LETTER: United we can win

Domino theory. Who’s heard of that ? If you are over eight or under 50 who’s heard of dominos? The theory belongs to the Vietnam war, about the same time as my first pair of Levis.

I was propounding the theory to the train drivers picketing Brighton Station. It is simply that upright wooden pieces independent but each within touching distance. Once one is toppled the rest fall in sequence.

US war thinkers thought if North Vietnam was not checked the rest of south east Asia would fall in train.

My version in the event was the stance taken by railway management. First the catering workers, gone in a fortnight. Second the guards, but if sacked all at once the kick-back would be unbeatable. Temporarily find them an internal train post, door free, but still on the books. In time in stages they could be shredded. And then the drivers. Through solid trade union organisation they have managed their wage levels better than most.

In the ‘60s bus and train drivers were paid the same, train are now paid three times more.

How to break them, chip away at the service, divide, demoralise, knife. Not quite Hanoi but dominoish.

Two packets of biscuits and a 15-minute chat, neither of us had won, but support lent and a few laughs had.

Top was the one about the independent committee that has proclaimed that drivers closing doors safe. This group is employed by the train company. I suggested it might do something to my team’s results if West Ham employed their own referee.

Gaps between train and platform widening, the one person that oversees this design mishap, get rid of them. Mental illness, sexist aggravation increasing, the sole guard against this, sacked.

Behind Southern is the Government, it is their war. They are also busy trying to shut the NHS and slicing up state education to make it commercially viable. Those train drivers on the picket line are not a passenger’s nuisance, they are a distant lighthouse guarding an alternative future. On their own they are weak, united we can win.

Colin Frost-Herbert

Abinger Place, Lewes