Mick Lynch and Richard Madeley got into a furious debate about when Christmas starts

Mick Lynch and Richard Madeley got into a furious debate about when Christmas starts
'Stop talking': Mick Lynch clashes with Richard Madeley over Christmas rail strikes

Richard Madeley and Mick Lynch got into an impassioned debate about when Christmas starts and it made for surreal viewing.

The RMT boss appeared on Good Morning Britain where he was quizzed on the union's latest round of strikes that are taking place over various days in December.

Madeley, it appeared, wasn't a fan and put a hefty serving of coal in the union boss's stocking.

"Many people who support your right to strike... are appalled that you are striking over Christmas," he said.

"They feel that it's an act of almost sadism and unkindness."

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

He questioned why Lynch chose the period and suggested January would be a better time to strike.

He continued: "You are going to be putting people out of business who run hotels, who run restaurants, who run bars and retailers. This is the time of year when they make money and you are robbing them of their income for the coming year."

Lynch's response was classically scornful. "It isn't Christmas yet, Richard, I don't know when your Christmas starts but mine starts on Christmas Eve", he said.

Madeley said Lynch was being "disingenuous" and insisted "commercial Christmas" starts in December.

"Don't be ridiculous," he continued. "I won't let you get away with nonsense", he added after Lynch accused him of "ranting".

Madeley said he was holding Lynch "to account" and the pair continued to bicker until Lynch explained the latest strike action was in response to decisions taken by Network Rail in December and that they will strike when there will be "no passenger services running" because it is closed over Christmas anyway.

He also said they gave three weeks notice for the strikes.

The RMT has rejected Network Rail's latest pay offer of a 5 per cent increase this year and a 4 per cent rise in 2023. It will strike on days this week and further dates leading up to Christmas.

Lynch described the deal as "substandard".

As for when Christmas becomes Christmas... what a bizarre argument to have on TV.

Things didn't get much easier for Lynch when during his appearance on Radio 4's Today Programme when he received pushback from Mishal Husain after accusing the BBC of "parroting Tory propaganda."

It is a simple and fundamental principle that the government derives its democratic legitimacy from the people. The future of the country must not be decided by plotting and U-turns at Westminster; it must be decided by the people in a general election. And for this reason The Independent is calling for an election to be held. Have your say and sign our election petition by clicking here.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)