Scottish ministers should bow to strikers?

In a tradition going back decades the UK MSM including the BBC make clear which side they’re on and who is to blame for industrial action. Its the railway workers of course.

Only in Scotland, where industrial action can be used to imply incompetence in a pro-independence government are the workers either supported or ignored and the managers disappear from the narrative, as the blame is used to demonise SNP ministers:


9 thoughts on “Scottish ministers should bow to strikers?

  1. I think that there are changes within the trade union movement and their attachment to the Labour Party is much more conditional than it was. The trade unions are also aware of the situation with regard to funding and the fixed nature of the Scottish Government finance.

    The Scottish media are aware of that, too, but have no other narrative than they have at present – attack the trade unions in England, but affect to support the trade unions in Scotland because they see the SG as a greater enemy than the trade unions. And, again, the trade unions are aware of the sleekit nature of the Scottish media and know they have few friends within it, including those in the NUJ.

    Because of the dire situation with regard to the economy of the UK, more people in England are increasingly aware of the nature of this Government and, indeed, the nature of the Starmer Labour Party. Cleary, many factors which have been fermenting for several decades and these are bubbling to the surface – corruption on a huge scale, the fiasco of Brexit and the situation in the north of Ireland, the wider constitutional issue, staffing issues in the NHS, housing, the conduct of the Metropolitan Police, etc. Perhaps ‘the plain people of England’ are about to find a voice.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I sincerely hope you’re right, but unless it’s such a massive public protest or public disorder arises that the equally corrupt media dare not try a cover up, it will go unreported.
      “Perhaps ‘the plain people of England’ are about to find a voice” meets Nick Robinson reporting…

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Largely agreed, but is the problem in England not that disgruntled voters have nowhere to go. The died in the wool Tories, and traditional union supporting Labour will always vote how they have always voted. But your argument is that the “floating” voter and perhaps some of Labour and Conservative’s traditional voters will be increasingly horrified by what is happening. But where do they go? In Scotland there is the SNP – it is said that 20% of their support are against independence, but dont want to vote Labour or Tory. That move was many years in the making before becoming extant in 2011 and even more so since then.
      But what does alienated England do? Blair is looking to import Macronism (which isnt looking too clever in France anyway) into the UK, but if you were going to do that would you put Blair at the front? Where else do they go? The Lib Dems? Left to themselves there is a libertarian wing in there that could be even worse than the Tories. What basis is there for democracy there (which Johnson and Gove are dismantling as quickly as possible anyway – Electoral Commission, doing away with ECHR etc etc)?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Edited to add, Scottish opinion about Johnson is even more critical – even in the Scottish Tory Party. They are hanging on in NI. Their proposed changes to the agreement with the EU will be challenged in the European Court, and there are reports of a trade war (including tariffs on whisky – thanks Europe), and may only push NI into Ireland. That would be a major existential challenge to the UK, which could destabilize the entire UK and not just Scotland, but also Wales.
        How would that work? Pass, but ideas welcome

        Liked by 1 person

      2. In England Labour voters are going to ‘vote LibDems or, UKIP’ next election…that from someone I know in NE England who blames the people ‘coming over on boat’s for England’s/UK’s ills. Terrifying.


  2. The Tories love a good workers strike. Labour are a wet blanket, also Tories.

    I thought when Scotland renationalised their trains, that EngGov controlled Network rail would just scupper the service using delays and ‘leaves on the tracks’ type of tactics, but no, they must be delighted at the unions’ compliance in causing as much disruption as possible, handing another huge SNP bad narrative to the BritNat,s and their propagandising media. As for people in England getting a bit upset at the situation, they will simply turn on each other, ‘immigrants’ and, will blame anyone but themselves for the situation, Scotland may well be their scapegoat as well. Brace yourself Scotland.


  3. You must have missed the memo 🙂 “there are reports of a trade war (including tariffs on whisky – thanks Europe)”, presumably the word “threat” lurked in the vicinity…


  4. The current rail disputes have revealed the two-faced nature of Toryism in Scotland.

    On the Scottish Conservative Party’s website one finds this dated 26 May 2022: ‘Stop Sturgeon’s ScotRail Cuts’. It relates to Scotrail’s response to the dispute with ASLEF.

    The Scottish Tories wanted Scottish Government intervention: ‘Instead of TAKING CONTROL of this dire situation, Nicola Sturgeon is HIDING BEHIND SCOTRAIL ..’ (my emphasis)

    Similar complaints were made by Tories in the Holyrood chamber on 8 June. First from Graham Simpson MSP: ‘I am encouraged to hear that there will be talks tomorrow. I know that THE MINISTER HAS NOT BOTHERED TO DIRTY HER HANDS BY GETTING INVOLVED IN THE TALKS SO FAR, but can she tell us how confident she is that the situation will be resolved tomorrow and that we will not have a summer of chaos?’

    Then from Liam Kerr MSP: ‘Does the minister recognise the concerns of people who might think that, IN REFUSING TO STEP INTO THE SITUATION, SHE IS ABDICATING THAT ACCOUNTABILITY?’

    So the Tory tactic was clear, to denigrate Scottish Government ministers for their lack of direct intervention to resolve the ASLEF dispute.

    Today the BBC News website is covering the RMT dispute with Network Rail and train operating companies. The headline is: ‘IT IS NOT FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO INTERVENE TO STOP RAIL STRIKES, the transport secretary has said – despite unions calling for talks.’

    We’re told: ‘Mr Shapps said negotiations HAD TO TAKE PLACE BETWEEN UNIONS AND EMPLOYERS – RATHER THAN MINISTERS – “In any pay discussion, in any negotiation over terms, over in this case modernisation, IT’S ALWAYS THE EMPLOYER AND THE UNION WHO NEED TO GET TOGETHER to speak,” he said.’

    The BBC adds: ‘Although most rail operators are not owned by the government, THEY ARE NOT ENTIRELY INDEPENDENT’ adding ‘The government provides subsidies to the network – including £16bn to keep the railways running during the pandemic – and NETWORK RAIL, WHICH OWNS THE TRACKS AND OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE, IS GOVERNMENT-OWNED.’

    A Tory minister keeping his ‘hands clean’ and ‘hiding’ behind government-owned Network Rail? Do Mr Simpson and Mr Kerr – or Douglas Ross – have nothing to say about the Westminster government’s seeming ‘abdication’? After all, their constituents in Scotland will be among those suffering inconvenience if RMT members strike.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The London treasury will be desperate to ensure that these workers do not get a cost of living increase because then everyone else will demand the same.
      They can’t have that.


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