The bus drivers went on strike during 2013 TT fortnight, the busiest period of the Manx year and the Island’s showcase.

The union leaders came on the radio to explain why, although they intended no inconvenience to anyone, for technical reasons the strike had to be during the TT.

A friend in Ramsey, a merchant seaman, told us a joke from the heyday of union power in the 1970s:

The Liverpool dockers were on strike for higher pay and better conditions. Their leaders summoned the members to tell them the results of negotiations with management.

“They have caved in totally, and given us everything we want!” The members cheered loudly 

“Your pay will be doubled!”  Loud cheers. 

“And you only have to work six months a year!” More loud cheers.

“And you only have to work one day a week!” Less enthusiastic cheers.

“That’s on Friday.” Total silence, until a voice is heard from the back:

“What, every fucking Friday?”

Local opinion on the strike itself is divided, but apart from the bus drivers themselves I have not heard anyone in favour of it being held during the TT.

Chris Thorpe

Chris Thorpe is a respected independent lawyer in the upstream oil and gas industry, and an established lecturer and author. Chris has a LLB in law from Magdalene College, Cambridge and trained as a barrister in London. He worked for eight years' as an in-house lawyer for BP and Marathon. Since 1991, Chris has run his own upstream legal practice, CPTL, which has acted for many upstream clients. He has extensive experience of international upstream transactions, principally in the North Sea, the FSU, Africa and the Middle East. Chris has spoken at many UK and International Conferences and Seminars, both public and in-house. His most popular current lecture is Fundamental of Upstream Petroleum Agreements, a two-day course with accompanying book.