Despite the innumerable challenges we face, our union is committed to providing for the most vulnerable both in and beyond the workplace.
‘Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of York’ utters the disillusioned Richard III in Shakespeare's tragedy baring the same name. Coincidentally, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – another delusional demagogue – is the Member of Parliament for Richmond (York’s), and his premiership should also be considered a tragedy; however, not for himself, but for the inhabitants of the British Isles.
As the temperature drops to below freezing, energy prices soar to record highs, hitting the most vulnerable and poorest throughout society. Instead of taking drastic action to tackle these challenges, and rescue the nation from a bleak winter, the Prime Minister and his party are choosing to deflect criticism by taking aim at hard working, decent people and the unions that represent them. For the past several weeks, government ministers – or as they should be known talking heads, talking nonsense – have tried to defend their indefensible decisions; from a weak response to the energy crisis, to resolving the pay, terms and conditions disputes throughout several sectors.
Speaking at a Royal Air Force base in Lincolnshire on Friday 9th December, the Prime Minister told outright lies, when he suggested ‘ordinary families up and down the country would pay an extra £1,000 a year to meet the pay demands of the union bosses.’ Based on his poor track record as Chancellor, it is no surprise that the Prime Minister appears to be pulling any obscene figure out of thin air, in an attempt to shift blame from his government to workers and unions.
In the same vein, the Prime Minister has continued to peddle complete and utter nonsense and make idle threats. On several occasions he and his ministers have suggested the public will be left at risk as a result of strikes, and worse, his solution is to draft in what remains of the armed forces – after his party has decimated it for several years - in order to plug the gaps. His actions and words are utterly despicable. If he and his government had an ounce of competency, care or credibility, they would stop this balderdash party politics, and get around the table with each union to resolve these issues. It is both bone-idle and stubborn.
GMB Union condemns the Prime Minister's fanciful claims that working families would be required to pay more in order to meet pay demands, as well as his tin-pot dictator persona. Perhaps if he and his cronies in the Exchequer during the pandemic did not syphon public money into the pockets of their friends and doners, there would be sufficient funds to meet these pay claims. After all, the sectors concerned have gone years with little-to-no adequate pay increases, and since leaving the European Union, have been subject to barbarous attacks on their terms and conditions.
Furthermore, his desire to crush the unions like his Iron Lady predecessor during the 1980s is both dangerous and anti-democratic. Repressing the concerns of hard working, decent people is a lunge into the wrong direction; coupled with this party’s desires to tear up human rights and the remaining European Union safety nets, is putting this nation on a slippery slope to a fascist dictatorship.
Last but certainly not least, during PMQs on Wednesday 14th December, the Prime Minister continued peddling the same old Tory traduce, blaming the Labour Party, the unions and the nurses for his woes. Tomorrow the country will face the first nationwide nurses strike in history, GMB Union echoes the comments made by the leader of the opposition, Kier Starmer, when he said the government was ‘playing games with peoples health’ and as a result, there will be a human cost. By placing Tory party politics first, and patients second, as well as 10 years of managed decline on public services, the nation’s health is in tatters, and the culprits are still in power.
GMB Union joins the Labour front bench in condemning the Prime Minister and his governments inaction. Instead of getting around the table, and making a conscious effort to resolve the strikes, this government is hiding behind fear and blame. Instead, they should be concerned with closing non-dom tax loopholes, which would fund an adequate pay rise for essential services.
GMB Union North West & Irish wishes all its members a safe and happy holiday season, and new year. Despite the innumerable challenges we face, our union is committed to providing for the most vulnerable both in and beyond the workplace. Whilst a break is much needed, we look forward to welcoming in the new year, and reigniting our fight against the Tories and their abhorrent injustices. Stay safe, stay active.
Neil Smith, Political Officer
Written and edited by Shaun Nash