This is our truth, tell us yours
I’ve written enough about my mining heritage for you all to know it shaped me.
I’ve written enough about my trades unionism for you all to know it’s a guide to how I live.
This isn’t about me.
It’s about you, the twittersphere, the bloggers and the opinion formers and ideology reciters.
Take a break today from ‘UKIP are racists because their members write batshit nonsense on leaflets.’
Take a break today from ‘UKIP are right wing scum because they select double jointed homophobic golf club bar fascists who spend all their waking hours inserting their foot in their own mouths.’
Instead, today, think about over two hundred empty beds in houses in Turkey; think about the families waiting for men who will never come back. Think about how, in the UK, we had similar experiences one hundred years ago, before we started including the price of miners lives in the price we were willing to pay for coal.
Make no mistake about it, if you gleefully parrot that we live in a global economy where only the bottom line matters, and the lower the price the better, you are consenting to those empty beds in Turkey today, to the homes devastated by collapsing clothing factories in Bangladesh.
If you think red tape is just another obstacle to a more efficient global economy, remember that the same red tape is what keeps workers alive, and is what prevents collapsing buildings and exploding pits. If you think,today, that the world can’t afford workers rights, health and safety and a healthy workplace culture, don’t tell me. Get yourself to Turkey, and explain to the grieving families there why their grief is required by your ideology.
The argument for a European Union where social standards are not eroded by the profit motive in a beggar my neighbour race to the bottom is all too often lost in the sound and fury around the latest Faragism. Let each of us build our own monument to those lost Turkish miners by remembering that three generations ago, in this United Kingdom, our grandparents commemorated the lost and the maimed by making health and safety at work a central part of their demands, alongside compensation and a benefits system that cared for the disabled.
If you think that’s too much to ask spare me your bullshit today – you’d be better employed working out how to get the blood off your own hands.