I have written about the small heatwave previously, and also outlined the progress on renewing my driving licence. So this week, my musings are taking on a different form.
Starting on the 21st, we have a series of rail strikes commencing. The unions representing the train drivers have come under great criticism for balloting for this strike, which over 80% of those drivers who voted are in favour of. The attacks on them are based on what they currently earn. Including overtime, train drivers can earn between £40,000 and £55,000 a year in the UK. Different operating companies pay different rates, and also have different contracts. Depending on the shifts worked, and the duration of those shifts, it is true that train drivers can earn as much as qualified nurses and teachers.
But I see nothing wrong with that. Why shouldn’t they?
They do a highly-trained and sometimes difficult job, and are often responsible for the safety of hundreds of passengers, driving trains at high speed between British cities. One of the politicians who has been most critical of the strike action earns £88,000 a year by being a member of parliament. In the last calendar year, he also claimed £190,000 in ‘expenses’, enjoys long holiday breaks when parliament closes, and is able to do a second job by being on the board of a private company that pays him around £100,000 a year to turn up at meetings ‘occasionally’. Yet he thinks the person driving the train taking him to his two jobs is earning too much money. Disgraceful.
All workers should read this quote.
With the cost of living crisis seriously affecting well over half the households in this country, we are hearing about qualified nurses having to get free food from Food Banks to survive the rising costs of power, petrol, and groceries in supermarkets. Some old people are afraid to turn on their heating when they are cold, and many children are having to eat cheap food that is nutritionally poor. Yet the government politicians see nothing wrong in that, simply blaming it on the Pandemic, or the war in Ukraine. As the rich get richer than ever before in history, we are told to wear extra clothes when we are cold, and that nothing is the fault of government policy.
I am not a religious man, but this quote from someone who is sums up the blatant hypocrisy of those uncaring politicians on their huge salaries and expenses.
I hope you a have a peaceful and happy Sunday. And I send my best wishes to all the fathers out there who might be enjoying a celebration of Father’s Day. But let’s not forget those fathers who will be spending the day alone or unloved.