So, how will people see this?

The longest railway strike in British history was announced on Tuesday as union leaders plan a month of chaos during the election campaign.

Millions of passengers face travel misery in the run-up to Christmas after railway workers said they would refuse to work for nearly a month.

The Rail Maritime and Transport Union announced the unprecedented 27 day walkout as part of a long-running dispute over guards on trains. A Downing Street spokesman condemned the action as “deeply damaging”.

This is the working man righteously protesting his rights?

This is the 70s back, the bastards are squeezing us?

And will people vote labour on 1) or against on 2)?

28 thoughts on “So, how will people see this?”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    Presumably Remainers are set against it?

    Their not striking in their best interests because there’ll be an economic hit, the models show that in 10 tears they’ll be x% worse off, they didn’t know what they were voting for etc, etc, usw.

  2. Hell’s teeth!

    We have five weeks to the election and labour (aka unions) will be actively shitting on a significant portion of their required voter base. I’ll be interested to see how the biased lame stream media avoids asking labour the obvious questions.

    Can’t say I have a great deal of empathy or particular sympathy with those who commute into London and other big cities though.

  3. Large-scale strikes make everyone poorer. But OTOH this is the closed-shop Haves making a sincere attempt to experience the unprivileged lives of the Have Nots.

  4. Mark: “Can’t say I have a great deal of empathy or particular sympathy with those who commute into London and other big cities though.”

    Well, fuck you.

  5. It may just be that vox pops conducted by the MSM only broadcast the stuff favourable to the unions, I could not say. But I am always struck by the apparent number of Londoners interviewed on those things during tube strikes who, despite just having had their working day horlicksed by blokes earning the thick end of £100k a year nevertheless are sympathetic to their plight.

    One of our great talents as a nation is, after all, to eat whatever manure is shovelled our way.

  6. This must be good news tho!

    Ministers on Tuesday accused the Communication Workers’ Union of making a “politically calculated” threat to wreck the election by refusing to deliver millions of postal votes as part of a pay dispute.

  7. That continent of milk and honey, Europe, they seem to be doing just fine with driver-only trains. Often they don’t even have any staff at the stations. So these strikers and unions and their supporters must all be Brexiteers.

  8. To most who were around in the strike-prone ’70s it is bad news and a reminder of what a Corbyn-style government leads to. For many voters in their forties or younger, however, it may well smack of the working man righteously protesting his rights. Part of me would welcome a Labour win at the coming election as a necessary lesson that people need to learn. While it would be an expensive lesson, I suspect a Corbyn win would dissuade any talk of a similar vote for much of the 21st Century.

  9. @Anon commuter

    You’re welcome and feel free to vent your anger as the rail unions won’t be taking much notice of you. Why should they? What are you going to do about them?

    On a serious note, spectacularly subsidised long distance rail commuting into london and those few other big cities has been distorting the whole economy for decades.

    You never know, on those days they’re not on strike you might get a few leaves on the line to make up for it.

  10. @Mr Lud
    In my days of commuting, didn’t seem to matter what the reason for the disruption – points failure at Surbiton, wrong sort of snow, industrial action – the only representatives of the transport system one actually saw were the bunch of cunts at the ticket barrier so the bunch of cunts were being unusually cuntish that particular day. That’s the way people think in a system depersonalises the individual, which any mass transit system does. Them and us.
    Same as at airports. It’s not what’s going on half a world away. It’s them on the departure gate at Gatwick.
    The ability of them in the MSM to find totally unrepresentative people & interview them just marks them out as more them.

  11. In other years you’d think it would be “showing the true face of Labour” but the lot in charge now are obviously, publicly loony and have been so for a few years, so I would be surprised if there was anyone in the country who wasn’t aware of it.

    Ammo for the Tories, who of course will decline to use it. Won’t affect much of Labour’s welfare base and the middle-classes will pretend it isn’t happening, though whether they can keep it up for a month is another thing.

    Greens will exploit it and say “look at the extra cars on the road, we need communism now”, declining to add that in their dystopia everyone would have to use…the trains.

  12. @Mark

    Spectacularly wrong target. SWR is the only franchise that pays a big enough premium to the DfT to cover all of Network Rail’s costs in its patch, so commuters there are being taxed rather than subsidised. If it was any other franchise in the country…

    Generally long-distance rail travel is profitable: I can’t think of any intercity route that doesn’t wash its face, even the cross-country routes. It’s actually short-distance off-peak services where there might be three people on a train — two of whom are the driver and guard — which haemorrhage money and are ‘spectacularly subsidised’ IIRC Northern receive more subsidy than all the other operators put together.

  13. Matt, things may have changed but, about a decade ago when I often used trains to travel large parts of the country, I found that a rush hour return ticket to Leicester from London was £120-odd. About the same distance is London to Brighton which, because it was a designated commuter route, cost about £35.

  14. Super. The golden future is where people do most of their work at home, or at an office around the corner. Rail strikes accelerate that shift. Some more businesses get their VPN set up, notice that their staff are just as productive working from home, adopt it more permanently.

    You can only be money-grabbing cunts for so long, before people start working around you…

  15. “Part of me would welcome a Labour win at the coming election as a necessary lesson that people need to learn. While it would be an expensive lesson…”

    A very expensive lesson. Marxists don’t leave office voluntarily.

  16. The RMT is still trying to convince us that driver only operation is unsafe. So unsafe, they’ve been using it on the suburban routes for decades now and not a peep from the RMT.

    Providing the driver has a clear view of the whole length of the train, then it is perfectly safe and modern trains are designed with DOO in mind. This reduces the guard (or train manager in modern parlance) to looking after the passengers and not operating the doors during train dispatch. It ceases to become a safety critical role and becomes a wholly customer service one.

    This isn’t about safety, it’s about money.

  17. @Matt

    Why should rail get subsidies at all?

    The arguments (which I don’t dismiss BTW) are that rail has social and other economic benefits, but what exactly are these benefits?

    Unless you’re a daily commuter fuck you and your local services?

    It ain’t just rail users who pay these subsidies BTW. I use trains about once every Preston guild but I have no fundamental objection to doing this if there are social and economic benefits. Freight goes by rail of course, but in a country where the vast majority of freight journeys are probably no more than 50 miles, this can only be a small fraction.

    Commuters being taxed? So what! Everybody who commutes by car is. Somebody on barely more than minimum wage has no choice but to use a car for a, say, 20 mile daily commute, he is taxed. Somebody on £100k plus doing a 300 mile daily commute to London deserves subsidy?

    Sorry, can’t see it.

    Is long distance rail commuting a good thing? Is there a fundamental reason why, if you do it, you shouldn’t pay the full cost?

    Can’t see that either.

    As for bolshie unions. Public transport, particularly rail, will attract them like flies to shite. Sorry rail commuters you’re stuck with them and I’m not sure what can be done about it? You just have to suck it up or find some pattern of work that won’t be a hostage to them.

    Not a facetious question Matt if you’re still reading but what form should my sympathy and empathy take?

  18. Cue the new Labour leader to unsheath her sword of peoples’ justice and convince the silly boys to stay their hand. The gullible public, noticing nothing suspicious, vote Labour a landslide victory, McDonnell declines his knighthood and all is well in the world.

  19. Trains are for communists, sodorites, and Jenny Agutter. Like any good heterofascist capitalist patriarch I drive a big car, which I use to run over street urchins, Extinction Tantrum crusties and people who are underrepresented in the arts.

  20. OT Mr Lud but if you’re a brief based in the Leicester area albeit working everywhere we probably have friends in common. My sister is a J in that neck of the woods and my brother a silk.

  21. “the rail unions won’t be taking much notice of you. Why should they? What are you going to do about them?”

    They wad be nane the waur o a hingin.

  22. London-based*, Interested, but I used to go to Leicester quite often.

    Excellent to think I might have a had a roasting at the hands of one of your relatives!

    * I know, I know. It is indeed mostly godawful, save for lots of interesting and occasionally magnificent new architecture springing up.

  23. Ah, it’s South Western. Not Southern then. Interesting.

    The constituency map for the commuter lines is solidly blue, and precisely zero of them appear to have changed hands in 2017.

    Assuming that Cash & Co are attempting to co-ordinate with Corbyn & Co, then it doesn’t look like an attempt to suck up votes for Labour, but rather to pull votes away from the Tories, turning them towards the LDs or the Greens. Thing is, further out of London, down the SWR lines, there’s a fair amount of military, so I can’t see that working terribly well. And the implied underlying assumption would be that Labour isn’t destined to gain many seats, but that the Tories can easily lose them.

    Up north, there’s a chunk of the BBC now in Manchester – I can’t see the threat of union activity playing well up with them up there either.

    There’s the possibility that this is also an attempt to get leverage over the next Labour leader; I suspect that Corbyn has been gently warming under the grill for quite a while now anyway.

  24. Strikes are always blamed on Labour. The post workers’ strike may hit postal votes. Labour is already set up to deliver postal votes, by weight, not numbers. The uncertain element is whether the Tories can organise to deliver votes by the genuinely infirm.

  25. @Tim W

    You missed this?

    Please, Mr Postman, call off this strike

    @Rob November 6, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Ammo for the Tories, who of course will decline to use it

    Worse, they’ll say “We will invest more in Rail – [EU Demanded] HS2 and improving blah blah….”

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