Monday, July 19, 2010

Tolpuddle 2010

Two members of West Sussex NUT (President and Equalities officer - Derek and Angela) went with Crawley Trades Council to Tolpuddle this year.

There are a series of events celebrating the release of six trade unionists - the Tolpuddle Martyrs - arrested and transported in 1834 for joining a union.

It was a good occasion and an opportunity to see the three teachers' unions taking part in the same march and under the same slogan "Save our Schools".

It came as a surprise to see the Labour Party gracing us with their presence and talking about "this dreadful academies programme" - I expected to see a few pigs flying around but no.

The Labour Party is pro-war, pro-privatisation and viciously anti trade union.
I imagine if New Labour had been around in those days they would have locked up the Tolpuddle Martyrs without the formality of a trial and probably carted them off to Guantanamo for good measure.

The Trades Council coach only cost a tenner and we will seek to get more teachers (history teachers for example) involved next time.

Beckham on the Jonathan Ross show

To celebrate his final programme on the BBC Jonathan Ross spent the remains of the budget on luring the millionaire footballer to speak on his program.

As you can imagine he had something to say about the football. "The England team lost because the players played badly." Where would we be without his insightful expertise?

However, leaving his area of specialist knowledge, he went on to talk about two other issues.

He spoke in lyrical terms about "this earth, this realm, this England" omitting to explain why, like many millionaires, he neither lives here nor pays any tax here.

He then turned his incisive intellect to the war in Afghanistan. The war was justified because "our English soldiers are heroes." And there is nothing like a dead hero to sell a war. Unlike everyone else Beckham knew the objective of the mission. You might well scratch your heads at that one. Apparently they are there to win.

So there you have it, football, nationalism and complex international issues all summed up a la Beckham. The world is very simple for millionaires like Ross and Beckham. A bit more complex for the rest of us.