Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Standstill



Well almost - our railways are on strike today so anyone wishing to go anywhere by rail is having a hard time of it today.   I don't think we had a strike in the Teaching Profession during my working life - if so I certainly can't remember it.

I do remember other professions striking  but when strikes are mentioned, what I remember most of all are the early days of the Labour movement (my Dad was avid Labour all of his life.) and as a child I used to hear the story of The General Strike over and over again.   He used to tell it and at the slightest excuse would launch into a colorful, blow by blow account of the whole thing.

There is absolutely no doubt about the strength of feeling just as there is no doubt about the suffering many went through and the bitterness felt against anyone who was a strike-breaker.   When my sister married (she was twenty two years older then me) the father of the bridegroom had been a strike-breaker and my father took a lot of persuading to speak to him at the wedding.   He used to tell how the striking picket line had thrown him into the river (not that it mattered - he was a champion water-polo player and a strong swimmer.)   But feelings in those days ran high.   I am not sure whether this is the case these days.   The likes of me, who never goes anywhere on the train anyway never really gives it a thought.

But how we do take the whole idea of travelling around the country both here and further afield quite matter of factly as not worth a mention.   When I look back to 1952 - the first time I went abroad by plane (there on an Elizabethan and back on a Viscount) from what was then London Airport we had to promise my mother we would not give her the date we were going or coming back as she said if she knew she would be sitting on the toilet all day!

Still I - and I am sure thousands like me - do hope that the strike is soon resolved before it involves many more professions (all justifiably in need of a pay rise).

Oh dear I try to rise above and not think about the many serious problems we seem to be facing - the war in Ukraine, the lack of labour as so many have gone back to their own countries to find work now that we are no longer in the European Union - I am thinking here of seasonal work on the land at times of fruit and vegetable picking, packing etc.   All the problems with cancellations of flights which seem to be mainly due to  and lackof staff.

My post is garbled, mainly because I really don't know exactly what I am talking about.   I listen to the News once a day and that's it.   But I do see and hear the effects of all these things and  I am sure somebody will put me right (Tom) if I have seriously misread the situation.   The one thing I am sure of is that nothing seems right at the moment and there seems to be absolutely nothing the likes of you and I can do about it.

 

22 comments:

the veg artist said...

While we were in the thick of the epidemic there was a lot of talk about learning the true value of friends and family, and an expectation that we would come out of it as more caring, sharing people. The opposite seems to be happening. Businesses have folded, prices are rocketing, there is resentment over those who were furloughed or allowed to work from home, longer NHS waiting lists, missed education, travel issues - the list is endless, and that's before introducing foreign politics.
It will, no doubt, settle down at some stage, but I fear we are in for a very bumpy ride.

Derek Faulkner said...

A fair assessment of the current situation "veg artist" but I guess a lot of us old'ns will have got through it all before and take it in our stride. I recall in the early 1990's when the interest rate was 15% and that alone made life difficult when we had a mortgage.

JayCee said...

I can remember the dark days of the 1970s, the three day week, electricity rationing, power cuts, strikes.
Decades later and we (governments) still make the same old mistakes.

Cro Magnon said...

The last serious strike I can remember cost over 200,000 men their jobs. I wonder how many will lose theirs this time? As a Conservative voter, I hate what these Union barons do to their members. The government does its damnest to increase employment, whilst the Unions do the opposite. It makes no sense.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh dear - I have just read the four so far and no one has offered a word of cheer or omfort. Isn't there one to be had?

Susan said...

I've never worked in a union situation. I do wish employers treated employees well and then there would be no need for unions. In the US: Amazon, Apple and Starbucks employees are forming new unions. In Massachusetts, there are ongoing rail problems around safety, lack of employees as well as lack of employee training. Of late, there have also been many rail accidents.

Librarian said...

Selfishly, I hope the train strike in the UK will be well and truly over by the time my sister and I travel to Yorkshire on July 16. I have enough train trouble here in Germany all the time without strikes.
As for a word of cheer or comfort, Pat: Play the glad game and be glad that you do not depend on public transport for getting around - think of the lovely drive your friends treated you to the other day!

Derek Faulkner said...

I began work in Sheerness Docks in 1972 and retired from there in 2006. Within a month of starting we had a month long National Dock Strike, which most of us hated taking part in. We experienced another four National Dock Strikes during that time but worked through them all. The picketing and abuse we suffered from dockers from other ports wasn't pleasant but we were a young port with no archaic practices and rules, a good management who treated and paid us fairly and us to them in return. The result of the actions of the other ports was the eventual loss of the National Docks Labour Scheme and jobs, the railway men will go the same way, just as the miners did. Times change, change with it or become unemployed.

Anonymous said...

I think you are smart to limit your exposure to current events to once a day - knowing more about it without the power to effect change just results in anger and frustration in my experience. Over here there is such interest in current Congressional hearings that things must be scheduled around them - I am going to see my very elderly mother today and am going unusually early so that she can be ready to watch the hearings at 1:00. I was invited to stay and watch with her, but its too upsetting!

I looked up Millionaires Shortbread, which I think you said you had had as a treat - it looks delicious! Now I want some, you are such a good influence.

ceci

thelma said...

I quite like the word 'omfort' Pat, things beginning to fall off one by one as it is at the moment. The news buffoons hype it up till it seems terrible. But we could be in a worse position though, being bombed by the Russians as they are in Ukraine, and do you not notice BJ escapes to when it gets too hot in this country for him....
We all need to take a deep breath, and just be and I think help out by making our views known but definitely not panic. Time flows on.

Anonymous said...

Did your older sister have children Pat? If so I wonder how the two grandfathers got on, or didn't.
In my experience there is usually a polite civility around grandchildren, no matter what is mumbled at home! -Pam

Tom Stephenson said...

What I find a bit galling is that rail workers are comparatively well paid compared to some, but I think this strike also relates to job-cutting for 'improvements'. Do you remember, it wasn't that long ago that there had to be two drivers in a train at once? They didn't get away with that one. Also, no guards anymore, just two people per train. Some teachers are voting on a strike right now. F.E. teachers (of which H.I. is one) earn £9000 a year less than schoolteachers and have had an effective 35% pay decrease over the last 12 years. Britain is in a far worse position to cope with the global crisis thanks to 12 years of enforced austerity from the Tories. Another ideological bit of nonsense which they refused to back down on. We are all paying for the lot in one go now and my generation will never see an end to it.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Your last sentence sums up well how I also feel. My little voice, however, gently says how well we treat ourselves, and those around us, is a doing something about it.

Tasker Dunham said...

I'm afraid what I see is house owners and landlords being bribed to vote in certain ways by increases in property prices. all unearned. Taxing that would go a long way to addressing many problems, but no one is going to vote for that.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Anon - the other grandfather died suddenly and quite young I think. I hardly remember him. But my mother's rule that there was never to be an argument in the family would have held for this too

Librarian - it would be lovely if you could call in for a cup of tea this time - you will be so near. I used to go to Ripon to have my hair done an still go for my hearing aid servicing.


Thanks a lot everyone. No solutions or cheer though.

Joanne Noragon said...

Weaver, I wish I knew the answer, though better wages and hours and benefits would go a long way.

Will said...

"as a Conservative voter..." I am intrigued as to where you find a Conservative party or candidate to vote for in England - we haven't had a Conservative party since at least "hug a hoodie" Cameron came on the scene?

Librarian said...

Pat, I really want to meet you for a cup of tea and a chat! If you happen to have an appointment in Ripon between July 17 and 29, we could easily arrange something. As for us coming to your area, we don't have a car and I am not sure about how hard or easy it is to get there by bus.

Anonymous said...

Service 159 goes from Ripon to Leyburn every day except Sunday and takes about an hour. Hope this helps, Pam

Daisy Debs said...

Sigh .......let's all have a nice cuppa tea ! ☕ x

The Weaver of Grass said...

Librarian - I will look into this with friends who use the bus service - I understand it is quite good.

The Weaver of Grass said...

So much food for thought here frriends. Maybe best to relax, enjoy the spell of fine weather and let the world go by. Thanks you for calling in.