Conrad Landin

Conrad LandinConrad Landin is the Morning Star’s Scotland editor.

From The Blog
25 July 2023

A rushed three-week consultation on plans to close all railway station booking offices in England – and some in Scotland and Wales – will finish tomorrow. The transport secretary, Mark Harper, said in the Commons that the government’s proposals are about catching up with ‘the changed reality that most passengers purchase their tickets either online or from a ticket machine, and most of them do not go near a ticket office’.

From The Blog
24 June 2022

Picketing railway workers are used to being confronted by irate commuters. Outside London’s St Pancras Station six years ago, when Eurostar workers were striking for a ‘better work-life balance’, an agitated man told the RMT pickets they were ‘going about it the wrong way’. ‘You’re holding the country to ransom,’ he said. ‘You’re standing in the way of progress.’ Without a blink, the unrattled union official overseeing the dispute responded: ‘I’ve worked on the railways all my life, and I know what progress is.’ That official was Mick Lynch, who had recently been elected RMT’s assistant general secretary. Now in the union’s top job, Lynch has shot to cult hero status this week for his unblemished record of calmly facing down Conservative MPs and ill-informed news anchors.

From The Blog
22 March 2022

When the Herald of Free Enterprise capsized moments after leaving the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium on 6 March 1987, 193 passengers and crew were killed. Newspapers across the world carried the image of the ferry lying on its side. Its operator’s name, Townsend Thoresen, was emblazoned across the hull; the initials ‘TT’ were displayed on the funnel. Shipping bosses swiftly ditched the Townsend Thoresen brand and repainted its other vessels with the name and colours of its holding company, P&O European Ferries. When P&O summarily sacked eight hundred seafarers last Thursday and replaced them with agency labour, largely from abroad, its trading name met the PR catastrophe it was created to avert.

From The Blog
9 January 2019

On Christmas Eve 2011, I was laid off as a seasonal sales assistant at HMV. I’d been employed just a few weeks before for the Christmas rush at the chain’s flagship Oxford Circus store, and expected to work until January or beyond. But in December 2011 the company reported losses of £40 million, and ‘extra capacity’ was now considered superfluous. As a ‘special’ gesture, the manager told me, I could work until 31 December. Other casuals – many were migrant workers hoping for a permanent post – got no notice at all: a young Frenchwoman was told she could take an ‘extended holiday’ from the following day.

From The Blog
15 December 2017

‘Online intimidation of Tories brings call to curb Momentum,’ a headline in the Timessaid on Wednesday. The article was about a new report by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, which ‘contains detailed criticism of “fringe groups” that have a big impact on the tone of political debate’. The report doesn’t name Momentum, but the Times is confident the left-wing Labour group is its target. But what about the right-wing press? Yesterday, the Daily Mail attacked a number of Conservative MPs on its front page for voting to give Parliament a say on any final Brexit deal. Most of them were among those branded ‘mutineers’ by the Telegraph last month. Some of them have since received death threats.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences