Why can't unions make their point in a way that doesn't inconvenience anybody?

By Donna Sheridan

STRIKING? Childish I call it. Causing major disruption to millions to make a pathetic point. Why can’t they protest in a way that doesn’t affect anybody?

Teachers, for example. We’re always hearing that their day doesn’t end at 3.30pm, that they’re marking books all evening at home. So why don’t they do their striking then?

If they were picketing in their own homes at evenings, weekends and during school holidays they’d have my full backing, which I’m sure would do more to sway the government than any amount of closed schools.

The same goes for train drivers. Instead of losing everyone’s goodwill by refusing to drive trains, why not make announcements? ‘The next station stop is Wolverton, and a public sector pay freeze has meant a real terms wage cut of 15 per cent for us.’

Commuters would certainly listen and then lend their weight to the cause, perhaps with an Instagram post. You won’t get that by cancelling trains. If anything that makes commuters like them less.

And nurses, instead of sullying their angelic hands with industrial action, could wear a special uniform that would really catch the eye, perhaps in bright red. Like when kids wear yellow to raise awareness for mental health or bullying or whatever.

Simply refusing to work until you get more pay? It’s a bit primitive, isn’t it? And frankly smacks of blackmail. If my son refused to do his homework until I increased his pocket money I would certainly not give in.

So come on, strikers, use your imaginations and find ways of registering your displeasure that don’t involve causing any inconvenience to your bosses, your customers and society as a whole. Then you’re sure to get what you want.

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A saxophone solo, and other things that instantly ruin a perfectly good song

ENJOYING listening to a good tune? Here’s an element that’s about to assault your eardrums and put you right off it.

Saxophone solo

‘What a great song,’ you think, bopping around in the kitchen. And then BAM! An awful parping saxophone solo is suddenly abusing your poor ears, ruining otherwise excellent songs like Just The Two of Us by Bill Withers in an instant. At least George Michael had the decency to put the one in Careless Whisper right at the start to save listeners a nasty surprise.

Long intros

Self-indulgent musicians expect you to sit through an age of noodling before they even start singing. The long, miserable 50 seconds of plodding acoustic guitar before Hotel California just serves to make the rest of the dirge even more unbearable. It should have taught the Eagles that ‘fun to play when you’re coked to the eyeballs’ is not the same as ‘fun to listen to’.

Sex noises

When you’re in the car with your parents, the last thing you want on the radio is a song featuring the sounds of simulated shagging. There are plenty of them though, from Madonna’s Justify My Love to Hot in Herre by Nelly. Even the boomers’ favourites Fleetwood Mac, who you’d think you’d be safe with, did it in Big Love. Maybe that’s why your folks like them so much. You wish they’d stuck to tunes about seabirds.

Too much vocal fry

Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Enrique Iglesias are all guilty of going hard on the vocal fry, but Britney Spears is the worst offender by far. Barely singing at all, she creaks and rasps her way through her songs in a way that sounds less like a pop chantress and more like a rarely-oiled shed door banging in the wind.

Extraneous rap verse

Written a trite pop song and want to add some urban grittiness? Get a hip-hop star in to do a rap. Unfortunately, having someone ramble over your already-bad song only tends to make it worse, as anyone who has had the misfortune to experience Maroon 5’s Girl Like You featuring Cardi B will confirm.