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COURIER OPINION: Services are at their knees – governments must listen to workers’ pleas

Police officer. Photo: Shutterstock
Police officer. Photo: Shutterstock

This is the summer of our discontent.

The railways have already been brought to their knees, classrooms have been disrupted, healthcare environments and courts impacted and now the Scottish police service is following suit.

The general secretary of the body representing rank-and-file officers has described the move to remove goodwill working as the “most overt demonstration of action” by members in more than a century.

But looking at the macro-economic environment, it is not difficult to understand why there is such widespread anger and discontent.

The cost of living is soaring at the same time that the money in people’s pockets is diminishing.

The squeeze is on.

The business sector – already weighed down by the twin impacts of Covid and Brexit – is already struggling to respond to increased cost pressures.

How the public sector responds will be instructive. Governments in London and Edinburgh have multiple fires to fight right now but only have a finite pot of money available to quell the flames.

It is a dilemma, but it is one that must be resolved.

Ordinary workers kept the country going through Covid, their pleas for help deserve to be heard.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch on a picket line outside King’s Cross St Pancras station in London. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

City doesn’t have money to burn

Dundee’s much-loved Lochee and Baxter Park fireworks displays are now no longer.

The argument that it is not viable to set fire to thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ cash is certainly one that will resonate.

But it is a decision that raises safety risks about people putting on DIY fireworks events at home.

Regardless, many will mourn the loss of a colourful city celebration.

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