WE’VE had 12 years of Conservative government and you can’t catch a train, you can’t catch a plane and you better not get sick, injured or attempt to post Auntie Nelly’s Christmas card.
Twelve years — and five Tory Prime Ministers! — and the unions are rampant, their boot heels firmly embedded in the jugular of the nation.
Twelve years of elevating the NHS to almost sacred status, and you can’t see a GP, A&Es are overwhelmed, your cancer operation just got cancelled and the nurses are striking.
All those billions chucked at the NHS, and the system is collapsing and morale among frontline health workers is at an all-time low.
Truly, what was it for, all those years of Tory rule?
Yes, place some of the blame on the worst health emergency for one hundred years.
Yes, place more blame on the worst armed conflict in Europe since 1945, and the short-sighted Europeans who relied on Putin for their cheap energy.
But after 12 years of Tory rule, and a Tory government with an 80-seat majority, please feel free to blame the Tories too.
Blame David Cameron (remember him?) who secretly watered down anti-strike laws to get the major unions to “campaign actively” for Remain in the 2016 EU referendum. Coming back to bite us now!
Blame bumbling, fumbling, endlessly well-intentioned Theresa May, who introduced the Modern Slavery Act to protect the vulnerable from exploitation — an undoubtedly noble idea — but who ultimately succeeded in providing the “biggest loophole” for illegal migrants and their cynical lawyers.
Brexit was meant to be about sovereignty. Brexit was about taking back control. How’s that going?
And blame Liz Truss who, in her fleeting tenure, successfully trashed the Tory reputation for economic competence.
And why does our latest Prime Minister — smart, likeable, young, decent — seem so totally detached from this national crisis?
Sunak has the economic intelligence to be on TV explaining what massive public sector pay rises will do to your cost of living.
He has the right words to explain the price we must pay for the pandemic. But he seems to lack the will.
Winter of discontent no longer quite covers it.
This is starting to feel like a General Strike.
The strike action calendar includes everybody-out days for rail, bus, Royal Mail, nurses, National Highways, ambulances, teachers, airport baggage handlers, border officials, driving examiners and even coffin makers. GPs are considering downing stethoscopes.
As industrial action paralyses every nook and cranny of the nation, Labour are regularly accused of taking a vow of silence on the strikes.
But why would Labour condemn politically motivated unions who are making the Tories look like they have lost the will to live, let alone govern?
Starmer should be kissing the feet of all those hatchet-faced union supremos.
They are putting him on a fast track to 10 Downing Street.
Union boss Mick Lynch is enforcing a General Strike in all but name[/caption]
DELIVERED SO LITTLE
And what would a Labour Government do?
Give the strikers everything they want? Try not to think about the catastrophic impact of runaway inflation?
Yes, that sounds about right. The unions smell Tory blood now, and they know that any Labour government is going to give them anything they ask.
Rishi Sunak is talking about bringing in legislation that will make it harder for Tory- loathing union bosses to paralyse the country.
Under the proposed trade union bill, emergency services will be obliged to keep working, members will be consulted about pay offers and notice of action will be increased.
But when? January, perhaps. Far too little, far too late.
Keir Starmer may be no great shakes but the Tories look totally knackered now, weighed down and weary after all those wasted years in power, after all those Tory PMs who promised so much and delivered so little.
But I believe in Rishi Sunak. I know that if Sunak stood up to the union bully boys who are crippling this country, then the British people would back him to the hilt.
You have the brains for the top job, Rishi.
You have the massive majority. But have you got the spine?
Meghan’s disrespect shows lack of gratitude
IT is the disrespect to our late Queen that makes the blood boil.
It is the spiteful mocking of Her Majesty’s 70-year legacy that sticks in the craw. Meghan’s grotesque parody of a curtsy.
The dismissal of the Commonwealth as “Empire 2”.
It is the total lack of gratitude from a couple who, without their lucrative royal connection, would just be an Old Etonian numpty and a narcisstic B-list actress.
Carry on whoring yourself to America, Harry and Meghan.
The tragedy is . . . once, you were both loved here.
Cops must get tough
THE police treat Just Stop Oil activists as if they are an endangered species, desperately in need of coddling, care and protection.
“Do you know how long you’re going to be in the road for, sir?” a Met officer meekly enquired of one on Thursday, tugging his forelock while activists crippled the capital with their maddening “slow walk” tactics.
Have our police ever looked more pathetic?
Shane tale shines
AS Shane MacGowan is admitted to hospital with an unnamed illness, his wife Victoria asks us to send “prayers and a healing vibe”.
And also raise a glass to the man who co-wrote the greatest Christmas song of all time.
Wish Shane MacGowan all the best as he recovers from illness in hospital[/caption]
You don’t hear Fairytale Of New York by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl as often as you used to.
The lyrics, recounting the stormy affair of an alcoholic man and his heroin-addicted woman are too strong for our thin-skinned age.
Every year the BBC edits it, bans it and frets about which version of Fairtytale it dare play – if any.
One BBC DJ even called the song “nasty, nasty – an offensive pile of downmarket chav bilge”.
But no Christmas song is more full of love, regret and tenderness.
No song gets so close to the bittersweet magic of the season.
Offensive? The 1987 original is almost unbearably moving.
So get well soon, Shane. Fairytale Of New York will always embody the true meaning of Christmas.
And happy 65th birthday for, almost inevitably, Christmas Day.
SO Brazil have had their last dance.
But historians will debate: Were Brazilian goal celebrations the most joyous sight in the Qatar World Cup – or the most annoying?
Roy Keane grumbled: “I don’t mind the first kind of little jig – whatever they are doing.
“It’s the one after that and then the manager getting involved with it. I’m not happy with it.”
The comments have turned Roy into a hate figure in Brazil.
“Roy Keane be damned!” thundered sportswriter Julio Gomes. “Brazilian footballers like to dance when they score.”
I grew up with Pele in his glorious pomp. But I found myself siding with grumpy old Roy.
It wasn’t just the dances – it was the interminable duration.
Referees can’t restart until Brazil finish boogieing.
Those goal celebrations went on longer than the Strictly Christmas special.
Nadiya’s take on curse is a Strictly positive one
NADIYA BYCHKOVA has an entirely positive take on the so-called Strictly curse.
“I believe it’s a blessing,” confesses Nadiya.
“So many people have found love! It is beautiful. We’re lucky to be on the show.”
After all the secret affairs, shattered marriages and broken families, it is heart-warming to hear something good about the Strictly curse.
Nadiya is definitely a glass-half-full kind of girl.
Matt in dream land
THE last time I looked, former Health Secretary Matt Hancock was trending in Amazon’s Contagious and Infectious Diseases list – the perfect place for the appalling little germ.
The narcissistic, self-promoting Hancock is comically quick to criticise others in his book Pandemic Diaries – the Inside Story of Britain’s Battle Against Covid.
I am surprised Matt has the front to criticise ANYONE about their behaviour during Covid.
But cocky Matt chastises Bojo for being slow off the mark to understand what was coming straight out of Wuhan and about to go round the world.
He blames chrome-dome aide Dominic Cummings for not jumping when he called. “Cummings is deliberately ignoring my calls and messages. Extraordinary.”
And he blames care home staff for spreading Covid in care homes, rather than the Health Secretary – him – who allowed care home residents to be released from hospital without testing and back into the homes where 40,000 of them died with Covid.
After being among the most fanatical advocates of lockdown – and draconian punishments for those who dared to stray from the strict rules – Hancock got caught flouting the rules he enforced on everyone else.
He left his wife and kids because he had to follow his love-struck heart for Gina Coladangelo.
He is now quitting as an MP, abandoning his constituents as casually as he dumped his family because there are “other ways to communicate”.
Such as posing with a frog on your head.
Hancock seems to genuinely believe that a glittering career in showbiz awaits.
Dream on. China’s Xi Jinping had a more honourable pandemic than Matt Hancock.