Monday, March 26, 2012

For every action...

There is an equal and opposite reaction as the saying goes, it's as true in physics as it is in life. You'd have thought that unions having (supposedly) learnt the lessons of the Thatcher years when they went to excess in attempting to disrupt the nation would at least bear this in mind against pushing too hard...
New driver-less Tube trains will lead to cheaper tickets and challenge the power of “hardline union bosses” , Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, will say today.
Ahead of the mayoral election in May, Mr Johnson will pledge never again to buy a tube train with an old-fashioned driver’s cab as long as he is in charge of the city.
Londoners have been plagued by 23 tube strikes over the last four years Mr Johnson has been in office, as drivers demand better pay and conditions.
In a speech on his campaign trail, Mr Johnson will ask residents for “new mandate to automate the tube network”.
He believes half of London’s line can be automatic within two years, with drivers replaced by “train captains” in charge of supervising the trains.
“It is time to move forward with ‘train captains’ with all the efficiency benefits at will bring, and absolutely no loss of safety,” he will say.
Now I expect the unions will fight this, I expect the grounds to be health and safety and they might have a point. After all there will be circumstances in which a machine just will not be programmed to cope and it might just do the wrong thing and at tube speeds carrying passengers that's a risk. However after 23 strikes taking their wages up to just under £50,000 plus blackmailing holding transport for London to ransom over Olympic (nice games, shame if a transport strike were to happen in the middle of them) what did they think TfL would do? Though knowing the likes of the transport union leaders, the chances are they never gave it much thought. However they've managed to push the likelihood of having some of their members replaced by a computer chip that much closer to reality whilst alienating the general public over the years getting there. Fact is, they're the ones who have brought this upon themselves because it's now cheaper to replace them than keep them on, they really should have learned by the example of the once powerful miners union.
The Mayor will also promise to lobby the Government for changes to national strike law, so that industrial action “can no longer be triggered by a small minority of union members”.
The RMT union has described driverless trains as “lethal and unworkable”, while Aslef, Britain’s biggest drivers’ union, has said it would “vigorously” fight any attempts to eliminate the need for drivers.
It was Thatcher who said that socialism works fine till someone else's money runs out, well Aslef and the RMT are discovering what happens when you price yourself out of the market, sooner or later people either stop using your product or they'll find a cheaper replacement. They've brought this upon themselves and if it works, they wont be missed.

4 annotations:

JuliaM said...

"The RMT union has described driverless trains as “lethal and unworkable”.."

Ah, yes, we have proof after all, in the daily toll of death and carnage from the DLR.

What's it up to now, greater than the Great War and Vietnam combined..?


Durotrigan said...

QM, apologies for being off-topic, but being a well-informed chap with respect to these matters I wonder if you could clarify the facts relating to some odd stories that have circulated this week relating to Stephen Lennon/Tommy Robinson "forming" "The Freedom Party" in May (e.g.

Is this just a piece of sloppy reporting which relates to his advocacy of the British Freedom Party, or is he genuinely wanting to launch another party? I suspect that it is the former, but thought that if anyone knew you would.

Quiet_Man said...

Stephen Lennon, head of the English Defence League (EDL), said the three-year-old grassroots group wanted to move on from holding street demonstrations to contesting elections.

"The British political anti-Islamist party will be launched in May at our Luton demonstration," Lennon told Reuters, saying the new body would be called the Freedom Party.

So according to Rueters, it's not the British freedom party, not if it's being launched. However, what I've gleaned is that it will be the EDL officially linking itself to the BFP, not forming a new party. But the EDL leadership is being its usual closed mouthed self.
I'll try to get more details, as May draws nearer.

James Higham said...

If they start that crap, I'm going by bus.