The other week, we reported on a strike by British public-sector unions that backfired in the most spectacular possible way: instead of snarling up Heathrow so badly that travellers succumbed to outrageous pay demands, the airport ran so smoothly without the union workers that nobody wants them back.
We pointed out that this is the downside to modern unionism, which is now all but limited to government jobs: since most of those jobs do not in fact need doing at all, by anyone, or can be done perfectly well by almost anyone, union strike threats are merely a paper tiger. When UAW workers go out on strike, cars stop being made; when government bureaucrats, inspectors, and professional nags go out on strike, life for the general public gets better.
One travelling Brit reached the obvious conclusion - most of the union timeservers are useless and their salaries are a waste of taxpayer dollars - and we concluded with the hope that we'd learn that salutary lesson over here as well.
How were we to know that union bosses from across the pond were only just beginning their campaign to end unions altogether and turn government workers into even more of a laughingstock than they already are? The Daily Mail brings us news that, if we weren't writers in need of an article, would leave us speechless:
MPs [Members of Parliament] want their own trade union to fight for better pay and expenses for themselves.
Think of them as Congressmen, more or less, and tremble in hysterics contemplating this awesome innovation! Over the past few years, the Mother of Parliaments has been rocked by a series of scandals wherein was revealed the full panoply of voracious greed and idiotic cupidity as endemic among England's politicians as ours. Revealed daily in screaming newspaper headlines, the longsuffering taxpayer was forced to shell out reimbursements for everything from a floating duck island in an MP's backyard pond, to porn movies watched by the husband of a Labour government minister.
A handful of MPs resigned; a handful lost their next election; one or two, stunningly, actually went to jail for fraud. The remaining Members of Parliament loudly professed their determination never to let it happen again.
For once, they were telling the truth! They are, indeed, bound and determined never to see a repeat - that is, they're never again going to get caught engaging in public corruption. That means they have to cover up their shenanigans. And what better way to protect their thievery than to hide behind union law, which is its intended purpose?
As we've documented countless times, it is all but impossible to fire a unionized government worker; most American federal workers are, in fact, more likely to die in the saddle than get the boot.
And we all know the number one goal of every politician, don't we? To not lose office, and thus power! What better synergy could there be? A unionized Parliament would no doubt have every conceivable perk protected in their union contract, to say nothing of protections against "unfair" dismissal and the lavish pensions that even the lowliest of public-sector employees see as their birthright.
But as with the earlier backfired strikers, these would-be unionized MPs are forgetting one cogent fact: strikes are the strongest weapon unions have, but for a strike to work, someone has to actually miss them when they're gone.
We can't speak for John Bull, but here in America, nothing would give us greater pleasure than to see Congress go out on strike and stay that way. As the saying goes, "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session."
Of course, we here in America have a privilege that Britishers don't: a company with striking employees can hire temporary replacements to do their jobs for the duration of the strike. One supposes that these replacements, who often wind up staying for quite a while, would be rather more grateful for their jobs and accommodating to the desires of the source of their paychecks than their newly-unionized predecessors. That is precisely what we've been complaining about regarding our elitists in Congress: that they don't give two hoots what We the People, who hired them, want.
Thus, we humbly commend to the attention of our readers the case of the 1991 Diamond Walnut strike, which lasted for 13 years. Imagine the good this would do America if our legislature would follow that stellar example and we could simply hire replacements for the duration!