Firefighter Mark Rowe - Speaking up for Merseysiders
As previously reported, Merseyside firefighters overwhelmingly voted to strike against the cuts proposed by the Fire and Rescue Authority and demanded by the government.
This morning's Daily Post revealed that the Authority has sent people described by Merseyside Fire Brigades' Union chairman Mark Dunne as "fantasy firefighters" to put out a couple of small fires.
A Merseyside Fire Authority solicitor was pictured in a firefighter's uniform, expressing surprise that fighting fires was so difficult. Apparently, he thought it was just a matter of point and shoot, and "didn't realise there was so much to it".
These desperate measures are clearly a reaction to the desperate times the Authority faces. Just nine days ago, Area Commander Dan Stephens was confidently predicting that more than one hundred FBU members would disregard the strike. With every hour that passes, the traitor Stephens is looking more and more stupid, and firefighters are closer to stopping the sickening cuts.In stark contrast to Stephens, firefighter Mark Rowe used the Liverpool Echo to explain the reasons for the strike. "No-one likes being on strike, that is one thing we should get clear," he declared. "But this is about defending the future of the Fire Service on Merseyside". The full interview can be read here.
The firefighters plan to strike until 10am on Monday, then they will begin another four day stoppage two hours later. Unlike in previous strikes, the region is without military cover, since the Territorial Army are on standby to go into Afghanistan and Iraq to help out in Blair's oil wars.
Only 170 staff are reported to have crossed the picket lines, and these seem to be the former firefighters who were trained up in order to provide cover, plus fire chiefs themselves, who were given a hero's write-up in yesterday's Daily Post.
The mainstream media was bound to go for the throats of Merseyside FBU. But it is important to remember three things. First, the strikers are trying to make sure there will be at least as many firefighters and fire engines in the future. Second, there is no cover only because the Territorial Army is standing by to go into Afghanistan and Iraq. Third, part of the reason the government makes these cuts is that they are spending so much on war!