Councillor John Clancy, Labour Leader of Birmingham City Council, does not deserve to be commended by trade union Unite as the man who worked quickly to resolve the bin strike. His dithering and incompetence enabled this crisis to unfold in the first place. With elections coming up in May, let us hope the majority of residents in the city will remind the City Council that their record stinks and provide them with the pasting they deserve.
They have brought a crisis to this place that would have reminded many people of the Winter of Discontent 1978-79.
The Winter of Discontent 1978-79 was caused by widespread strikes by trade unions over Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan's five per cent pay caps, which the Trade Union Congress opposed. Bin strikes were common during this time, which is why this year's industrial action undoubtedly brings back many unhappy memories for its residents.
Maybe those students who live there and voted for Labour this year now have a taste of what socialism looks like, considering they were too young to remember the 1970s.
There are many other heroes in this dispute who deserve praise
Thankfully, the bin strike has been brought to a temporary halt. But Unite is wrong to provide Labour with credit for bringing this industrial action to an end. There are many other heroes in this dispute who deserve praise.
Media outlets and opposition politicians have both pressured the City Council into solving this crisis. The bin strike has received constant publicity since it started and many councillors have not been afraid to speak out against Labour's inaction. With local elections looming next year, many senior councillors in Birmingham no doubt fear the opposition will reap the benefits of a mess the Labour Party created for themselves.
Volunteers from a new group which formed to aid the city's efforts to ensure waste is collected during this industrial action, the Bearded Broz, have been instrumental in cutting the amount of waste on Birmingham's streets. They did not have to take it upon themselves to help resolve this crisis, but they did. They provided the city with hope when it needed it most.
The residents of Birmingham also deserve tonnes of praise
Finally, the residents of Birmingham also deserve tonnes of praise.
They have remained resilient in the face of Unite's selfish decision to strike and Labour's inability to stop this industrial action. Many of them took their rubbish to waste sites instead of allowing rats and foxes to feast on their rubbish and pollute the city. Some of them preferred to wait in queues than allow their waste to endure on the city's streets.
These groups of people are the true saviours of Birmingham this summer, not its failed Labour councillors.