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Opinion

Why is the working class attacking itself?

27 Dec 2022 4 minute read
GMB members on the picket line outside the ambulance station in Pontprennau, last week. Photo Ben Birchall PA Images

Hannah Beck

Time and time again, in the comment sections underneath news articles all across the digital land, a slew of hateful comments can be found attacking workers who are striking.

One might think these comments come from online ‘trolls’ or fake profiles created by sad little people who have nothing better to do with their lives than spread their vitriol behind the safety of their anonymity.

But more often than not they are from real, working-class people themselves.

‘Just get another job if you don’t like the pay,’ is one response to an article about striking NHS workers who trudged on tirelessly through the pandemic, powered on by once-a-week doorstep claps and missing PPE.

I’m not sure that advising all nurses to leave the already sinking NHS if they aren’t happy is the wisest thing to do, but I’m no expert.

‘They’re just being greedy now,’ says a comment regarding striking rail and postal workers seeking better working conditions.

Is it really the employee that is greedy when the employer continues to boast about record profits year on year while refusing to make even the smallest improvements for their staff?

It is not discontented workers going on strike for a handful of days that are ‘holding the nation hostage.’

Struggle

Energy companies have millions of British families in an ever-tightening chokehold and are showing no signs of loosening that grip in the foreseeable future.

If that’s not holding a nation hostage, then I really don’t know what is.

Furthermore, I don’t claim to understand how the pay distribution is decided within our government, but why have the wages of political figures steadily risen every year while the rest of the nation has struggled to keep their heads above the economic water?

And are the heads of these colossally wealthy companies sitting atop their piles of gold and laughing at us peasants while we try to scrape together a few pennies to treat ourselves to half an hour of heating on a cold and dark December evening?

It is telling that in an allegedly wealthy country, a family with two working parents still can’t afford to heat their homes during winter whilst the wages of our leaders continue to rise.

It is even more telling that it seems half of the general public would still rather attack the other half of itself from behind the safety of their screens and keyboards for fighting for a fairer working life (and therefore a fairer life in general), than unite and challenge the leaders who have failed the nation.

Democracy

I’m not sure when fellow working-class folk became ‘the enemy.’ Was it when the Chartists fought for democracy and the voting rights of ‘normal’ men? Was it back when women protested and had to throw themselves under racing horses to get the right to vote?

Perhaps it was when the greedy iron masters had to hole themselves up inside a hotel while the King’s soldiers came to their rescue after thousands of workers had had enough of working for a pittance and revolted against them in Merthyr Tydfil?

The General Strike of 1926 caused by mine owners (surprise, surprise), or the Miners Strikes thanks to dear old Maggie, as colliers desperately attempted to cling onto their employment?

Has anything actually changed whatsoever in this cyclical system of oppression, greed, unrest?

Riots

These people, these working-class heroes who have repeatedly fought so passionately and
shouted so loudly for what they knew they deserved, and for what their leaders refused to give, are our forefathers.

Without their protests, riots, rebellions and strikes throughout history, the working class of today would have no rights whatsoever.

We enjoy the fruits of their unrest every day of our lives.

Perhaps these strikes will be just as fruitful for our children, grandchildren and so on.

Fighting for ourselves is fighting for the future. It seems a lot of people forget that when they are busy bickering in the comments section online.


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Riki
Riki
1 month ago

First and only reason is that they are selfish! They believe it won’t ever happen to them so they have trouble empathising with anyone. If it makes their life harder then they genuinely believe people shouldn’t have a right to better pay and working conditions. A lot of it also stems from people paying far too much attention to mainstream news who seem to take the side of employers time and time again.

Last edited 1 month ago by Riki
hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Riki

You and the article above have touched on 3 of the major root causes of our malaise. 1.The political class is full of careerists, people whose main concern is to feather their own nests while pontificating loud and long about how we should live our lives. 2. Well connected to our politicians are a whole host of business leaders. They don’t lead much at all, they just oversee the systematic overcharging for goods and services that passes for a free market in this country and indeed the West in general. 3. The MSM which does the job of conditioning the… Read more »

R Paterson
R Paterson
1 month ago

Unfortunately, people are not taught their own history and instead believe what they are told by the right-wing tabloids.

Iago
Iago
1 month ago
Reply to  R Paterson

And you think this article is factually accurate? You’d be better off reading real history books.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
1 month ago
Reply to  Iago

Get your news and facts from diverse media from around the world.
DW.com I found to be a great source of news. There are other sources.

Glen
Glen
1 month ago

What do you expect when the two most read ‘newspapers’ are The Sun and The Daily Mail.

It’s mass brainwashing.

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
1 month ago

They are brainwashed by our corrupt and uncaring Government and our Right wing Press, who have every instinct to keep working people poor and under the Jackboot! Shame on anyone who allows themselves to be brainwashed by this bunch of heartless, uncaring clods!

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

‘When fellow working class folk became the enemy’. Imagine a watermelon and a meat cleaver held by the hand of Margaret Thatcher. It comes down and the watermelon is split into two halves. One half is ‘US’, the other half is ‘THEM’. They are the other half of ‘US’ on the other side of the division hill. Council houses we all owned were sold off cheaply to ‘THEM’ turning their heads to Thatcher worship. To this day, they thumb their noses at ‘US’ and until they wake up, stop the nose thumbing and march over the division hill to rejoin… Read more »

Linda Griffiths
Linda Griffiths
1 month ago

It’s high time that we all make a stand against the UK Government as they just want to keep us down, having no regard for our welfare or wellbeing. As long as they keep their cronies happy. People are already suffering from this cost of living crisis and the just don’t care.

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