This week it has been incredibly refreshing to see a leader announce himself to the wider public by representing the true interests of ordinary working-class people in the form of RMT’S Mick Lynch. In contrast to ‘Sir’ Keir Starmer – who should be filling this role – Lynch reflects everything that he is authentic, full of integrity and provides a genuine voice for those struggling.
Lynch’s simple message of protecting jobs, fairer pay and better conditions in this industrial dispute has led mainstream media to question if he is a Marxist or does he hate his country? Strangely, when a Tory Government underfunds the NHS, they never get asked if they hate the British public nor do they get associated with extremist political labels.
These contrasting treatments in the corporate media lend support to Noam Chomsky’s and Edward S. Herman’s characterisation of the media as a propaganda model for anti-democratic elements. When viewed through this lens a lot of it makes more sense. Media often act as a reflection of the contempt to which certain groups are held by elitists. The excessive state violence inflicted during the UK miners’ strike and subsequent media sanitisation of the state’s role clearly demonstrated this contempt. Fortunately, this current dispute has not descended to those levels, though the typical treatment of Lynch proves this intense dislike is still alive and well.
However, as badly as the working class are treated in UK, Irish Republicans are treated even worse. While police were mobilised against them during their strikes, the army murdered Irish people during peaceful protest. When Arthur Scargill was interviewed, he faced biased questioning; when democratically elected Republicans were interviewed, their voices were dubbed.
Lynch’s cool, calm and assured presence in the media would inspire confidence that the RMT will eventually achieve their aims and hopefully encourage more movements to mitigate the excesses of neoliberalism. In time, I hope people of Lynch’s ilk will get a government that they deserve, although I would not be too optimistic. Last time Labour got elected they swayed too far to the right and were backed by the same media that hold these people in such disdain. In the event Labour gets elected next it will be under a leader who is opposed to these strikes.
Fortunately, Irish Republicans are in a much a better position to escape from those who hold these views. United Ireland will remove any control these elites currently have over us. Unlike the British working class who have no real opportunity for proper representation; Irish Republicans have a realistic possibility of getting into Government in a 32-county republic. Any self-respecting decent person in the occupied 6 counties would either need to be foolish or brainwashed not to grasp this opportunity of escaping the clutches of those who hold us in such contempt.