Rob, I was not trying to pull on your political sensitivities there or anyone else's for that matter, yet I can only describe the world as it happened to me. I was made redundant three times and long term unemployment in the centre of a very large unemployment black spot, is not a happy place to be, you should try it. So for me Maggie is the representation of that period in my life, whether she was right or wrong and whether it did us all good in the end or not, the only thing I do know for sure is that it definitely hurt me and my family, so how else am I suppose to feel about her? And no, I was not in a union and never wish to be.
Simply take on board what you've just said, and realise that shooting the messenger isn't going to solve anything. Whether you were in a union doesn't really matter too much either: I was put into a situation during the so-called apprentices strike on the Clyde, of 1960(or '59, but I think '60) where I had to choose to go out with the rest of them or continue working. I was about to get married, strikes were not on my agenda and I needed every penny I could earn. Worse, the strike was called at a lunchtime meeting of apprentices one day, a meeting where several hundred of us kids were addressed by a platform of maybe seven or eight others, some totally unknown to us and imported from the shipyards, who just told the crowd it was what they had to do. And they did. I did not. It was a sort of wild-west adventure getting into work and avoiding pickets.
I learned a lot from that; I discovered that unions can make people who are not members fall into line behind them; that challenging the mothers is a route to later isolation, and from that, that your best counsel is your own. I grew up quite quickly after that experience of 'industrial relations', and left industry just as soon as it was possible for me to so do.
I never bought into the flock mentality.
There was a period during my calendar years when the country was being ruled – I wouldn’t say run – by Callaghan, Wilson, Barbara Castle, Foote et. al. I used to negotiate my calendar contracts in February or so, with delivery aimed for the two weeks before Christmas. Inflation, under those crazed lefties, was running so high that it was impossible to give a fixed quotation. The printers were unable to give me
a fixed price – how could I pass one on? So, the solution was to end all quotations with the little line: Final price dependent on rate of inflation at time of invoice. You can imagine the strength of mind that it took for companies to commit…
The country was in such a friggin’ mess that it took The Iron Lady three terms in office to rectify it. And after her and the weak people that followed, forever washing her blood off their hands, it all ended up with Blair and Brown sitting in power. Madre de Dios. And here we go again; memory serves as no teacher and every move to pull the land back from the brink is seen as some attack on the folks who are not millionaires! How bloody facile; how deceptive and how unreal. And there they go, the press, constantly on the attack, whoever happens to be in power. It’s their way: you sell papers by inventing scandal, passing off semi-truth as fact and ignoring anything that stands in the way of sensationalism.
I think I need a holiday from all of this crap; nothing changes and it’s always the same game with new characters.