OUTGOING rail union RMT president Peter Pinkney issued a passionate call to action yesterday at the opening of the union’s AGM.
In his final speech to the conference as president Mr Pinkney called for an end to divisions on the left and for unity to challenge “the worst government we have ever known.”
He told the delegates gathered in Newcastle: “The general election was probably the worst result we could have expected.
“In the Queen’s Speech the government’s intentions were blatant — more stringent anti-union laws, more benefit cuts, more attacks on the poor.
“I have always hated Thatcher but this lot are worse.
“Thatcher had this cult of the individual — people buying their council houses and the rest.
“But this lot are the old aristocrats who hate the working class and believe the working class should know its place.
“I think this government is the worst we have ever seen — the rich looking after the rich, looking after their own.”
He also attacked the political groups who “spent their time arguing about fundamentals of Marx and Trotsky.”
He said: “Before the general election people were busy attacking each other, attacking the Greens, attacking the Labour Party — but not Ukip, not the Tories.
“How are they assisting people who are going hungry, living on the streets, not able to get access to healthcare?”
He told the conference about Bianca Todd, granddaughter of former transport union leader Ron Todd who took in homeless people, shaming supermarkets into giving her their leftover food.
And he cited a Labour councillor running a community centre teaching people to read and write and apply for jobs.“These people are actually doing something.” he said.
Mr Pinkney compared the plight of the poor with the “obscenity” of wealthy people paying £3 million for a house in London.
And, quoting Che Guevara, he said: “Only those who dream will see those dreams converted into reality.”
He added the RMT had dreams and a duty “to stand together and if politicians will not do it, we must do it on behalf of every downtrodden person in the world.”