Friday, 1 May 2009

Happy May Day


Ay oop. Wen ah wir a lad, May Day yooztu reelay mean soomat. Twir wen wurkerz wud tek day off wirk and yoonite in solidarity with broothiz and sistiz across twirld. Ok enough o that faux Yorkshire pish. But aye, there used to be a shooge march in Embra and the city centre would be left in no doubt that those pesky workers were united. This year's march and rally takes place on Saturday the 2nd and also commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Cuban revolution. I'd be there masel if i wisnae going to the wedding of the year in Pathead.

Unlike May Day marches 40 years ago or others elsewhere in Europe, only be a few hundred people will be there and most shoppers and tourists in the city won't even notice. That's not to belittle the event or its admirable organisers. But it bares shameful testament to what the last Tory government did to the Trades Unions and the nationalised industries in Britain and particularly in Scotland.

There now seems to be a general acceptance that Labour will lose the next election to the Conservative and Unionist Party. Some people in Scotland even look forward to that happening because they so dislike the current mob in Westminster and/or they reckon it'll boost the cause of Scottish independence. I'm not one of those people.

It's hard to defend a nominally left wing party which has presided over a widening of the gap between rich and poor and prosecution of the least justifiable war in my lifetime. But the Tories would have done even less to eradicate poverty and they'd have been even more supine towards the USA. If the Eton Rifles had been in power these last 11 years, there would be no Scottish Parliament, no minimum wage and no legally acknowledged civil partnerships. These are hardly revolutionary concepts but they've benefitted millions of ordinary people.

And if anyone thinks the Tories will make it easier for Scotland to gain independence, they're kidding themself on. Tories are arch unionists and far closer to the media, big business and the advertising industry than Labour ever will be. They'll stop at nothing to keep the Union intact and life for leties in Scotland will be even worse than it is under Labour. Westminster elections will hopefully be of little consequence in just a few years but in the meantime, i'll do what i can to keep the Tories out. And yes, it is because i have class envy. Fuck the rich and powerful.

10 comments:

  1. Was thinking exactly the same myself this morning ( re the lack of interest/knowledge about May Day) None of the younger folk in my office had a clue what it was or was all about. Then I read in The Guardian that the French are about to hold the biggest May Day rally for many years. Hate to say it but the left is in such dissarray here that I think working class people have lost hope.

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  2. At least people are relatively conscious of May Day in the UK.

    In Canada, our version of May Day is the first Monday in September - 'Labour Day'. It's right before school and uni get back at it so it has morphed into a "it's the last long weekend of the summer so let's get a two-four and have a bush party" day.

    Which is fine in itself but workers in Canada have no idea how they are screwed over in terms of having any rights compared with workers in the UK. I wonder what they would do if they did. Or maybe they do and that explains the 'ah, fuck it, let's have a beer'.

    From my limited expereience, workers have it way better on your side of the Atlantic... just to throw in that perspective.

    How's the hangover? ;-)

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  4. Yeah, Neil, i agree that the left's not in its strongest state at the moment and many good people probably are disillusioned. I just hope we're going through a 'transitional' period. And i've gotta say, the prospects for Scottish independence give me grounds for optimism. We shall see.

    That's very interesting to hear about your perception of worker's rights in UK compared with Canada, Ms TB. I knew it was a bit rough in USA but always imagined that things would be very different in Canada. It's probably lazy thinking that i and many people assume Canada to be much more right on than USA just because it's one of the places that people went to avoid the Vietnam draft.

    Hangover is quite severe as it happens. It was one of those wedding that lasted for about 36 hours. Great fun, heart warming stuff, lovely bunch of people etc. but i'm gettin a bit old for this game.

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  5. I was going to write a vaguely political response and then I started thinking about Gordon Brown. *shudder*
    And decided to move onto more pleasant subjects..like eating duck heads. Anyway, re vegetarianism in China I think it very much depends on where you're going in China, if you living/holidaying and how wound up you get about that spoon that was in a meat dish is now in the vegetable dish, etc. But overall I'd say definitely do-able.
    Lots of veggie and tofu dishes and oil used is plant based. A good phrasebook would help too.

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  6. Naldo


    class envy is a good thing keeps warm when its cold fills your belly when your hungry.
    makes you tough and hard as nails pitiless against your class enemies....

    30 years Maggie knew that.....and acted accordingly

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  7. Nice one, J. I won't rule out a trip to China if i ever have the time and money to make it.

    And aye, Mr M, that woman wiz nivir a wirker. Such a shame that i wasted so many years of my life trying to get a Labour government elected only for it to assume power then widen the gap between rich and poor and go to war with Iraq. Unforgiveable.

    If Labour turned round now and said they'd scrap ID cards and the Trident replacement, they just might get the chance to do those 2 blindingly obvious things for these isles.

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  8. Naldo, yeah some things are different in Canada from the US, some are similar. I'm not sure about worker's rights and how they resemble or not those in the US. All I know is that they suck compared to the UK and in some occupations Canadians prefer to work in the US.

    36 hour wedding? No wonder the state of your hangover.

    I see Ms Sparrow Eater is here. ;-)

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  9. Yo Ms TB. I do remember hooking up in a boozer with a very friendly joiner from Denver one time. He told me that he was really well protected by Union negotiated health and safety/minimum wage legislation (how the feck we got onto that subject i'll never recall). So i guess things aren't as bad in the States and as great in Canada as i had imagined.

    Ms Sparrow Eater? Teeheehe - that's a bit harsh. I'd hate to be held accountable for everything i've ever shoved in my gob.

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