Britain's biggest police force faced a staffing crisis today after 95 per cent of its 999 call handlers failed to turn up for work because of the national strike. [...]
It comes as hundreds of thousands of public sector workers have begun to strike across the country, closing or disrupting schools, colleges, courts, Government offices and job centres.
Port and airports are being affected, causing travel chaos for holidaymakers trying to head abroad. Anyone arriving in the UK today is likely to be among those facing long queues.
The impact of the strike began to be felt as early as last night as border control staff refused to turn up for work.
Early indications this morning were that the estimate of 750,000 strikers could prove to be accurate and some union officials said they expected "the best supported strike we have ever seen".
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Why Europeans Are Better Americans Than We Are
In Europe, the government fears the people:
"National strike." What a lovely, progressive sentiment. Imagine, a government that listens to its people and when it stops listening to its people, it suffers a strike. And while some people complain, because so many of them end up on the picket lines, they all comprehend the reasons for the strike and support it.
We're Americans, yet we behave like scared little children, cowering about as the Corporatocracy eats our lunches, takes our retirement funds and pays us pennies for our sweat. We are satisfied for the crumbs that Scrooge will drop off his tables and we'll ravage each other in a fight for those scraps, when there are enough of us to stand up on our feet and take the feast for ourselves, our families, and our communities.
We let the Corporatocracy dictate the national dialogue, right up to where they've bought our courts to nod in unison, "Yes, your money entitles you to speak as if you were born here."
From now on, I want to see the long form birth certificate of any corporation that buys air time on any news program. "I got mine, go get your own," is simply not an option, and I say that as someone who actually does have his and wants his fellow Americans to get theirs too, and I don't give a rat's ass if that means they end up with more than me. I have enough...well, nearly, but I won't starve...and it's goddamned about time that people who work hard in this country ought not to live in terror of an automobile accident or a slip on an icy sidewalk.
It's goddamned about time that people in this country ought to be guaranteed more than a paycheck today. "Right-to-work" is a Newspeak of the most odious kind. The small percentage who would abuse the process of a union hearing are small potatoes compared to the tens of millions of people who would be protected like the millions of unions members already are, a number that's dwindling faster than the GOP chances in 2012.
It doesn't take much, you know. All it takes is a small act of defiance each day. It doesn't even have to be overt: just don't buy a product unless it has a union label on it. Don't shop at Starbucks for coffee, no matter how "fair trade" they tell you their coffee is or how cute the barista might be. Buy it from the guy who owns the corner coffee shop, the guy who probably quit a crappy job like yours to take his chances on his own. That kind of behavior ought to be encouraged and supported.
Educate someone. Educate ANYone, even the asshat down the block who's all Glenn Becked. You don't have to change his mind. All you have to do is plant a seed, a seed that will germinate when he wakes up one morning and realizes what a raw deal he's got from his corporate overlords.
It happened to David Brock! If it can happen to Brock, one of the most odious right wing minions ever, it can happen with your neighbor.
The American Revolution was not a populist idea. It was not a popular idea. But it was the right idea and it came at the right time, and it came after centuries of men and women waking up and realizing they could be responsible for their own governance. And if you don't think we don't face a royalist foe now in Corporate America, you haven't thought things through well. They own our "Parliament," not just our House of Lords (the Senate) but the Commons (Representatives). They own the courts. Hell, they probably own the churches too!
How much do you want the economic royalists to determine the direction of your life?
This weekend, we celebrate the Fourth of July: the 135th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Indepence which said with one voice that this nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, would no longer tolerate a royal class dictating our lives for us.
It's time we returned that favor.
(crossposted to Simply Left Behind)