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Our country has gone to the dogs

Over the Christmas period, I refrained from talking about politics or current affairs, but I simply cannot ignore the state of our country anymore. It’s in complete turmoil.

Greg Devine


People striking in the UK, Photo by Ian Sanderson on Unsplash

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Need to travel somewhere by train? You’d better hope there are no strikes on, which is unlikely, given that they seem to happen every other week. If you do manage to avoid a strike weekend, it doesn’t matter anyway, because the service you receive is so poor that the chances are your train will still be cancelled. There’s a really easy solution to this issue: the government should stop bailing out the train operators and instead make sure rail workers are paid what they deserve and that working conditions are of a suitable standard for a country of our stature.

NHS on a wall

The NHS is in a disastrous state. You’re forced to wait hours for an ambulance to arrive, and when you finally get to the hospital, there are no beds, so you inevitably remain stuck in the back of the ambulance. It’s a completely broken system that’s not fit for purpose. Years of underfunding from the Tories have turned what was once a healthcare system to be proud of into a system that can’t even meet the most basic of needs. If nurses are striking, you must surely know that you have a colossal issue on your hands, yet the government’s response is to ban industrial action. It’s so wrong. 

Dentists may go on strike next

I’ve not heard anything about dentist’s going on strike—probably because most of them have now gone over to the dark side, i.e. into private dental care, and they’re paid quite well as a result. This is another area of our healthcare system that’s broken. During the pandemic, I didn’t go to the dentist. Luckily, I didn’t have any issues with my teeth and check-ups weren’t allowed to go ahead anyway. Because I didn’t visit my dentist for two years, however, they’ve removed me from their patient list. I now face a three-year wait to join another practice as an NHS patient, or my only other option is to go private.

Teachers about to go on strike

Teachers constitute the next group to go on strike. University staff have already taken to the picket line, but there are plans for more industrial action. I’m fully supportive of their fight, but when I’m paying nine thousand pounds a year for what’s supposed to be the pinnacle of education, only to lose weeks of teaching, it feels like the government are taking the mick. Students won’t receive any refund on their tuition fees, despite not receiving what they were promised and which they paid for. Teachers aren’t given the credit they deserve…sure, the holidays are nice, but these guys work all day then lesson plan and mark students’ work into the evening. Pay for most teachers simply isn’t good enough for the job they do. These are incredibly skilled workers with degrees from top universities, yet their remuneration doesn’t reflect this at all.

Quite simply, all the Tories want is to do what their lord and saviour, Thatcher, did, which was ‘defeating’ the miners when they went on strike. They’re using people’s livelihoods as a game; they will never be affected, so it’s just a joke to them. They will never need to strike, as they were all born into money, and they get paid a quality wage with great benefits. They pass their own annual wage increases, in the skewed belief they deserve these raises—even though their wages are well above average, they can often take on more than one job, they claim the majority of their bills from the public purse, and their meals, etc. are subsidised by the taxpayer. Do we get value for our money? Tune into the antics of parliament and you’ll see MPs asleep on the benches, whilst the rest argue and chunter like five-year-olds in the playground. 

Our government is so completely out of touch with the backbone of our country—the people who keep the wheels turning, i.e. the working class. They don’t see us as people, just consumables that should keep quiet and carry on making the rich richer. 

It further annoys me when I realise that we only have ourselves to blame. We voted them into power, multiple times in a row. Even working-class areas voted for the Tories. I didn’t want Corbyn either at the time, but we could have all voted for a completely different party, like the Greens. We are now in desperate need of change. Hopefully, Starmer and Labour have the answers. Though it looks almost certain that they will win the next election, according to the polls, I don’t trust that the Tories won’t cheat their way back in. 

Hard-working people deserve better. Our public servants deserve better. 

Britain deserves better.

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