The prime minister lacks the authority and popularity for a long confrontation with public sector workers
To the extent that Rishi Sunak has a plan for dealing with the biggest wave of industrial action in Britain for a generation, it seems to involve waiting for public opinion to turn against the strikes. To hasten that process, ministers cast trade unions as self-serving militants, causing harm to citizens who rely on the services that are being disrupted. The plan isn’t working.
About 500,000 workers took part in industrial action on Wednesday. That was inconvenient for millions of others, but for the time being it is the government that takes the greater portion of blame. Deservedly so, when ministers have responded to legitimate grievances with high-handed disdain.