“Maybe it’s the antiquated Tories that need modernizing, not the railroad unions” – Mark Steel

Columnist Mark Steel wonders why the Tories and the unions don’t seem to go together. Surely the problem cannot be with the Conservatives, who are perfectly modern and honest….

Does the RMT need to be more like the Tories?
Does the RMT need to be more like the Tories?

The problem with railroad unions is that they are outdated and in need of modernization.

If they want more money, their members should have an affair with Boris Johnson rather than messing around with the old-fashioned practice of going on strike.

Within a month they would all be offered jobs in his office at £100,000 a year.

You should listen to Tory politicians who have said unions refuse to move with the times.

Because the Conservative Party is wonderfully topical, full of figures like Jacob Tik-Tok-Rees-Mogg.

And instead of following outdated practices, they work in the Houses of Parliament and Houses of Lords, which have always been at the forefront of modern thought.

Therefore, railway unions should adopt the same practices as MEPs’ workplace.

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Does the RMT need to be more like the Tories?


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Train drivers should wear a dress and wig and stand over a mace and announce, “Mr. Passenger and Mrs. Commuter, isn’t it that the 7.35 to Huddersfield is 15 minutes late?”

Then the platform staff would have to yell “Hear Hear Hear Hear” because that would be modern.

Ministers have also urged unions to exercise restraint rather than greedy demands.

They should follow the example of the railway company shareholders. When the government gave the company a grant to help it weather the pandemic, shareholders took in just £500million for themselves in exchange for doing nothing.

They could have asked for £600m for doing nothing, but they showed restraint and settled for £500m because Jesus would have done just that.

The next complaint ministers have is that while their agreement will put railway workers worse off, they shouldn’t complain because they won’t be as badly off as hospital workers.

It’s like a burglar saying you don’t deserve to get back the TV you stole from him because next door you also took his rugs and all the cheese from his fridge.

But the most moving anti-union speeches by Tory MPs are when they tell stories like, “I know someone who had a hospital appointment and now he can’t go because of this selfish strike.”

Because if there’s one thing this government doesn’t like, it’s when people get stuck because of a problem with the railroad.

If someone can’t make it to a hospital appointment because the train is so crowded they wish they were a battery chicken in a truck, given at least the chance of being set free by an animal rights activist, then the Tory Party is the place to be first speak out against private companies.

When prices double and the top fare makes it more expensive than hiring Leonardo DiCaprio to give you a piggyback ride, the Tories immediately condemn the companies for greed. In any case, this government will ensure that no one misses a hospital appointment because of train delays, as the appointment will be canceled if the hospital collapses.

It’s another example of her modern-day friendliness.

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