Monday, 21 November 2011

It's not Unity if you achieve it through bullying....

Raise your banners high
Strength to strength and line by line
Unity must never die
Raise your banners high

Firstly – before I dive into the politics – a plug – folk legend Martin Carthy will be launching Bradford’s celebration of (mostly leftie) political song at the Topic Folk Club on Thursday. Sadly, I won’t be there as I’m already double-booked that evening. All the details of Raise Your Banners can be found here.

Next I shall speak of scabs, blacklegs and the evils of the political bully.

Regardless of the emotion, the history and the passion – the things that are celebrated in these songs. Despite the cry for unity and the desperation of the cause.... have a right to withdraw your labour, to strike. It is a right hard won by men and women in times past. It is a right cherished by everyone – a notion of liberty, if only group liberty.

But you have no right to bully, assault, ostracise, condemn or otherwise mistreat another person because they choose not to go on strike. 

That is their choice – their right - and if you use violence to prevent that choice, to remove that right, you are no better than those you condemn for removing or reducing workers’ rights.  You are no better that the fascist thugs you condemn.

There are no scabs, no blacklegs – just men or women who made a different choice from you. Men or women exercising their rights in a free land.



Anonymous said...

Your views are totally unacceptable to everyone in this progressive, liberal age.

leeds citizen said...

Interesting that you should preface your post with a reference to left-wing folkies, many of whom are not averse to a bit of intolerance in pursuit of their proletarian fantasy.

Made me remember in particular that “traditional” song that used to be sung with such gusto at clubs – The blackleg miner.

“Across the lane we've stretched a line,
to catch the neck and break the spine
of the dirty blackleg miner”

I only found out recently that the song was almost certainly written by communist folk-song academic A.L. Lloyd and passed off as a true expression of the people’s voice. Ho hum.

Looking forward to seeing Carthy again though.