Could sympathy for the strikers cause storms for the Conservative Party?

Commuters across the country face another day of travel disruption as rail strikes continue, but is the government wise to rely on the public losing patience with industrial action?

On this week’s Planet Normal podcast, which you can listen to using the audio player above, columnist Allison Pearson warns the government not to be complacent.

“Boris can stand there and accuse Labor MPs of holding hands with ‘Arthur Scargill’ on the picket line, those shameful Labor MPs supporting the strikers not the activists, but I’m not convinced that’s a very good corner question for conservatives,” she warns.

“I think there’s a surprising amount of public sympathy for the strikers, and while I would say it’s incredibly selfish of the union to do this to the country right now in a time of crisis, I think so, through no fault of their own, workers are facing these drastic increases in their bills.”

But when Allison voices her concerns about the prospect of a general strike, fellow columnist Liam Halligan is quick to allay her fears.

“We have to make sure we don’t hyperbole. We’re not in a 1970s situation in the sense that at the time over 50% of the workforce was unionized, especially the workforce. Private sector workforce was very heavily unionized compared to today.. Now it’s around 25% of the workforce. That said, a large part of the public sector is unionized and the unions are large. increasingly militant.

Liz Cole and Molly Kingsley of lobby group Us for Them are also on the podcast this week. Fresh out of writing their first book ‘The Children’s Inquiry’, Molly and Liz share their dismay at the lack of consideration for the cost of lockdowns borne by children, and reveal they are worried about the return of Covid measures in schools if cases increase in the fall.

Listen to Planet Normal, a weekly Telegraph podcast featuring news and views from beyond the bubble, using the audio player at the top of this article, or on Apple podcast, Spotify or your favorite podcast app.

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