Sunday, 19 September 2010

Prepare for a winter of right-wing hysteria about a return to the Winter of Discontent

This is my favourite example of the genre thus far: Janet Daley reminiscing in the Telegraph about the 'Winter of Discontent' and alleged 'union power' in the 1970s. She's evidently no fan of one particular group of low-paid workers:

'However many times our generation tells the stories – like animals in a fable exchanging anecdotes about the Great Fire that wiped out their predecessors – we can never quite get across the true spirit of that benighted time. Yes, there was uncleared snow on the roads, and yes, ambulances were turned away from casualty departments and electricity was only available on a rota.

That was the worst of that famous winter. But what preceded it was the normal condition of life under the alternative government of the trade union movement. In our borough, the dustmen used to come calling at Christmas for their annual “tip”. This was a sum of money that was extorted under threat of terrible retribution. If the sum was thought inadequate, the thug (sorry, public service representative) who collected it would stare malevolently at it until you meekly handed over more cash.

Once satisfied, he would withdraw from your doorstep and chalk a big white “X” on the pavement outside your front gate. This was to protect your household, like the blood of the sacrificial lamb at Passover, from the vengeance of his comrades, who would joyously scatter the contents of rubbish bins across the gardens of those who were deemed insufficiently generous (or, unimaginably worse, had not paid at all).

If you did not wish to spend your Christmas season – and on to that indeterminate date in the New Year when the dustmen might deign to appear again – wading through rubbish to reach your house, you paid up.

Yes, children, that was what it was like to live under the happy People’s Republic of trade union dominion.'

(If you feel the need to restore some sanity and perspective after that, see HERE).


1 comment:

  1. "electricity was only available on a rota"?????

    There were no power cuts during the winter of 1978-79, and ambulances were not "turned away from casualty departments".

    The right wing get ever more insane.