Socialist Worker

Desperate David Cameron tries to whitewash huge action

Issue No. 2281

Picket lines outside parliament as Tories lied inside (Pic: http://www.guysmallman.com/Guy Smallman )

Picket lines outside parliament as Tories lied inside (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Tory toff David Cameron claimed that the strikes had failed to have a significant impact.

He bleated in parliament today, “At our borders the early signs are that the contingency measures are minimising the impact.

“We have full cover in terms of ambulance services. And only 18 of the 900 job centres are closed. It looks like something of a damp squib.”

As Cameron spoke, workers from the Houses of Commons held a picket outside parliament.

The 10 Downing Street workers who struck included a senior press officer who is responsible for the Downing Street press operation on… the strikes.

Halt

Tory minister Francis Maude moaned that they were “ineffective”. But across Britain services ground to a halt.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union, said reports from picket lines showed a huge turnout.

He stated that up to 90 percent of staff in some government departments, including Revenue and Customs, had taken action.

“I have been to pickets around central London and spirits are sky-high, with many other unions besides PCS out on strike,” he said.

NHS managers admitted that some 6,000 operations were cancelled across Britain, as well as tens of thousands of appointments.

And the London Ambulance Service told the BBC it was struggling.

The Department for Education seemed utterly confused over the number of schools that were closed. They started the day saying 90 percent would be shut.

Spun

But the end of the breakfast news they had moved to 75 percent.

They finally spun the figures to claim 58 percent of England’s 21,700 state schools were closed. But the reality was far higher.

In Scotland it was admitted just 30 of the 2,700 council-run schools remained open.

In Wales around 80 percent shut and in Northern Ireland more than two thirds of 1,200 schools were closed.

There were reports that Heathrow airport had minimal disruption.

In reality, thousands of passengers had the day of their flights changed or cancelled.


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