Tuesday 7 September 2010

Angry Rant - God I Hate Stephen Fry

There's Lee Hunt, a a Tube train driver who was on his break at Edgeware Road station on 7 July 2005 when the bomb attacks struck the London Underground. He crawled under the bombed train to help an injured man.

There's John Boyle, another Tube driver, who was on his way to work that day when one of the bombs went off on the Circle Line train. He helped passengers along the track to safety. There's David Boyce, a station supervisor at Russell Square, who ran into the smoke-filled tunnel after the Piccadilly Line bombing and spent five hours helping passengers. There's Peter Sanders, a station manager at King's Cross , who helped rescue injured people in the Piccadilly Line tunnel and escorted passengers from the front carriage, through the train and along the track to safety.

These are just the kind of people described, in a 2006 parody of the Jam's 'Going Underground' that's doing the rounds again on Twitter today, as "greedy bastards [that] want extra pay for sitting on their arse all day even though they earn 30K" and having a job that "could be done by a four year old". 'National treasure' and renowned user of public transport Stephen Fry, who if he isn't being chauffeured around by the BBC is driving his personalised black cab so he can illegally use bus lanes and avoid the congestion charge, has shared it with his 1.7 million followers and described the video as making him "very very happy". What a complete shit.

I can only assume that the millionaire Fry and others like him will also be 'very, very happy' when 800 Tube staff lose their jobs - because causing the inconvenience of not being able to pop into town for a drink with friends is clearly akin to a human rights abuse. If only those '
greedy bastards' had a couple of Twinings ads and a voiceover for Direct Line Insurance to fall back on, right Stephen? Here's more from Bob Crow, interviewed by Geoff Martin in a dodgy hat:

I really need to do something about the insomnia - it's doing nothing for my usually high tolerance of idiots...


Gordon said...

Yes they went above and beyond when the system was attacked but so did everyone!
At a time when the country is just coming out of a recession, thousands of people are out of work and every company and government department is having to make cuts, the greedy RMT and TSSA are demanding more pay and a halt to redundancies which arnt even compulsory. For these 2 unions, striking has become an action of first resort!

They are demanding more money for doing no more work at a time when public funds are already stretched. How is this fair? Please tell me?

sweek said...

Have to agree with Gordon. Sorry, there simply is not enough money to keep so many people around. I earn a lot less than tube drivers and my job isn't safe either - and don't get any kind of union protection.

A lot of them are back office, and all stations will remain staffed, which is the most important thing to me.

Why don't some of the £40k tube drivers give up a small portion of their salary so we can keep those other works in place? Maybe Bob can also give some of his £100k+ salary away, could save at least 4 people's jobs with that.

Unknown said...

I completely agree that they did some heroic things on 7/7 and they should be highly commended for them, but as for these strikes, no chance.

Going on strike forces more people onto the roads in cars, cabs, bikes etc, more people that delay Fire Engines, Ambluances, Police Officers etc by clogging up roads. How many people will have suffered or even died as a result of tube strikes?

I saw half a dozen Police Officers child minding people at Charring Cross this morning. Are we supposed to believe that's a good use of their time? After all, what's another day of freedom for a murder / rapist/ burglar who wont be getting caught while the Police waste their time thanks to this? We're all cool with that right?

Sadly I don't have the link, but there was a spectacular blog written by a paramedic last year detailing how much longer his ambluance was taking to get to calls due to the strike last year. That is exactly what every one of the strikers needs to read and understand before they start a strike about safety fears.

Legitimate complaints over safety fears are acceptable, the consequences of the strike however are nothing short of hypocritical.

I remember another strike that took place when a driver was fired for being drunk while driving a tube train. Bob Crow thought being fired was unacceptable, I thought if he'd done it on the roads he'd be in jail.

The RMT are delusional at best most of the time, and their miserable inability to see a bigger picture and vindictive attitude towards London should earn them nothing but disdain.

Anonymous said...

Good Grief these comments.......

So it is wrong for workers to go on strike because they are defending jobs? Because it is an attack on health and safety?

Oh, while we are on the issue of "fairness" funny how money was found to bail out the banks and ordinary workers are condemned for withdrawing their labour when they are being shafted.

Delusional? Vindictive? Sounds ore like Transport for London as the RMT fights for the rights of the workers.

Kevin, I don't think you are the only one suffering high intolerance... :)

Madam Miaow said...

A really good post, Kevin.

They're not just striking for extra money, they're defending the staff jobs that mean safer stations for all of us. It's OK for Fry if we have ghost stations late at night. He can afford the cab fare. Those of us who can't will either have to stay in or take the risk in an unsafe environment.

sweek said...

Come on, it's not really about safety. Every station will remain staffed - even if the number of staff might be slightly lower. Most of these jobs are back-office admin stuff. Getting rid of ticket offices and having staff walking around the station sounds like it will improve the relationship with customers.

Besides, London is the only tube station that I can think of that has every station staffed all the time. Go to continental Europe or the US for example and you won't find this. National Rail stations also cope just fine without staff there all the time it seems.

I'm not arguing that there shouldn't be staff at stations; I like the idea of having them there and I think it's worth the money. That doesn't mean that it's absolutely essential to have as many staff there as we have now.

Sarah Louise said...

Hi Kevin. I can't believe your first comments either - people seem to have bought into the fantasy that (a) the cuts are necessary and (b) its the workers and benefits recipients who must pay for the deficit.

And don't people know that if we don't all protect each other, they'll come for us next: no jobs are safe?

Without solidarity we are not going to get through this. We should be supporting the RMT and TSSA for drawing a line in the sand.

I thought Fry's tweet was a total outrage, and wrote to tell him so.

First time I've visited your blog: its really good.

Gordon said...

This is a time when the country is in a massive deficit and finances have been mishandled. The net result is that we suffer. I dont like that fact and i dont like the fact that it took me 3 months to find a job because there are so few going, but we are just coming out of a recession. Everyone needs to make cuts to survive - individuals, and businesses. If the unions were striking over safety issues then i would support them completely. The sad fact is that they were not. They were striking because they are not being given a pay rise and because cuts are being made. They should wake up! Cuts are being made everywhere and at all levels! Salaries are being frozen everywhere. They are not special and are not exempt from this. They are lucky that their redundancies are not compulsory. I would quite happily swap with any of them as they are paid a lot more than i am, and in that position i know i wouldnt strike!
And contrary to what is believed, cutting some back office staff and ticket offices will not effect safety. Stations will still be staffed the majority of the time and they will still be policed.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I completely agree with you about Fry. His overweening arrogance is beyond belief. On this and many other topics. Your blog is great. Keep it up!

serena said...

stephen fry is a frightful self satisfied BORE. I wish he were easier to avoid but some nights he is pontificating away on several tv programmes concurrently. How about a campaign to get him OFF the air?
serena, london

Anonymous said...

Apologies everyone, but I have to add my two penn'th of bile. One can argue about the strikes one way or the other (and I personally stand with Mr. Crowe on this one), but whatever your political perspective, Stephen Fry's insufferably smug comments simply make the blood boil. His attitude is akin to those actors who call us non-performing people of whatever class 'civilians'. Riding round in your own black cab strikes me as an indicator of mental breakdown. Come to think of it, obsessive use of Twitter is even more suspect. Why does England persistently confuse its' monsters with it's heroes? Fry is simply a wretched fop living in a bubble of privilege. And let's not forget his recent comments about how women don't enjoy sex. The man's insane.

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