A furious union backlash is expected, in response to the government's announcement that 490,000 public sector jobs will be cut. Union leaders have joined forces in condemning the decision and have compared the cuts to those recently made in France.
Arthur Davylamp, a regional convenor of the National Union of Ex-Mineworkers, said "The French have had it rough, what with getting their arses kicked in two world wars, their soccer team being sacked after the World Cup and now they have to endure an increase in their working week to 25 hours, their retirement age being raised to 47 and a surcharge on red wine and garlic. They are not taking it lying down". These sentiments are echoed across the trade union movement.
Mr Davylamp went on to say, "We are going to bring this country to a standstill. The coal mines will be blockaded by our members, who will be wearing berets, stripey tops and a string of onions, as they ride their pushbikes around the mines singing Sacha Distel songs. We will also blockade major airports by mobilising the Scarborough fishing fleet. We are just having problems finding enough low loaders to get them to Heathrow and Gatwick. If this all fails, we will round up government ministers, load them onto a horse and cart and parade them through Westminster, before taking them to the Tower of London, where they will be guillotined".
When asked how his members would deal with the attention likely to be given them by riot police, Mr Davylamp said "In the true spirit of the French, at the first sign of any trouble, we will surrender unconditionally".