Unions are running Britain into the ground, says Mark Dolan

Thatcher said no more, and Boris Johnson must now do the same

Published Last updated

Who runs Britain?

Union bosses are threatening strike action in June, as Britain faces a summer of discontent.

Urgent plans to deal with "potentially the biggest rail strike in modern history" are being drawn up by the government in response to expected action by the RMT rail union. The RMT is balloting 40,000 members until Tuesday.

If the strike goes ahead, industry experts say it will create "serious challenges" in keeping goods moving and supermarket shelves stocked. Plus it will hugely impact commuters and others getting around the country by rail.

What's happening in the UK, mirrors where we were in the late 70s, with rising inflation, households struggling to pay their bills and the government up to its neck in national debt and running an eye watering deficit, in which we spend more than we bring in. Just as Britain now begins its tentative recovery from two years of economic Armageddon, the unions want to step in and completely finish this country off. Because where the rail unions lead, others will follow.

Summer strike action is a test case for the authority of this government. It’s war. How deeply irresponsible that the unions should seek inflation busting pay rises for their workers or resists reforms and cost savings to an industry now dependent, given the country's finances are so wrecked. Financial hardship is so bad across the country that people are switching their fridges off at night to save electricity and getting bloody food poisoning as a result. Highly respectable people, many in work, are going to food banks; people who never thought for one moment in their lives that they wouldn't be able to feed themselves and would need help from the state to do so.

Now I've got no problem with the unions representing their workers, getting them the best possible pay and conditions, but read the room folks. The country is on its knees, and they want to take it up the backside.

Wage demands at a time like this in our history, when faced with inflation, energy insecurity, a war in the east, China with imperial ambitions and an America that has lost the plot under Biden, is just not an option. Not only will sending the country into the red thought the fuel inflation and the cost of living crisis, it could ultimately become a national security issue for this country.

Selfish wage demands for further feed the tsunami of inflation coming our way and Britain must tighten its belt not loosen it. Too many unions are running rings around this country and running Britain.

Margaret Thatcher would've given these characters short shrift and put them in their place. The campaign slogan for her election campaign in 1979 was who runs Britain? The government or the unions? Well it seems her good work is being undone.

It was the teaching unions, for example, who pushed so hard for school closures which the data fails to show was necessary and which anyone with half a brain and any honesty now admits was a mistake. I myself and many of you said this at the time, but we were the bad people then, remember? How things change.

It was also the teaching unions that cruelly masked kids as young as 11 for up to eight hours a day in a sweaty classroom, without any compelling overwhelming evidence that those filthy rags made a blind bit of difference. I have long considered school closures and mask mandates on kids to be state sponsored child abuse and with a generation of kids now clearly damaged by those measures, I stand by that claim.

It was the BMA and the health unions who were part of the chorus of voices seeking to make the NHS Covid secure, backing crazy policies like doctors, nurses and surgeons sat at home, symptom free, for weeks on end, twiddling their thumbs because they'd been in contact with someone that tested positive for the virus.

You work in a hospital for God sakes. Go figure. Zero Covid was a crazy idea at the best of times, but in a hospital setting, in which we ignored other diseases for two years it was indefensible.

Unions across every industry you can think of pushed for work from home directives, which we know has killed the High Street, city centres and has further smashed the economy. They were obsessed with enforcing the covid theatre of Perspex screens, masking and those bloody arrows everywhere and one way systems. Some want those bonkers measures in place in the workplace forever. And the DVLA’s lack of productivity, the passport office’s snail’s pace performance, and civil servants’ refusal, across the board, to get back to the office are all as a result of lax policies backed by their unions.

These people wouldn’t last eleven seconds in the private sector.

Trade unions must exist and workers must have rights, safety, great pay and the opportunities to make something of their lives. But the unions have to acknowledge our current catastrophic circumstances. Of course they won’t. It will be a race to the bottom, as it was in the late 1970s.

Things got so bad in the 70s, workers went down to a three day week, there were power cuts, rubbish was piling up in the streets, the dead were not being buried and Britain had to go to the International monetary fund, begging for a handout. All of this happened on the watch and at the behest of trade Unions who had crazy policies like secondary picketing, in which people in a different industry, could go on strike if a certain group of workers were themselves on strike. And now again, the balance of power has tipped in their favour and they are running the country in the way they did in the late 1970s.

Thatcher said no more, and Boris Johnson must now do the same. Boris Johnson has to stand up to the unions and ask a simple question, asked by Thatcher in 1979.

Who runs Britain? Because at the moment, the unions are running Britain. Into the ground.