The Haulage Crisis that Won’t Go Away!
Posted on September 30, 2021
The crisis with the lack of lorry drivers is quite easy to understand. A UK lorry driver deals with poor working conditions, a paucity of welfare facilities and a salary not worth all the unsociable hours. This was an increasing problem but when freedom of movement was still in place, at least some of the void could be filled by drivers from EU nations.
Brexit left the haulage business exposed. Freedom of movement ended, racial abuse increased, and the value of the pound fell. Covid-19 also played a part, but it is not the reason we have to queue like peasants for fuel. The reason is that there was no plan in place to deal with the inevitable fall-out of Brexit.
Without a labour force ready to take up the voids across all sectors of supply and distribution, a country is nothing. Why didn’t Boris and his merry band of Brexiteers understand this? Did they think there was a huge British labour pool to move in on these jobs? Even worse, did they not realise it is drivers, distribution workers, farmers and construction workers who keep a country running, not opportunists like Jacob Rees-Mogg.
It’s hard to know what they think. Johnson’s cabinet hasn’t got one political heavyweight in it. There are lots of sycophants who have got rich out of finance and tax dodging, but no one who knows how a country operates. It is ineptitude beyond belief, and it is not going away soon.
In a state of reactive panic, the government is extending visa rights to EU lorry drivers. It is grovelling to the very people it chased away to appease impulsive bigots. If I were a Bulgarian lorry driver, I would tell Johnson where he can stick his visa. The wealthier EU nations also need lorry drivers, so they are getting a genuine Brexit bonanza; thousands of lorry drivers who once worked in the UK.
Where this ends, is anyone’s guess. It’s not a temporary problem with an easy solution. The numbers don’t add up. You need people to fill vacancies and there are no people. My industry (construction) has lost 20% of its workforce. It is not possible to plug that gap with indigenous labour. The farming, retail and leisure sectors are in a similar state.
No Easy Solutions
Some say the easy solution would be to go cap in hand to the EU and ask for a change in the labour movement laws set out in the ‘Oven Ready’ Brexit deal. Or they could change immigration rules to allow people into the UK easier. The problem with that, is the pound is still weak, so without big wages, there is no incentive. Add to that the abuse and the anti-EU sentiment stirred up by Johnson and his populist friends in the media, and reconciliation is a long way back.
It’s a right balls up and its all Johnson’s doing. Johnson has spent all his life just fucking about (literally) and acting the clown. He is an impulsive showman who has never prepared for anything in his life. He might have got away with it if he had surrounded himself with people who know what they are doing. However, good people don’t trust him because of his impulsive lying. Instead, he has a cabinet of lightweights and chancers who dare not challenge the madness that is unfolding.
Boris Johnson is the worst ever Prime Minister, at the worst possible time.