Arts and crafts

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The Independent Online

What would Keir Hardie have made of it? Yesterday, the GMB union welcomed in an unlikely new cohort from the working class: tattooists and body piercers. But these exotically decorated toilers are determined to behave like good trade unionists. They promise to curb the activities of unlicensed and untrained businesses in their sector. That should mean there is less chance of your emerging from a seedy back-street parlour with your partner's name spelt wrong or an acute case of blood poisoning. But are we alone in worrying about what will happen if they go on strike? How will the Navy, drunken stag parties and the captain of the England football team possibly cope?

What would Keir Hardie have made of it? Yesterday, the GMB union welcomed in an unlikely new cohort from the working class: tattooists and body piercers. But these exotically decorated toilers are determined to behave like good trade unionists. They promise to curb the activities of unlicensed and untrained businesses in their sector. That should mean there is less chance of your emerging from a seedy back-street parlour with your partner's name spelt wrong or an acute case of blood poisoning. But are we alone in worrying about what will happen if they go on strike? How will the Navy, drunken stag parties and the captain of the England football team possibly cope?

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