Rail strike – Loder ignorance

In Parliament the MP for West Dorset, Chris Loder, used the Johnson method, not bothering to check facts and concocting a story with no basis in reality.

A political party which is based around a cult of the leader tends to attract cultists who share the characteristics of the leader. Look at the example of the Republican Party and Trump. So it is with the Conservative Party. With a leader who is a congenital liar, who never checks facts, we see some of his MPs exhibiting the same unsavoury characteristics. Critical voices have been weeded out by Johnson.

In Parliament the MP for West Dorset, Chris Loder, used the Johnson method, not bothering to check facts and concocting a story with no basis in reality. According to Loder the RMT General Secretary came to a deal with communists, giving two of them jobs in return for supporting him. The level if ignorance could barely be greater. No RMT officials are “given jobs” for the simple reason that all full-time officials are elected by the membership.

Of the two individuals he was referring to one is Assistant General Secretary the other the President. In the case of the President the post is in fact only for three years after which the individual has to go back to their railway job so that they don’t lose contact with the lives of their members.

As for the RMT’s “support for Labour”, and “bankrolling Labour to the extent that it has bought their silence”, somebody should inform this ignoramus that the RMT is not an affiliate of the Labour Party and doesn’t fund it! Indeed not so long ago the union conference voted against re-affiliating to the Labour Party. Never let mere facts get in the way of propaganda!

Perhaps Loder’s hostility towards the RMT is coloured by by the fact that he was a manager for South West Trains. According his McCarthyite tirade the country was being brought to a standstill by militant pro-Putin communists. The industrial action, of course, was decided not by union leaders but by a postal ballot of the members. They voted 89% for industrial action on a 71% turnout, an unusually high figure.

As they say, people in glass houses should not throw stones. It is in fact the Tory Party which has been funded by Russian oligarchs (whose riches often originated from theft of state property) friends of Putin or not. They have allowed ‘dirty money’ to flood into this country for years. We still await disclosure of Johnson’s infamous meeting with Lebedev.

As for the strike action it is important to stress that it is not just about wages. It is against job losses and cut backs which threaten the safety of the network. Network Rail has proposed cutting 2,500 jobs as part of a £2bn reduction in spending with the job cuts including workers who maintain tracks, signals and overhead lines.

Like other public sector workers who kept things running throughout the pandemic some of them died as a result of their high level of contact with the public. That 89% voted for industrial action is a reflection of the fact that these workers feel they have been treated with contempt by the management and the government. No worker takes strike action lightly. They are fighting for their jobs and the service they provide. They deserve our support.

Martin Wicks

This is a letter to the Swindon Advertiser

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