatis mutandis, with doctors/patients.

E-K said...

They're withdrawing the guards' safety critical competencies suspiciously in line with the McNulty report's recommendations that at least 50% of trains should be DOO."We need to be able to run trains without guards sometimes" is a way of getting it all the time, eventually.

My previous comment was not a denial that union officials are exceeding their mandate beyond a trade dispute.

Thud said...

Nick, my grandfather worked during daytime and firewatched on power station (Liverpool docks) at night and helped clear rubble at dawn....he must have been on strike at sometime between these tasks I presume.Oh and I imagine his sons fighting in the navy at the time would have had something to say about striking, one of them is still alive I'll ask over xmas.

hovis said...

More dribble from the Times. Yes he said he wanted to bring down the government but have you actually seen the video? Please don't react like Pavlov's dogs.

Southern cant run a railway, and haven't done for the last two years BEFORE the strikes too place. They have cut services by 50% and STILL cant run a railway. They are on a management contract NOT a franchise so dont lose money - in fact make marginally more when the strikes occur. All compensation is footed by the taxpayer. FFS talk about corporatist crony-ism.

Is there an element of Sean Hoyle playing up as "Mr Militant' for his audience I am sure, but when you look at the evidence this is more than equally a fight being picked by the Govt. deliberately and its not about 'the future' or a '21st Railway system' or any other such bollocks with the Unions necessarily being neo-Luddists.

The points about safety do hold water as far as I can see - no station on the routes has passed the safety tests and yet they still want to carry on regardless. The actual trains (increasing in length), they are old stock which still run Windows 95 based systems and the cameras shut down as soon as the doors are triggered to close. I would also second EK mention of the different between Guards and "customer services advisors' - so as ever mis-direction is the order of the day.

E-K said...

I don't understand why we have brought the WW2 dockers into the discussion. Britain is not at war and if there is any allusion to the Brexit situation then it's worth pointing out that the RMT and Aslef advised members to vote Leave because of EU traincrew licensing and new EU signalling (to enable EU recruitment and 'flexibility')

Around 20% at my depot are military veterans and at least three have seen front line combat. It is easy to imagine that the whole railway is on strike but 99% of us aren't and I never have been in 26 years. What could be gut churning is if I am asked to choose between passengers (whom I care about) and mates whom I know are doing a good job.

Of course, there is a minority of selfish bastards with no sense of public service but they are few.

As for DOO being the best method, I don't think so and certainly not with high loadings, though it obviously conforms with ORR/RSSB standards and I have operated under this system previously.

There are umpteen reasons why a qualified guard is better and why this is not just about buttons - I expect moderate Southern drivers (many of whom understand that eventual automation is an inevitability) felt much relief in being able to excuse themselves in honorable support of their mates against the public and possibly against their own instincts. The safety argument is ostensible, of course, it's main purpose is to salve the consciences of the moderates who are loyal to their colleagues - but understand commercial realities and dislike radicalism - and give them the reason to defend them to the detriment of the public, by making it for the public good !

In evidence it's worth noting how few strikers man the braziers - aside the smirking minority there is a distinct absence of pride about this.

E-K said...

In answer to Blue's "there must be enough to go along with this nonsense..."

Yes. If the issue is made on the righteous grounds of safety and the membership believes it.