Boris Johnson must now roll up his sleeves and draw on Margaret Thatcher for inspiration
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Train drivers are among the most feather-bedded of all public sector workers. Average pay is £59,000 a year, nearly twice that of nurses.

A four-day week is the norm, and Sunday working optional. They retire at 62, with a full pension of around £40,000 plus a substantial lump sum.

Yet their union, along with those of other rail workers, is the last bastion of knuckle-headed, Scargillite militancy.

They claim their threatened forthcoming campaign of rolling strikes is about pay and conditions.

Boris Johnson must now roll up his sleeves and draw on Margaret Thatcher for inspiration

Boris Johnson must now roll up his sleeves and draw on Margaret Thatcher for inspiration

This is merely a smokescreen. It is overwhelmingly a political act – an attempt by diehard class warriors to damage and even bring down a Tory Government.

As for the potentially calamitous effects on the economy and travelling public, they couldn’t care less. Indeed they brag about bringing the network to a halt.

During the pandemic, the taxpayer shelled out a staggering £16billion (£600 for every household in Britain) to keep the railways going when trains were virtually empty. No jobs were lost, or even furloughed. Yet the rail unions are back – demanding money with menaces. Some gratitude!

As the Mail explains today, an all-out strike would devastate freight as well as passenger services.

Network Rail warns of food and materials shortages and even blackouts, as power stations fail to receive crucial supplies.

Margaret Thatcher showed in the 1980s that union militancy can be beaten. But it takes resolve and it takes courage.

Boris Johnson must now roll up his sleeves and draw on her for inspiration.

He should treat this as the civil emergency it is. Paying ransom money won’t work. The blackmailer always comes back for more.

The PM must face down the wreckers. And if that means new labour laws to keep Britain moving, then so be it.

Politicised policing

There’s no doubt the leadership of the police service is in dire need of a reset.

Scandals from the VIP paedophile fiasco to the grotesque murder of Sarah Everard by a serving officer whose work nickname was ‘the rapist’ show just how rudderless it has become.

As a result, trust and confidence has plunged to an all-time low.

However, the new ‘oversight’ board set up by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing to make the service ‘continually aware of issues of race’ verges on the farcical.

Yes, the police must listen and be sensitive to the concerns of all communities. But this panel – composed largely of Tory-hating, anti-police activists – will widen divisions rather than heal them.

Its chair, lawyer Abimbola Johnson, wants to ‘rethink’ what we classify as criminality and eventually defund the police.

Then there’s Labour councillor Katrina Ffrench, who co-organised a rally with Black Lives Matter using the slogan ‘Get the Met’s knee off our neck!’

Meanwhile a third member, Nick Glynn, has described Conservatives as ‘pure evil’, railed against structural racism in the police and Royal Family and, of course, wants to decriminalise cannabis.

Are these really the kind of measured, independent observers from whom chief constables should be taking their lead? Or is this just a pathetic attempt to pacify the race lobby? We all know the answer to that.

Instead of pandering to shrill, one-eyed political campaigners, they should ask the public what they believe police priorities should be.

The answer – from black as well as white – will be more officers on the streets, more effective crime prevention and a detection rate high enough to be a real deterrent.

If chief constables put the same effort into crime-fighting as virtue-signalling, Britain would be an infinitely safer place.

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