Rail strikes: Mick Lynch has done more for workers in two days than Starmer has done in two years



It’s official, in my humble opinion: Mick Lynch has done more for working people in recent days than Keir Starmer in more than two years as leader of the Labor Party.

You know, the actual labor Party, meant to represent working people, who are currently subject to soaring inflation, exploding energy bills and real wage cuts – the clue is in the name, Keir.

Lynch, the general secretary of the RMT union, has swept the floor with politicians and broadcast journalists alike as he defends this week’s strike action by railway workers — explaining with sacred levels of patience why it’s needed.

As for the media round; he came, he saw, he conquered. Cue a slew of celebratory memes, featuring Mick Lynch as Chuck Norris, and videos of him giving Tories body. His Wikipedia article was amended to read: “He holds the record for most donkeys handed out during his media appearances on June 21, 2022.”

Actor Hugh Laurie tweeted: “I don’t know enough about the rail dispute. I just note that RMT’s Mick Lynch cleaned up every media picador who tried his luck today.”

A solid, unflappable presence, Lynch just isn’t phased by “nonsense” such as Tory MP Jonathan Gullis’ attempt to make it clear that the RMT and strikers don’t care about veterans, or that they should apologize to doctors and nurses. You can smell the desperation, and in a way I sympathize with Gullis, MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, because it all seems so transparent to me.

Fast! Bring out our beloved NHS (where nurses are forced to use food banks, but don’t say that) and the brave armed forces! That will put Joe Public in the fight against people who have the audacity to use their bargaining power after negotiations fail in a raging tornado of a cost of living crisis!

Mick Lynch doesn’t do anything with it. He manages to make it clear that his tolerance for Taurus**** is low, but he will only get excited when he really has to. He delivers his points with clarity and enough passion to make a socialist pin upbut without being accused of hysteria or being, you know, at revolutionary. It also helps that he is – in my opinion – on the right side of the argument.

Next to Lynch, Keir Starmer seems every inch the cardboard man. Gray and tacky, he seems to be more concerned about what the Tories might say than standing up for the working people – the ones he should be serving.

He is the politician whose leadership manifesto, the tenth pledge platform on which he ran for election, included “strengthening workers’ rights and unions.”

If someone needs a refresher, it says: “Work shoulder to shoulder with unions to stand up for working people, tackle precarious work and low wages. Repeal the union law. Resist the Tory attacks on the right to unionize and the weakening of labor rights.”

Funny, then, that he refused to openly support the railroad strikes and banned his front seat from the picket lines.

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Mick Lynch’s refusal to apologize for doing his job – fighting for the fair pay the railway workers deserve, which each employee, while Starmer essentially neglects his own, is a stark reminder of the deep and lasting disappointment that has been under his leadership over the last few years.

It seems to me that ever since Starmer first began to show that he had no intention of fulfilling the promises he made to get elected by the party members, the Corbyn project has been shattered – and has relinquished common sense , leftist principles that might make this country work for more people than a handful of wealthy elites – there has been a dangerous lack of hope.

Analysis of Google search data shows that searches for “join union” jumped 184 percent in the UK on June 22. This is the highest level in more than a year, according to recruitment experts Workello. That means workers take care of their rights and take care of themselves. The message seems to be: if we don’t, no one is going to do it for us – not this government, and clearly not the current Labor leaders.

Mick Lynch is fast becoming a national treasure. The iconic moment when he took on Labor frontbencher Baroness Chapman and told her, “I don’t even know who you are” was gold on social media. Maybe it’s because we’ve been so incredibly starved in recent years by a dynamic, left-wing Labour, but to me Lynch feels like an icy stream of water hitting the parched throats of people lost in a desert.

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