Letter from a Unite branch secretary

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As a Unite branch secretary for over 35 years and being active on local, regional, national and international committees, I was still surprised by my local fellow so-called trade unionists on their support for lockdown. I say so-called trade unionists because I have never had people who claim to be on the left supporting the Tory Party lies so much.

On trying to raise the issue of the damage lockdown is doing, with all its anti-social measures, and the damage it is doing especially to this country’s younger generation, I have never faced such hostile reaction from comrades I have previously enjoyed many a drink with and debated many issues. It became so bad that eventually I was forced out of my role in my local trade council. They are not prepared at all to allow a rational, adult discussion about the panic, they just totally believe the lies, the media and the politicians.

For all the job losses, myself included (having been furloughed from one job and made redundant from another), with all the mental health implications and poverty, not one union member has contacted me with their concerns.

But because of another job I do (all jobs are part time ranging from 5 to 10 hrs per week, max 30 hours in total), I meet so many members of the public who want to talk. I find that those who believe in the panic compared to those who don’t are about 50/50. Some have told me about how, having never felt depressed before, they now have suicidal feelings because they have lost their livelihood, from working 30 years to suddenly nothing, no job, no future.

I am really concerned about our younger generation and how their hopes and prospects have been curtailed by people who pretend they are educationists but in reality are education destroyers. 

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