The U.K.’s recession seems to have created an upturn in the spray paint industry. Such is the shortage of spray paint, I’ve seen “TORY SCUM” dabbed on external walls in gloss and emulsion. 13 years of Conservative rule has brought about economically devastating cuts and lack of support for the people. For many, it is too much.
“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge, you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the centre.” – Kurt Vonnegut, American surrealist writer
The opposition is to blame. The predecessors are at fault. The immigrants are culpable. If you listen to enough Tory party rhetoric or watch handily patronising videos, the blame game clearly points outwardly. Not a single Tory bastard has shame at their door. Scandal after insipid allegation after delusional smearing of muck appears in an endless cascade of contemptible dishonour.
The calendar months of autumn past have already seen nurses, railway folk, ambulance staff, and countless others on strike. For at least four days across February and March, teachers join the fold. Civil servants won’t serve. Transport won’t be in action. Letters will remain undelivered. This round of spring strikes is as important as ever.
Contending a lack of pay increases is one condition. Others include safeguarding jobs, improving work conditions, and the protection of rights. This even has implications on the European border in Northern Ireland since Britain left the European Union. Some battles are individually fought while many are backed by unions. Bosses hate unions. Unions influence change. Historically, unions have highlighted that, for many, pay hasn’t improved in almost two decades. Unions are fighting to change that. The E.U. even protected the right to strike under European law.
As Brexit negotiations follow through like defecation during a fart, Tory politicians should be used to talking. Negotiations are supposed to exist between the employer and the employees or via their unions. Some bosses acknowledge change is needed and do the necessary. Collective bargaining can break down. That’s where employees can withdraw their labour, in order to get their paymasters back to the bargaining table.
The U.K. laws allow a secret ballot that stands up to scrutiny and relates to the employer, from their staff… and cover half of the employment workforce. Not voting helps nobody’s cause. Certain notices must be adhered to. Otherwise, a strike may be invalidated. On top of that, since 2016, an act, Trade Union Act, requires 40% of all workers in important services to vote for strike action. More laws and regulations have been quickly huddled together in recent years to add mud to murky waters.
Rights, shareholder profits, attacks on trade unions, increased poverty, household debt, pay scale drops, and other terms have become the social norm. Food banks are springing up as fast as shops are closing. The rise of zero hour contracts, casual work, and detrimental working conditions underline a growing stumbling block. The government’s appointed pay reviews and its handling or blocking of deals have not helped. Draconian laws to prevent strikes are on the Bill.
If we, as people and servants to our bosses, don’t make ourselves accountable and answerable to more than their profits, then the slow down of pay to inflation and support between 2008 and 2022 will account to much more. The profiteers of a pandemic and the exiting of European common laws are already enjoying rich reward at the expense of a public far removed from proper reward. The North of England has been compared with Greece due to its lack of investment. All other European nations and many regions of the U.K. receive better government support.
For many, it is too much. For now, it is all we have. 2025 is the next General Election. Will things change?