Miscellaneous

Calling all cliches: Summers of discontent

There’s increasing talk in the media of a coming Summer of Discontent. Of course, there’s such talk – it’s June, and every June there’s talk of the coming Summer of Discontent. Here’s a quote from each of the last twenty Junes to make the point.


‘It looks like we might be facing a summer of discontent with strike action likely to affect people across the land.’ – Birmingham Mail 13 June 2022

‘Summer of discontent as rail stoppages planned across Britain – “We are set for a long hot summer of Sunday strikes,” says Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT Union.’ – Independent 18 June 2021

‘Summer of Discontent: 140 cops hurt in violent clashes in just three weeks – as Cressida Dick warns thugs “we are prepared” for next flare-up.’ – Sun 26 June 2020

‘Union leaders today threatened to “bring London to a halt” after Tube pay talks collapsed. Mick Cash, the RMT leader, warned of “all-out confrontation.” Walkouts across the network, used by four million people a day, could begin at the end of next month sparking a new summer of discontent.’ – Evening Standard 6 June 2019

‘Ryanair faces a “summer of industrial action” if the demands of trade unions are not met.’ – Times 23 June 2018

‘Britain is angry, demanding answers and change. Confused? Alarmed? Unsure how this summer of discontent will play out? You are not alone. One newspaper yesterday, seeking to capture the mood of tumult, had an opinion piece headlined: “There is madness in the air – democracy is hanging by a thread.” This, according to some, is a year like no other.’ – Herald 21 June 2017

‘We put in a new timetable which was more robust and I saw the performance figures improving. That has all now just been chucked up in the air. I don’t think Brighton commuters deserve a summer of discontent.’ – Rail minister Claire Perry, Argus 15 June 2016

‘Union bosses have accused the Tories of “bragging” about the prospect of a summer of discontent. Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock has announced a “hit squad” to counter planned strikes.’ – Daily Mirror 29 June 2015

‘Lindsey German, convener of Stop the War Coalition, said: “I hope it is going to make a summer of discontent. All of these things are showing there is a growing resistance to what this criminal government is doing. We are told that there is a recovery going on but that is not how it feels.”’ – Evening Standard 19 June 2014

‘With thousands of British travellers still stranded after this week’s French airspace shut-down, and further airport strikes causing disruption today, Europe’s biggest airline has warned that passengers face a summer of discontent.’ – i 14 June 2013


‘BMA ready for summer of discontent… Hospitals and GP clinics are being warned to prepare for a summer of strikes by doctors… One source said that leaders of the British Medical Association, the doctors’ union, believed that “sustained” industrial action was the only way of forcing the Government back to the negotiating table.’ – Times 1 June 2012

‘NHS plans may cause “Summer of Discontent”.’ – Coventry Telegraph 30 June 2011

‘Unison, the largest trade union representing employees in the public sector (not to be confused with Unite, the union in dispute with British Airways), says that the Government “won’t know what hit them” if it cuts services, pay or pensions. So there could be a summer of discontent to boot, with the rubbish going uncollected and the dead unburied.’ – Independent 17 June 2010

‘RMT boss Bob Crow threatened further industrial action last night, if London Underground (LU) refuses to meet union demands, as the City prepares itself for a summer of discontent.’ – City AM 12 June 2009

‘The thought that public services may grind to a halt with a looming summer of discontent will fill many of us with gloom.’ – Daily Mirror 26 June 2008

‘Britain faces a “summer of discontent” as unions plot to mark Gordon Brown’s coronation with a wave of strikes.’ – Express 22 June 2007

‘In March, one million local government workers walked out on strike. Refuse collectors and crematoria staff downed tools, and teaching assistants and cleaning ladies stayed home in what was, according to unions, the biggest day of industrial action since the general strike of 1926. More action is anticipated in a “summer of discontent” as grievances simmer on.’ – Guardian 17 June 2006

‘Shocked experts say the hike in the cost of diesel and unleaded fuel will see spending in high street shops plummet by £4 million-a-day. Furious hauliers are now considering strike action. And livid parents face a summer of discontent as the price hike hits just before the main school holidays.’ – Daily Mirror 21 June 2005

‘Chancellor Brown is the one man who can head off fevered talk of a crisis, and he must not wait until September’s here. Act now, Gordon, and avoid a summer of discontent.’ – Sun 3 June 2004

‘Britain faces a summer of industrial discontent as the country’s biggest trade union threatens to bring key public services to a standstill in protests over pay.’ – Express 15 June 2003


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