AS the country steels itself for the worst strikes in half a lifetime, Labour has the chance to make itself the party of the people once more.
But only if Sir Keir Starmer has the guts to stand up to the rabid militants of the railway unions — and what are the chances of that?Mick Lynch gloated: ‘Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system’[/caption]
“Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system,” gloats the RMT’s Mick Lynch, smacking his thin lips at the prospect of crippling our country.
In modern Britain, Mick is a brontosaurus. And Starmer’s dilemma is that he has to decide if he is on the side of the strikers or the people.
He can’t choose both.
Labour’s Lisa Nandy tried and just looked silly.
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“We’re on the public’s side on this,” lisped Lisa on GMB. “We’re also on the rail workers’ side. They’re dealing with the same pressures as everyone else.”
Untrue! The average salary of railway workers is £45,000 — way above the national average of £26,000, and significantly higher than nurses earning an average of £31,000 and care workers on just £17,000.
Starmer can’t maintain his vow of silence for ever.
Whose side are you on, Keir?
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But it is not impossible to restore that ancient bond if Starmer stands up for working people against the hideous militants of the rail unions, who are about to bury us all in misery.
Starmer now loves to cloak himself in the Union Jack.
But just how deep is Keir’s love for this country?
If Starmer’s patriotism is more than a mere photo opportunity, if Keir’s Union Jack is more than a pretty red, white and blue prop, then he must do everything within his power to prevent a summer of discontent.
And with Boris on the ropes — assailed by both embittered Remainers and disappointed Brexiteers, booed by royalists who resent Partygate because the Queen sat alone at her husband’s funeral — it might even make Starmer the next PM.
Because the vote of the working class is currently up for grabs.
But Keir Starmer needs to say — VERY LOUDLY — that these strikes are stark raving mad.
Dream on, brothers.
It is not enough for Starmer to simper a few weasel words about unions, management and Government getting around the table to hammer out a solution.
It is not enough to bleat empty banalities when millions of lives are going to be disrupted, including students about to sit life-changing exams.
Do those kids also have their rights?
Starmer either stands with our people this summer or he stands with politically motivated thugs who dream of toppling a democratically elected government.
RMT members are already far better off than most British workers — well paid, with pensions and jobs that were only kept alive with public money during lockdown.
We taxpayers spent £16billion — £16billion! — to keep the half-empty ghost trains running during lockdown.
You’re welcome, comrade! Industrial action? How about some gratitude?
We have just emerged from a global pandemic but the hideous old dinosaurs who run the rail unions plan to bring out 50,000 workers, crippling a country that has just got off its knees.
Does Sir Keir have the spine to stand up for the rights of train passengers?
Is he fit to be PM?
Or is Starmer that eternal political cliché — the gutless Labour leader who has to meekly tug his forelock to his union paymasters?
Time is not on Mick and Paul’s side
Macca reckons that The Beatles were in a league of their own because their musical influences were so very varied.
Jagger insists that no band comes close to the Stones because they have been rocking giant stadia for half a century.
And when the Stones played Liverpool this week, Mick posed with some of the city’s most famous musical landmarks – but studiously avoided anything to do with the Fab Four.
Jagger is 79 next month. Paul is 80 next week.
If they are ever going to make up, they should possibly get a move on.
Putin’s justice a joke
We should be careful about comparing countries and contemporary leaders to Nazis.Brits Aiden Aslin, left, and Shaun Pinner, right[/caption]
Russia’s unprovoked, murderous invasion of a peaceful neighbour.
The forced deportations.
Mass rape as a form of terror. The murder of civilians, the camps.
Putin’s relish at the prospect of genocide
Now a kangaroo court has given the death sentence to men who should be treated as PoWs.
President Emmanuel Macron of France warns that the West must not “humiliate” Vladimir Putin.
Nobody wants to humiliate this modern Hitler, monsieur.
We just want to see him dead in his bunker.
Leave it out, Tories
Boris – the poster boy of Leave – seems embarrassed about some of the grand promises he made in 2016.
Who cares what way they swung in 2016?
The British electorate are not remotely nostalgic.
Feeling Owen’s agony
THEY say that when you are the father of boys, you worry.
But when you are the father of girls, you do more than worry – you pray.Footie ace Michael Owen with daughter Gemma[/caption]
I imagine that when you are the father of a 19-year-old girl who is appearing on Love Island, you pray really, really hard.
As the father of a 19-year-old girl myself, my thoughts, sympathy and best wishes are understandably with Michael during this difficult time.
I would guess the star will avoid watching even one second of the show.
But it must keep a caring dad awake at night knowing his daughter is being courted by leering hunks in tiny trunks whose biceps are bigger than their brains.
And every father of a 19-year-old girl – a young woman – knows how he is feeling.
Because every father of a 19-year-old daughter feels a little bit like his girl is appearing on Love Island.
For here is the thing about fathers and their daughters.
When a dad watches his daughter grow up, even when she is a young adult making her way in the world, he will have no trouble at all recalling when she was just a little girl who wanted nothing more than a biscuit with jam in it and some sparkly tinsel in her hair.
Gemma is clearly a spirited, independent young woman who looks as though the bikini was invented with her in mind.
But to her dear old dad there will always be a secret chamber in his heart where Gemma is still the baby girl he first held in his arms 19 years ago.
NO fanfare. No press release. No carefully choreographed publicity campaign.
He did it because he cares.
One of William’s first outings with his mother was to meet homeless people in 1993.
During lockdown, he volunteered at a shelter for the homeless in Westminster.
He never looked more like a decent man.
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What is most remarkable is that it was all done without any kind of slick publicity machine in tow.
AFTER the thuggish behaviour of French police at the Champions League Final between Liverpool and Real Madrid, the spirit sinks to reflect that France hosts the Rugby World Cup in 2023 and the Olympics in 2024.
French police are incapable of the light touch needed to control big crowds.
They would rather reach for the tear gas.
Perhaps the next Olympics should be in Qatar.
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