I didn't make a mistake in this blog title. I meant to say that - because I am convinced that too often when activists/politicians/union leaders put out a warning about something that can and will happen the general public/silent majority appears to take no notice. These members of the electorate need to wake up and protest/vote against all those 'somethings' . However, too often instead of protests, choruses of "Don't worry, 'that' will never happen" can be heard around the country, followed in a few months time by additional choruses of "Well I never thought 'they' really meant to do it". The so called silent majority have struck again. Silent because whilst they may be complaining at home/in the pub/in the bus queue they are not complaining where it matters: in the ballot box/the MPs inboxes/on the streets in peaceful demos and rallies.
And whatever it was 'they' weren't really going to do, we can be assured that it will probably never be reversed by the next Government because key infastructure/assets/knowledge bases will have been sold off/lost/destroyed. And the 'silent majority' will be blaming everyone but themselves, of course.
What is firing my bad tempered rant of today? Listening to the news bulletins today talking about the teachers' strike called for tomorrow. You know, those lazy people who work like stink so that the upcoming generations will be educated to a level that will provide adequate knowledge and prosperity to support us all in our old age. Those lazy people whose pay and pension prospects are so awful and whose retirement age is being hiked so that they will be on their feet controlling ungrateful pupils at an age when they - the teachers - should be at home resting. Those lazy people who work far more hours than the general public realise: running after school clubs and activities, marking homework, setting up lesson plans, school trips and more. Who are looked upon too often as baby sitters and pillioried if they take a day off in industrial action ["I have to get someone to look after my children so that I can go to work. This is so unfair."] Yet if the school does not allow a parent to take a child away on a foreign holiday during term time, these same parents are often heard to complain about parents rights and how much more expensive holidays are in school holiday weeks. When teachers' have to take their holidays, right?
Oh and of course today's couple of rants from Dastardly Dave used tomorrow's strike action and an opportunity to announce
Tough new laws to restrict strikes in essential services will be promised in next year’s Conservative general election manifestothese essential services will include council workers, health workers, firefighters and civil servants who - coincidentally - will be joining the teachers in their industrial action tomorrow.
And as Dave so kindly pointed out:
I think the time has come for looking at setting thresholds in strike ballots... The [NUT] strike ballot took place in 2012, based on a 27 per cent turnout
hmm, some local, EU and General elections haven't achieved a turn out of much more than that. A comment on that please Dave?
Trade unions look after their members in so many ways. One true blue friend attacked my union loyalty with the comment 'Unions have never achieved anything'. Without going into the full lecture [and I could!] I muttered about the 10 hour day, 40 hour week, paid holidays, sick pay and all the parliamentary causes they have supported..... I was still muttering as she slammed the door on her way out.
We all know our NHS is under attack. Please don't let that become something about which the silent majority says 'Well of course I never thought they meant to dismantle it.' Join any protest you can around your locality. Likewise protest against the so-called Bedroom Tax and any other Austerity measures which always seem to hit the poorer members of society disproportionately.
If you can't physically support the strikers tomorrow, please think about them. Tweet or facebook your support. Ask your MP to support public sector workers. Think how you would feel if your retirement age and pension was attacked. If you are one of those public sector workers, my solidarity goes with you in your struggles. I can't be with you tomorrow as we have a funeral of an elderly family member to attend. A socialist all her life who defended all like those on strike and rejoiced to see the birth of the NHS. I hope her family don't witness its demise. My great grandparents, grandparents and parents were all trade unionists. Our children and grandchildren have joined Other Half and I on protest marches. We will keep on marching - join us all!
Photograph above shows Anti-austerity protest marches on Parliament in London