Sunday, September 02, 2007

Long Ago Was the Winter of our Discontent

At least twice in the last week, The Guardian has compared the current slightly flaky Industrial Relations climate with the 1978/9 "Winter of Discontent".

This is the same kind of lazy writing where slightly bossy people are compared to Hitler or where space probes are always compared in size to kitchen appliances.

The situation in this country at the end of the 1970s had a post-nuclear feel :-

* Corpses piling up in Liverpool due to gravedigger strikes, with plans for mass burials at sea.

* Fuel for "emergency" use only, and panels of union members defining what that should be in each area.

* Rubbish not collected for months, with big rotting piles of the stuff in Leicester Square (picture).

* Emergency ambulance service suspended, with the army having to provide some kind of service.

* An appetite for striking such that Union leaders had little control over when strikes started, and in many cases could not bring their members back to work once agreement had been reached.

Does anyone really think this sounds like something that could happen in the UK in 2007 ? Sure, we do have problems, but surely not of the spiralling-into-anarchy variety.

The current problems are likely to be easily smoothed over by the application of a modest amount of money.

You read it here first : Winter 2007/8 is not going to have 30 million lost working days due to strikes, and the government will not fall. There will be only a thin layer of fast-food containers on Leicester Square.

1 comment:

ArcticFox said...

Call out the "green goddesses" they seem to have a midas touch when it comes to panic stations.

Oh, wait, didn't we sell them all off?? We are royally stuffed then!!