With their customary flair for the nonsensical, the Tories have accused the government of taking us “back to the 1970s” with the ongoing strike wave.
The learned men of Eton seem to think there is something terribly wrong with this sudden upsurge in trade union militancy. But what exactly do they fear about a supposed return to the decade of appalling fashion, great music, labour militancy, and contending super powers?
For a start, only one of those exists anymore (rule out fashion for the time being) as in labour militancy, so this is really the target of conservative upset. Cameron and co are terrified of a revival of the kind of trade union movement that saw rightist elements in the army consider a military coup for the purpose of curbing the unions.
What’s so scary about the unions? If I can avoid slipping into the usual anti-capitalist rant (I’m not drunk so you’re pretty much safe) the Conservative party enshrine the machinations of British corporate interests coupled with the power of “old money” and the landed aristocracy. A trade union is, if it is at all healthy, an organisation created by the working people – the vast majority of this society – for the purpose of defending themselves against the predations of those mentioned.
If I can be forgiven for putting it as simply as I have, such an antagonism is bound to create friction. Political hysteria, army plots, and people being condemned for having the audacity to want a good standard of living are a part of that.