DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Rein in the wreckers to keep the public safe

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Rein in the wreckers to keep the public safe

January 10, 2023

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Rein in the wreckers to keep the public safe

Not before time the Government has shown some backbone and unveiled new laws designed to keep the country moving and people safe during strikes.

With hard-Left unions blackmailing Britain by refusing to call off a wave of crippling walkouts, Rishi Sunak is right to demand a minimum service in critical industries.

Under the proposals, unions face paying heavy damages and workers could be sacked if they fail to protect basic public sector and transport functions.

Deploying overblown rhetoric, the barons claim this will ‘poison’ industrial relations. But how could they be more toxic than they are now? For this onslaught of strikes is motivated by politics as much as greed.

Rishi Sunak is right to demand a minimum service in critical industries amid threat of more walkouts

These unions hope that by destabilising the country, the public will blame the Tories – allowing their Labour brothers to win power at the next election.

And they don’t care who suffers, even the sick and dying, to achieve this aim. It is grotesque – and terrifying – that in Britain in 2023 people could call 999 for a stricken loved one and not get through because ambulance staff are picketing. Have the workers no conscience? They are supposed to save lives – not play God with them.

A responsible government has no choice but to introduce contingency measures to mitigate the damage from future industrial action. Providing a safety net for the public is the PM’s duty – not some political stunt.

Naturally, the unions are howling with fury, claiming the reforms are undemocratic. But this is nonsense. They were in the Conservative’s manifesto at the 2019 election, which they won by a landslide.

Nothing announced is unreasonable. Indeed, the proposed laws arguably aren’t tough enough. Many countries have much more stringent anti-strike legislation – including in Labour’s beloved EU.

By opposing the measures, Labour is simply endangering lives and livelihoods. But Sir Keir Starmer will not dream of turning his back on his union paymasters.

Ordinary people are fed up with the militants holding their lives to ransom. With courage and resolve, Mr Sunak can rein in the wreckers – and win a massive victory in the court of public opinion.

Keir can’t be trusted

Sir Keir Starmer likes to paint himself as a politician of impeccable integrity. Yet can a single word he says be trusted?

He back-pedalled on a string of Left-wing pledges made to win the Labour leadership, including nationalising energy companies and scrapping Universal Credit.

He solemnly swore to respect Brexit – then fought tooth-and-nail to overturn it.

And while sounding sincere when condemning Just Stop Oil’s road-blocking antics, he’s accepted vast sums from a businessman who bankrolls the zealots.

Floating voters might be tempted to think Sir Keir really has ditched his old hard-Left beliefs. But he has a loose relationship with the truth. If he gulled his party to win power, wouldn’t he gull the nation?

Park the painful fees

Councils are the first to grumble that life is being sucked out of Britain’s high streets as internet and out-of-town shopping cause sustained damage.

But instead of pulling out all the stops to help hard-pressed businesses stay afloat, Town Halls are piling on the misery.

For grasping local authorities are plotting huge hikes in parking charges to plug budget shortfalls, adding to their already astonishing £1.8billion in profits.

How short-sighted. Extortionate fees will simply further discourage car-dependent families from battling into town centres to shop, hastening the decline of retailers.

No one is saying parking controls are never needed. But it seems clear councils would rather see cash in their own coffers than in the tills of struggling local shops.

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