The following point may seem obvious, and my apologies to you in advance if it is, but it did wake me this morning, at around 5am. Which is unusual for me, because at that time in the morning, before my first cup of tea, I normally have the mental capacity and memory attention span of a small flea. A particularly unintelligent flea. A flea, perhaps, in desperate need of a government initiative.
It’s because of all these strikes we’ve been having recently, within the foaming shores of these sceptred isles. We had a paralysing Firemen’s strike, in which 17,000 soldiers, with 50-year-old equipment, unflappably replaced 55,000 strikers. We’ve just had a catastrophic government Civil Service strike, in which I was unable to claim state benefits for almost two whole days. And we’re currently enduring a calamitous state-owned University strike, where a bearded lecturer called Kevin, at the Friedrich Engels College in Newhaven, is refusing to deliver his annual keynote lecture on the philosophy of Schopenhauer. It’s been hell, it really has.
In some ways you could imagine that British industrial relations are heading down the same pan they headed down in the late 1970s. But wait! None of these strikes are actually industrial. In fact I cannot remember, for the life of me, the last serious strike which occurred, at all, in the industrious wealth producing private sector. There may have been the odd Spanish practices walkout in previously nationalised industries, such as British Telecom or British Airways, but a question formed in my mind, this morning, when by all that is great and good in the world it should have been dreaming about Penelope Cruz instead.
Have British strikes, to all serious intents and purposes, become an exclusively public sector phenomenon?
Are British strikes the last refuge of incompetent non-tax-paying public sector ‘key workers’, who wish to hold Britain’s wealth-creating taxpayers to ransom via the coercive hand of their idiot socialist friends in government? And is the public sector exclusivity of these strikes yet another testament to the enduring genius of our very own Joan of Arc, political saviour, and English heroine, Margaret Hilda, the Baroness Thatcher?
Your country is plagued by strikes and you want rid of them. Solution? Get rid of the public sector. Job done. Problem solved. Another instrumental Thatcherite lesson for politicians everywhere.
Baroness Thatcher. We truly are not worthy.