Another week, another wedge issue being used by the government to divide working people.
You’d be forgiven for thinking you had déjà vu as once more, the country inches ever closer towards a recession with low growth, high inflation and repeatedly lurches from crisis to crisis and what course of action have the Conservatives taken to act?
Well, the Prime Minister and Transport Secretary have decided to pick a fight with workers.
The same people lauded as “heroes” who like many of you, went into work, literally risking their lives (lest we forget, whilst others who should have known better were partying) are now painted as enemies.
This isn’t new behaviour from this government whose modus operandi is to play divide and rule as we can see from the raft of anti-trade union legislation and the slow erosion of workers’ rights over the last 50 years culminating in failing to act against the pernicious practice of fire and rehire and Grant Shapps moving to legislate to allow agency workers to break strikes and fill gaps.
I don’t know about you but I certainly wouldn’t fancy driving a train and I wouldn’t want to get on one driven by someone who hadn’t before.
Fighting for these people is what the Labour Party is for and that is something that we mustn’t forget.
For Boris Johnson and his Cabinet to queue up and call elected representatives like Mick Lynch, “reckless” is merely to attempt to cover up the economic mess that they have led us into and try to blame it on the victims of said mess.
With inflation at nine per cent and likely to rise to 11 per cent and potentially even higher, and after a decade of declining wages, workers are on average £68 a month worse off than this time last year.
People in Bury South know they face worse to come with energy costs rising again in the autumn and they simply want to be able to feed their children, heat their homes and pay their rent.
I think we can all agree that should be the bare minimum when living in the sixth richest economy in the world.
The train strikes are frustrating, I know this myself, this week will delay my return to the North-West meaning I see my daughter even less than usual which breaks my heart.
But this country has nothing but insecurity running through it at the moment, and I believe it is a purposeful tactic by this government.
Whether that be insecurity around housing with people unable to pay their rent or get on the housing ladder.
Insecurity in work with rights reduced to ruin for people on temporary or zero hours contracts and low pay.
Insecurity in health as waiting lists continue to grow and people in need of surgery going without.
What the trade unions across this country are fighting for is security of income.
The country is in need of a pay rise and we currently have a Prime Minister with his head in the sand not wanting to get involved and refusing to do the right thing whilst delivering pay rises to bankers.
We have become so polarised over the last six years, don’t let them divide us further.
Unity is strength.