It’s time to get angry right enough – and not with striking rail workers… – Annie Brown


At Scotland’s largest ever cost-of-living summit last week, STUC general secretary Roz Foyer said it is time to “get angry, come together and to start fighting back” against a wealth gap.

Yesterday’s rail strike was an inconvenience for some and a real hardship for others, particularly those who needed to travel to hospital appointments.

But we already fail those same sick or disabled passengers with an NHS on their knees and a care system in crisis and only systematic change will give them the meaningful help they need.

The workers who man our railways have been brave to get angry and fight back, to demand a fairer system for us all.

The Tories and much of the right wing media have demonized these strikers, in the same way they did the miners in the 80s, but they are far from the villains of the piece.

“They get paid more than nurses and carers” is the cry. Pay nurses and carers the wage they deserve then.

Bonuses to fat-cat city bosses have hit a record high and pay in the financial and insurance sector rocketed by 27.9 per cent.

Why are their wages dwarfing those of essential carers and nurses? Workers’ wages went up by only 4.2 per cent while inflation soars.

The Government is trying to stoke an irrational fear of “Reds under the beds”, dangerous subversives, attempt on enslaving us beneath a Communist yoke.

In reality this is a legal industrial action making a reasonable call for a pay rise four per cent below the rate of inflation – in real terms a pay cut.

Shapps confirmed there would be emergency Cobra meetings this week on the strikes.

Staff are seen at Queen Street station in Glasgow during the biggest rail strikes in 30 years

Maybe Boris Johnson will turn up to this one, given he couldn’t be bothered during a global pandemic.

The villains here are the Tories who would gladly have workers tied to the tracks and run over, silent movie style.

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Last week we covered the story of a working mother forced to choose to go hungry or feed her baby – now that’s a reason to feel angry.

Charities like Govan Help and Merry-go-round are feeding and clothing families, mopping up the mess for a callous Government which would gladly see the return of the workhouse.

This Government cabal of compassionless millionaires and billionaires have not an idea nor a care for the impact of their decisions on people and workers on the breadline.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, himself a millionaire, is married to a woman richer than the Queen and who makes millions from Amazon India.

If you think it’s hellish working for Amazon here, imagine how back breaking it is in India where the company’s staff are paid starvation wages of a couple of hundred quid a month.

Rishi’s paws are all over the rail pay negotiations along with Shapps who once boasted he had his own plane and was so rich “my car has a fridge in it”.

No doubt he has some Dom Perignon chilling in it to celebrate if the Tories succeed in cynically using the strike to push through union-busting legislation even Thatcher would have baulked at.

The Government is planning to introduce legislation this week to make it legal for employers to bring in agency staff to replace striking workers.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves recently remarked that she would not feel safe traveling on a train if a short-term agency worker replaced a trained signaller.

Safety is more important than having any old warm body in the right physical location, and when Cameron’s government tried to introduce similar legislation in 2015, it was shown to be unworkable and against international law.

The British Medical Association has warned it may ballot for strike action so are they going to give agency supermarket staff a crash course in appendectomies?

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng tweeted: “Repealing these 1970s-era restrictions will give businesses the freedom to access skilled, temporary staff at short notice. ”

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What he really means is repeating the legislation back to before the 70s when employers could exploit workers with absolute impunity.

It’s time to get angry right enough – and not with striking rail workers.

What a Carrie-on over Boris’s nepotism

So while the Government is throwing rotten cabbages at the nasty rail strikers, it has emerged Boris Johnson talked to Downing Street aides about getting his wife Carrie two plum jobs.

The Prime Minister is said to have raised possible new environmental roles for her in autumn 2020, either at the COP26 summit or with the Royal Family.

It follows allegations he tried to make her £100,000-a-year chief of staff two years earlier, when he was Foreign Secretary and she was his girlfriend.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Johnson
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Johnson

He was still married at the time but we ran out of fingers counting what number wife he was on. Sources allege the PM wanted to get Carrie a job as a green ambassador at the run-up to the global climate summit in Glasgow.

That’s the color this level of nepotism makes our faces turn.

The Government allegedly kiboshed the move for Carrie, whose qualifications for the Foreign Office extend to weekends in Marbella. It was claimed he then failed to line her up as communications director for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s
charity.

So the only job she got in the end was the PM’s wife and, bearing his history with marriage, it is likely to be a short-term contract.

So while the Government is throwing rotten cabbages at the nasty rail strikers, it has emerged Boris Johnson talked to Downing Street aides about getting his wife Carrie two plum jobs.

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The Prime Minister is said to have raised possible new environmental roles for her in autumn 2020, either at the COP26 summit or with the Royal Family.

It follows allegations he tried to make her £100,000-a-year chief of staff two years earlier, when he was Foreign Secretary and she was his girlfriend.

He was still married at the time but we ran out of fingers counting what number wife he was on. Sources allege the PM wanted to get Carrie a job as a green ambassador at the run-up to the global climate summit in Glasgow.

That’s the color this level of nepotism makes our faces turn.

The Government allegedly kiboshed the move for Carrie, whose qualifications for the Foreign Office extend to weekends in Marbella. It was claimed he then failed to line her up as communications director for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s
charity.

So the only job she got in the end was the PM’s wife and, bearing his history with marriage, it is likely to be a short-term contract.

Taking issue with Wills

It emerged this week Prince William once called the benefits office to try to get financial help for a young homeless person.

Britain's Prince William poses for a picture with a vendor of The Big Issue newspaper
Britain’s Prince William poses for a picture with a vendor of The Big Issue newspaper

Wills, who was volunteering for a homeless charity, is a renowned expert given his whole family have been on benefits for donkey’s years.

We don’t know if the young man got off the streets but we do know William is still getting millions and won’t be selling the Big Issue any time soon.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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