This UK government is the most vindictive in this country since Thatcher. Peopled by politicians who have never had to worry about money and raised on privilege, they have no compassion for those less fortunate than themselves. They make no effort to curb the rich while pushing those at the bottom of the wealth scale further into poverty. They do not have to worry about their parents having to struggle to find the resources to get care in old age. hey sell off assets at a loss to their rich friends in the city. They ruin the country's reputation abroad by attempting to crush the BBC because their friends cannot control it like they can other commercial broadcasting companies. They send away researchers because they are not British weakening our standing in the world. They make it harder for overseas students to come to study despite all reports showing tht such students go back home eventually with great regard for the UK and all things British.
As Charlie Brookes said in the adult novel A Ceremony of Innocence by Eddie Gubbins when asking for his colleagues to take strike action:
" Brothers and sisters, we are now supposed to bow down our heads, take off our caps and accept like Roman slaves all that the management can throw at us. Are we not to be allowed to raise even a small voice in protest at their treachery? Are we to leave everything to the cosy relationship between the full time officials of the union and the management in the fond hope that they will look after us? They tell us that jobs will be found, not in shipbuilding for which we are trained and in which we have our pride but jobs none the less. Anyway they answer when we ask what these jobs will be, where these jobs are to be found, there will be a generous severance pay and a lot of help for those who leave. Is this right I ask? Is this their reply to all the loyalty we have shown over the years? Is this their reward to us for all we have helped to create for them? Will they have to suffer like us?”
" Oh they reply when we try to ask these questions, we must have your loyalty and co-operation now so that we can plan the production schedules and bid for orders in a rational way. Well my friends, we have given them loyalty and co-operation over the years, we have tried to work within the system that allowed us to talk about the future before the management took any action and there has been little disruption at the building berths. If they ever wanted anything completed ahead of schedule, we have cheerfully turned out and tried our best to help, to deliver what we have been asked. Where has all this co-operation got us now?”
Charlie left the question suspended in the air as he paused to catch his breath. Straightening his shoulders once more, he waved his fist at the air as though challenging his God to contradict him. His voice boomed in a rising crescendo out over the heads of the crowd causing the seagulls perched on the roof of the changing rooms to rise protesting into the air squealing and squawking as they wheeled away towards the river.
" Nowhere! What are we going to tell our loved ones when we get home today after this meeting? Oh, some of us can say ' Its all right dear, I did not get a notice and things should be safe for those who will be left. The management told us and that must assure us that all will be right! ' Never mind the poor bastards who did get their notice. They are none of our concern! But hang on a minute! Did not the management tell us all six months ago that all our jobs would be safe? Some of us will now have to look for other work. Do we honestly believe that the same will not happen to those left in the yard, maybe not now but how long into the future? "
Charlie laughed harshly into the microphone and waited for the effect that laugh would have on the crowd. " Ho, says Jennings, they will look out for new jobs for you all. Well if you are young that might be ok but has he or the management tried looking for work when you are over fifty years old? Indeed, have Jennings and the management ever had to go looking for work? Have they ever had to go through the humiliating circumstances of standing in the dole queue against the hope that something will turn up while at the same time being treated as though you were a sponger on the rest of the population? Have they ever had to come home to face the accusing eyes of their families after another day’s fruitless search for work? Have they ever had to face their wife and admit that there is no money for birthday presents or at times even food? Do they ever hide in the bathroom when the postman arrives for fear that more bills will land on the doormat that they cannot pay? Do they know what it is like to be really out of work with no hope for the future? If they do then I say God be with them for what they are trying to do to us. In reality I believe that they don't have a clue as to what it will be like for those made redundant. But what makes me really mad is the way the union appears to be helping them make these decisions! "
A Ceremony of Innocence by Eddie Gubbins available as a paper back from Amazon and for downloading from Kindle.
Two brothers are at home on holiday much to the delight of their mother. It was the first time they had been at home together at the same time for several years. Their father is the union convener at the local shipyard and he leads the men out on strike against proposed redundancies at the same time as the brothers arrive home. Though on the surface both brothers support their father, underneath the surface there simmers the stew of disagreement. Mark, the elder brother, is fresh from months at sea as a ships officer and refuses to compromise his upwardly mobile lifestyle or his friends for the sake of family harmony. He lives for the moment and grabs any opportunity for happiness. Jim, freshly graduated from university, supports his father passionately and without question.
Can the brothers find a way to compromise their positions and fulfil their mother’s wish for a happy few weeks or will their anger boil over into open conflict and family break up?