As m’colleague Gavin set out in a post yesterday, there are many reasons for those of us in the UK to be grateful for the politics that we have. Gavin’s point, in a nutshell, is that we may have Ministers who (allegedly) commit minor motoring offences, but thank heavens we’re not France or Italy.
Parochial, but fair. Until you read about what Bob Crow and his RMT chums are up to today. According to Hugh Millward in the Telegraph, Millwall’s most famous fan has told the GLA that he is seeking a £500 bonus for RMT staff to ensure that they don’t strike during the London Olympics. Those of you familiar with the Sopranos will recognise this as a simple protection racket, of a type that the RMT and our other more militant unions have become expert at in recent years. As Roy McNulty prepares to announce his report into the future of rail in the UK, which is expected to lead to a new bout of ructions between the rail industry and the unions, this serves as a salutary reminder of the worst excesses of trade union extortion.
So it is somewhat depressing that, while many of Britain’s unions do great work representing and defending the rights of their members, there are those who still too closely resemble their sheep-burning, constantly-striking, business-killing continental cousins. Not to mention certain elements of the Italian-American community of New Jersey.
“Nice railway you got there. Would be a shame if something were to happen to it.” Makes you proud to be British.