Tag Archives: bus

‘Summer of Discontent’: bus drivers join TfL and rail workers in strike on August 19 and 20

Some of us are old enough to remember the ‘Winter of Discontent’ of 1978-9 that led to the toppling of a Labour government and the installation of Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street.

So I’m delighted that the tables are turned and the Tories are getting the same treatment.

Here’s the gist:

London bus drivers have joined the UK’s “summer of discontent” and announced a strike for 19 and 20 August following a dispute over salaries.

The union Unite said more than 1,600 of its members working for bus operator London United will join the walkout after the company’s parent, RATP Dev Transit, offered a 7.8 pay increase over this year and next.

The walkout is expected to create maximum disruption, as it will coincide with both the TfL and national railway strike.

It’s another step in the right direction but will the UK’s Tory government pay attention to anything less than a national strike?

And, the way matters are progressing, how long will it be before that happens?

Source: Bus drivers join ‘summer of discontent’ and announce strike for 19 and 20 August

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London bus drivers to stage 48 hour strike over cost of living – who can blame them?

Stopped: London’s buses.

Bus drivers in London will be on strike for two days early next week in protest at a pay rise that they’ve pointed out is a real-terms cut.

With inflation climbing to 8.2 per cent, the 1.5 per cent increase Arriva has offered its staff is a 6.7 per cent pay cut – anybody with the slightest understanding of mathematics can work that out.

Meanwhile, I’m sure you’ve started receiving letters from any firm that takes money from you on a regular basis, saying they’re increasing their bills in line with inflation because they want you to pay the increased costs of their heating and energy bills.

Here’s a simple question:

If our pay rises are limited, then why aren’t their bills limited by an equal amount?

That would seem fair to me – how about you?

If it was written into the law, think how fast business attitudes to your pay increases would change.

Source: London bus drivers to stage 48 hour strike on Monday in row over wages

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Join the call to end the ban on public ownership of buses

Award-winning: Reading Buses regularly invests back into its services and have one of the greenest fleets in the UK.

Greater Manchester has won the right to cap bus fares at £2 for adults and £1 for children after a landmark ruling by the High Court.

The ruling allows the metropolitan authority to regulate bus services there in the public interest.

Liverpool, West Yorkshire and Sheffield plan to do the same.

But the victory has opened up the debate on whether local authorities should continue to be banned from running services for people and not profit.

Even the Tory government seems to have shifted its position on this, believing the ban on municipal ownership is now “ripe for review”.

According to We Own It,

Only 9 municipal bus companies around the UK survived Thatcher’s disastrous deregulation. Because these bus companies don’t have to pay dividends to shareholders, they can invest more into improving local services.

This makes them incredibly popular, with Nottingham City Transport, Reading Buses and Lothian buses all regularly winning awards.

Reading Buses invests an additional £3 million a year into its service and has one of the greenest fleets in the UK.

The power of public ownership has led Reading to have the best passenger numbers outside London, with a 40% jump in just 6 yearsTalk about levelling up.

If the Reading model of public ownership was rolled out across the whole of Great Britain, it would save well over £500 million a year.

And in times of crisis, public ownership can also help insulate the public. In Northern Ireland, the operator Translink, owned and operated by local people, has just frozen fares to protect people from hikes in fuel costs.

Sadly the Tories seem to have lost track of this great idea, amidst all the emergencies they have created over the last year, in order to distract us.

We Own It has launched a petition to raise interest and prompt the Tories to remember the statement they made as part of Bus Back Better, their national bus strategy, launched on March 15 last year.

If you agree that it’s time we all had a bus service that served us, rather than profiting the owners, sign here: End the ban on public ownership of buses now! | We Own It

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Don’t bus drivers have enough to do without policing the police?

Police: who knows how many more are like Wayne Couzens? But don’t worry! Bus drivers will keep us safe from them! … Does anybody else think there might be a problem with that logic?

Let’s get this straight:

The Metropolitan Police is telling us it won’t take steps to ensure that the people we employ to prevent and detect crime won’t actually commit crimes and/or hide the evidence.

Instead it wants women who don’t trust a male officer to “wave down a bus” and get help from the driver.

What if there aren’t any buses nearby?

What if the driver is also female?

What if the driver is arrested? Pepper-sprayed? Tasered? Who would see any passengers to their destinations?

Other advice urges women to run into a house. Full of strangers? That could lead to misunderstandings, at the very least. And if pursued by the police officer, events could get very messy, very quickly.

Alternatively, it is suggested that women could phone 999. But would a misbehaving police officer really let them?

What if the police officer is carrying out his duty? Then, the bus driver or householder, or whoever, would be open to prosecution for resisting arrest, or obstructing a police officer in the course of his duty, through no fault of their own.

Meanwhile the Met has announced absolutely no plans to change its own recruitment/vetting procedures in order to avoid employing individuals who represent a danger to others.

This is while the same police service is investigating 16 other serving officers who may have committed offences.

And that’s under the leadership of a woman whose own tenure at the top has been extended for two years by the woman in charge of the Home Office.

And what about officers in other forces?

I remember an incident many years ago, when I had a migraine late at night. Unable to sleep, I went out for a walk, thinking some fresh air might help me out. Inevitably, a police car passed by and two men got out.

“Excuse me! May we ask what you’re doing out at this time of night?”

“I’m trying to walk off a migraine.”

“May we ask who you are?”

“I’m the editor of the Brecon and Radnor Express.”

“Right you are. We’ll let you get on your way.”

What if I had been a woman – and not a senior employee of the local newspaper?

Well, I wonder. And I know that’s probably doing a disservice to the officers concerned.

The Couzens case has harmed perception of more than just Metropolitan police officers.

And it isn’t about to go away. Consider these responses to the latest idiocy from Cressida Dick’s office:

There’s also this:

And look at this:

It is more than 100 years since those events and even now – with a woman at the top of the Met and a woman running the Home Office, are we really being told that nobody can be bothered to put a stop to this?

Source: Fury at under-fire Met Police over ‘derisory’ advice to women to ‘wave down a BUS’ | Daily Mail Online

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The Tories like putting messages on the sides of a bus. But is this one too close to the facts?

Sulk all you like, Boris: it was your idea to put slogans on the sides of a bus – although I doubt you’ll say this kind of imitation is any form of flattery.

Hat tip to whoever created this image and put it on Twitter.

If you’ve been isolating yourself from the news lately, it refers to this story.

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As Stormont politicians meet, Northern Ireland violence escalates

Northern Ireland has now endured more than a week of violence related to Boris Johnson’s duff Brexit deal.

Johnson himself has said the violence in West Belfast “deeply concerned” him. He was right – it did, and it should; he is directly responsible for it.

He was told his decision to put a customs border in the middle of the Irish Sea would tear up the Good Friday Agreement, triggering an end to the NI peace process and a return to violence – and he did it anyway.

Northern Ireland doesn’t have a single Conservative member of Parliament; nobody in the province voted to be governed by Johnson (or at least, nobody worth mentioning).

The province’s pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party propped up former prime minister Theresa May, and could therefore be said to have paved the way for him. It holds power in the Stormont assembly so This Writer wonders what its representatives have to say for themselves.

Last night alone, police officers were attacked, petrol bombs were thrown and a bus was burnt.

Here’s how it looked:

Police believe paramilitary groups were involved in incidents such as one in which several hundred people on each side were throwing petrol bombs in both directions in the loyalist Shankill Road and the nationalist Springfield Road.

The Shankill Road and Springfield Road in west Belfast are now added to the list that includes Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus, Ballymena and the Waterside area of Londonderry.

The BBC’s report editorialised:

The longer it goes on, the harder it will be to stop.

While it is a comment that should not have been made by a news reporter, This Writer tends to agree with whoever wrote it.

Sadly, with Boris Johnson running the country, he will undoubtedly dither, delay, take a holiday, and probably even hide in a fridge before taking any decisions – and by the time he does, it will probably be too late.

And, as This Site stated yesterday, this is what he wanted. He had been warned repeatedly that it would happen but he did nothing. We have to draw the obvious conclusion from that.

Source: Belfast: Emergency Stormont meeting after night of violence – BBC News

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Boris Johnson’s dictionary: ‘Very sensible, adj. obviously nothing to do with me’

“Very sensible” according to Boris Johnson: according to his new Police Bill, defacing the statue of Churchill will get you 10 years in jail. Rape will only put you there for five (if the Tories bother to prosecute you).

Boris Johnson has apparently come up with a new boneheaded plan to fool us into thinking his other boneheaded plans are actually good ideas.

He has taken to labelling his stupidest mistakes “very sensible”.

So, for example, responding to the EU’s announcement that it is about to take legal action against the UK after Johnson unilaterally changed the Northern Ireland protocol of the Brexit deal, delaying the introduction of new sea border checks on food, parcels and pets, among other changes,

the prime minister said the actions taken by the UK were “temporary and technical measures that we think are very sensible”.

No, they were very stupid. But Johnson is caught between a rock and a hard place. If he implements changes that mean NI is treated differently from the rest of the UK, then organisations in the Province will tear up the Good Friday Agreement.

It seems he’s decided that upsetting the EU is the least stupid thing to do – but it’s still not “very sensible”.

Another thing he thinks is “very sensible” is the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill currently in Parliament, demonstrating that the Conservatives think damaging a statue is twice as bad as rape; the latter attracts only a five-year prison sentence while the former will put you in jail for 10 years.

Johnson said

the legislation was a “very sensible package of measures” .

One policy he didn’t say was “very sensible” was his plan to create miles of new bus lanes on our roads, and many more bus services in a half-hearted bid to get commuters out of their cars and onto public transport – a major u-turn for Conservatives.

In fact, cutting down on the number of cars with only one person in them, stinking up the country and polluting the world, is “very sensible” – it’s just that Johnson is the last person who should be promoting it because he very clearly isn’t.

Johnson seems to be crazy about buses – although his fixation has caused him more harm than good…

Do you even remember the Boris buses? It’s good to remember some of the white elephants from his time as London Mayor, isn’t it?

Johnson also loves a photo opportunity in a bus… although some might say this is to push the images of that big red ‘Leave’ bus, with the lies about spending all the EU subsidy money on the NHS instead, down the search engine rankings.

His latest bus-related project was heralded with another photo-op of him in a driving seat. No – I’ll save you from those pictures. Instead, let’s consider some of the responses after I passed comment on it:

 

And yet 13 million people voted to let him steer the ship of state. Not “very sensible” at all!

Source: Brexit: EU to begin legal action over alleged NI Protocol breach – BBC News

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Is this a real bus stop poster? And will we see it nationally?

If it is, it’s exactly the kick up the backside that the people of the UK need.

Admittedly, it uses an expletive for which I would prefer to see a less offensive word substituted; many people are put off by such language.

But it does confront us with the big failure of Boris Johnson’s tenure at 10 Downing Street: his decision to make it easy for people in the UK to catch Covid-19 (and it was a conscious decision, let’s not forget) has cost at least 120,000 lives.

I don’t know the prognosis for Lorna – the woman in the image – but the mere fact that Covid-19 has been allowed to infect her has clearly caused her huge discomfort (as it does to anybody who has it).

And the long-term effects – known as “long Covid” can be life-altering.

Millions of people are likely to be affected by the disease in the long term, and the blame for this can be attributed entirely to Johnson and his government of imbeciles.

And they would not have been allowed to inflict it on us if they had not been voted back in as the government in December 2019.

So this poster makes a good point, wouldn’t you agree?

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Care home residents told they can’t have vaccine unless they get on a bus

Frail residents of care homes across the UK are being told they can’t have the new Covid-19 vaccine unless they get on a bus to the hospitals where the jabs are being administered.

Apparently storage conditions mean they can’t have the injections in their care homes – but their physical condition means they can’t take the trip to hospital either.

Isn’t this going to cause yet another Covid care home scandal?

Covid vaccine plans for frail care home residents were in chaos tonight after they were told: Get on the bus.

The Government says they will have to travel to hospital hubs for the jab but angry care bosses said: “There’s no way they can do that.”

Care homes fear vaccines won’t be delivered to them until next year despite Government promises they would be a priority.

The vaccine must be transported at minus 70C, and can only be kept outside ultra-cold storage for a few days.

This means 50 hospital hubs in England will receive the first batch before GPs start delivering the vaccine in the community from December 14.

The complex logistical issues mean there are fears some of the most vulnerable in care homes will miss out if they can’t be safely taken to hospital.

Yet again, the Tories fail to think out their stratagy properly.

Yet again, it seems the most vulnerable will pay the price for bull-in-a-china-shop Boris Johnson’s stupidity.

Source: Covid vaccine plans for care home in chaos after frail residents told to ‘get on bus’ – Mirror Online

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The two faces of the Tories – enscapsulated in two policies today

This is the UK’s Conservative government:

And this is also the UK’s Conservative government:

Huge handouts to rich corporations, while they take away what little the poor receive to help them survive.

It is homicidal.

But millions of poor people insanely voted for rule by these insults to humanity.

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