Well, what a lovely piece of Christmas joy for those who were expecting to have their holiday trips abroad utterly disrupted by the Border Force strikers. It turns out, at least by early reports, that the various branches of the military drafted in to cover have accomplished their mission with aplomb, panache and at a level of efficiency hitherto not experienced by many seasoned travellers.
Remember only weeks ago how the strike apologists smugly forecast that hasty, ‘untrained’ replacements would be incapable of handling the complexity of the job? The Christmas getaway was forecast to bring misery to airline customers, turning them against the government and longing for a return to normality. It turns out that normality was long delays, piss-poor passenger-facing attitudes and incompetence; it is little wonder then that a fighting force, identifying as a unit, brought both humour and professionalism to the grindingly morose procedure.
What an opportunity to closely re-examine many supposedly specialised jobs and hold them up to the scrutiny of common sense. You would imagine that in an atmosphere of anxiety over career prospects, financial security, national debt and poor forecasts for economic growth, organisations would be focused on productivity and competence. But instead of filling the void with training and motivation, they allowed mediocrity to fester and strike-fever to grow.
Maybe people forget that the military constantly train to handle events they may never encounter; adapting is what they do. Dealing with their impending mortality in the face of action develops a camaraderie and a brutal black humour that binds people to a common cause. The creeping wokeness now being infiltrated into the highest levels of command bodes ill; the modern shibboleths of diversity, inclusion, equality and the like should have no part to play. You either fit in, or you fuck off.
This general strike – for regardless of how it is being portrayed a general strike is what it is – is not really an attack on just the government, but an attack on all of us. Our postal service, our travel plans, even our very health are not in good hands even when strikes are not planned. The country as a whole should be sitting upright and taking notice and deciding to reject it all. Being good at your job should be the bare minimum requirement.
And why stop at jobs? The national psyche has been under assault for decades now, from apologising for ending slavery and putting skin colour ahead of ability, paying reparations for bringing civilisation to much of the world, finding offence in every single thing that a British person does or says… I suggest we quit apologising, stop ‘de-colonising’ everything and instead deploy that most British of defiant slogans “Bollocks to that!” I don’t normally make New Year Resolutions, but this year – and I hope you’ll all join me – I intend to be better at being British. Cheers!