This is my, admittedly radical, solution to the labour mutiny [sic] that has combined with the heavy snowfall to bring Britain to a standstill.
Trade unions in general are an anachronism, a throwback to the days of the Industrial Revolution. Actually, when they were first legalised, some 200 years ago, they did have a useful role to play.
Most of the economy was either industrial already or heading that way. And industry in those days relied heavily on unskilled – and therefore interchangeable – labour.
Under those conditions, the balance of power was slanted too heavily towards owners and management, creating a perfect environment for exploitation. Hence it was logical for workers to pool their interests and present a united front in any kind of dispute.
Collective bargaining sprang from a realistic assessment of the social and economic dynamics. What with little difference in individual skills and qualifications, workers should all have received the same pay and benefits.
They were all on the same career path and were therefore entitled to act as a monolith group. And indeed, the unions were useful in improving not only the workers’ pay but also their working conditions, things like reasonable hours, paid holidays, workplace safety, sick days, pensions and so on.
The unions were lifeboats of socialism in a raging sea of industrial expansion, and they provided refuge for the workers, keeping them afloat. But things have changed since then.
Skipping many intermediate phases, today’s economy doesn’t resemble even remotely the days of the Industrial Revolution. Industrialisation that came to Britain in the late 18th century has since left.
Most of the labour in every walk of life is highly skilled, and skills of any kind are never spread evenly across a wide swathe of humanity. It stands to reason that those with greater skills should be paid more, which presupposes individual contracts.
And individual contracts would obviate the need for labour unions. However, that’s where a paradox came into play. Just as the legitimate need for the unions diminished, their importance grew.
As with any other socialist Leviathan, their leadership acquired inordinate power. Union bosses pretended to look after workers’ interests, while pursuing in fact their own ideological agenda that gradually became out-and-out Marxist.
The Marxists’ professed mission, that of standing up for workers’ interests, is only a mendacious slogan, or else camouflage designed to mask the destructive animus lurking underneath. Marxists really care only about Marxism, which is concentrating power in their hands and then using it to enslave society.
Today’s unions use strikes the way terrorists use hostages: to blackmail society into surrender. And, following Lenin’s strategy of combining strong-arm tactics with legitimate political action, the unions have turned the Labour Party into their own bailiwick.
This year, for example, 58 per cent of the party’s financing has come from the unions, which effectively turns every Labour MP into a poodle to the Trade Union Congress, including its more toxic constituents.
This enables the unions to hold the country to ransom, which is exactly what they are doing now. Some 1.1 million working days have been lost to strikes this year, the greatest number for a generation.
Like all blackmailers, the unions look for the moments when their marks are at their most vulnerable. As the country is now, what with Covid, a general slowdown, a dire energy situation and soaring inflation rates. The unions saw their opening and they’ve effectively written a note to society: “If you ever want to see your economy again…” and so on, ending with, “and no cops, or the economy gets it.”
The most disgusting part of this terrorist offensive is the strike of the public services: ambulances, fire brigades, postal services, transport and so forth. Banning such strikes would be the first thing I’d do, reminding the employees that the word ‘services’ actually means something.
Public services are there to serve the public, and those employed there have no moral right to withdraw their labour, putting the public at risk. Each ambulance driver, paramedic or postman should be on an individual, annually renegotiable, contract stipulating his pay, benefits and the corporate charter by which he must abide.
Any Briton paid by the Exchequer (and I do mean paid, not supported) exchanges prospects of great enrichment for security: his is a job for life, barring some unspeakable misdeeds on his part. His pension is also guaranteed, which is more than can be said for pensions in the private sector.
The health of society demands that all labour engaged in public services be deunionised. That will remove at a stroke most power from the TUC and its more pernicious members, such as Unite.
That ought to be the first step, but not the last one. Strikes in general ought to be outlawed, as a recognition of what the economy is, rather than what the Marxists think it ought to be. The range of skills necessary for competing in today’s economy is wider than ever, which puts a stress on individual excellence, not collective security.
Take teachers, for example, who are unionised in Britain. But unionised means homogenised – it’s as if we can assume that all teachers are equally good. But they aren’t, are they?
Anyone who has ever received any formal education at any level, will recall some of his teachers with warm gratitude, some others with revulsion, and still others he wouldn’t recall at all.
For example, at my university I had several professors of English grammar, but only one (Tatiana Vasilyevna Frolova, if you must know the name, a kindly old woman with her hair in a bun) made me not just learn but understand the structure of the English language. That has stood me in good stead ever since.
Yet in that communist country Prof. Frolova was paid exactly the same as her inept colleagues with the same seniority. One would expect Britain to eschew communist practices, in the economy and everywhere else.
Any employees going on strike should be summarily sacked, as they would be in a City firm, an IT company or an ad agency. One strike and you are out – this principle should be universally applied.
That would defang the Marxist cabal going by the name of the TUC – which is why it’ll never be done. The people have been brainwashed into sacralising unionism, the way they sacralise all things socialist, such as the NHS.
One can only wish that Margaret Thatcher rise from the dead to visit her wrath on those Marxist saboteurs. Alas, that’s as unlikely as our present ‘leaders’ being able to act in the same just and decisive fashion. She was the last statesman at 10 Downing Street – and I do mean last, not just the latest.