Reasons to be grateful for strikes, all three:
- I get to ride my bike into work (and home again) getting lungfuls of my exercise in the orange glow of a glorious autumn morning, through trees burning with every aspect of fire from roaring blaze to stuttering ember. The air is clear, emptying my head of all the fractious twisted non-sleep thoughts. And if I get lucky there’s an animal or two.
- Our trains will be safer with 2 or 3 properly trained staff on them. People will feel safer, especially in the early or late hours and feel confident in taking them rather than hoping in their car with all the damage that entails.
- Strikes are democracy’s most basic building block. People take strike action when there is no other reasonable course of action open to them. When “the other side” will not acknowledge the right of holding a disputational view and the need therefore to negotiate. “Democracy” is “rule by the people”, it comes up from the people; not down from the state. It not something acted out upon people. There are many other names for “rule down” whether from the state or from an individual; none of them are “democracy.”
As interesting side-note to number 3 above, the rise of social media to dispute/disprove official versions is having the pleasing effect of prising the control of what we “know” of events from the hands of the few. There may well have been different, swifter and much less painful histories to Hillsborough and Orgreave (to name but two easy examples)…imagine if Duwayne Brooks had had a phone with video capability…