AA Edit | Bleak Christmas in Sunak’s Britain
Mr Sunak has little cause to celebrate his days at 10 Downing Street surpassing the short-lived tenure of his predecessor Liz Truss
“Christmas comes only once a year, but when it comes it brings good cheer”, and so the ditty goes. Perhaps not, for the UK this time around. A set of crippling strikes before the celebrations has dampened the public mood. The list of striking workers is quite extraordinary, ranging from ambulance drivers leaving in limbo NHS patients, who already survived a day’s strike by one lakh nurses Thursday, to railway men, bus drivers, highway workers, border force personnel and baggage handlers at airports.
The Royal Mail workers are just getting back to duty and warning people to quickly send their Christmas parcels lest they not be able to get them to their loved ones in time. Newspapers as well as websites are putting out colour coded “life disruption” calendars to inform people of the largest strike action seen in the UK since the days of the Labour government in the late 1970s.
With the tabloids going to town on a “winter of discontent” it appears that Britain’s first Hindu Prime Minister might see his ratings go down as quickly now as the temperatures plummeting with a cold snap hitting that country. In fact, one snap poll even suggests that Prime Minister Sunak’s own seat in Yorkshire is no longer a cinch.
Mr Sunak has little cause to celebrate his days at 10 Downing Street surpassing the short-lived tenure of his predecessor Liz Truss as double-digit inflation came with spiralling fuel prices in the wake of the Ukraine war. Interest rates have been hiked to unprecedented levels, that too just when businesses are recovering after suffering the bite of the pandemic lockdown.
To have a whole load of workers dissatisfied to the extent of going on strike, at a personal cost of course, suggests a level of discontent not seen since the worst days of the pandemic shut people in their homes in 2021.
It seems like a throwback to the time when Mrs Margaret Thatcher charged Mr James Callaghan with mismanagement of the economy and went on to seize power for the Tories that stayed with them for nearly two decades. The same accusations are bouncing back at Mr Sunak though he has been keeping a low profile and working hard at avenues of bringing the economy back to shape. Not even Ms Truss would like to be in his seat now.