Sunday, August 15, 2010

“Even the Olives are Bleeding...”

Yesterday I posted here on listening to an interview on Radio 4 with a BNP apologist for the murder and torture of British POWs.

I was driving home to London from Edinburgh. The next radio programme iPM calmed my soul and restored my faith somewhat in the world. The iPM programme firstly had an intelligent feature on “strikes” and “picket lines”. Its listener’s reported mostly positive and uplifting experiences of taking part in strike action including romance, humour and camaraderie. But there were also some negative experiences.

A former British Leyland machinist turned coal miner who scabbed during the national strike of 1984-85 talked about his experiences and how now 25 years later he recognised that NUM leader Arthur Scargill had been right at the time to fight pit closures but he should have “...had the guts to hold a national ballot”. Which I thought was just a little bit rich and self serving. This “anonomised” worker had recently been out on strike action over zero pay offers which he supported. Not least since the company enjoyed not only good profits but was still paying their executives big bonuses!

The next feature was about the Irish poet, Charles Connolly, who was killed aged 24 in action fighting the fascists during the Spanish Civil War. His family had been invited to Spain to take part in recent commemorations.

Shortly before Charles was killed in battle he made the remark to a compatriot about this bloody war that “even the olives are bleeding....”.

You can listen again to the programme (recommended) on iplayer for the next few days or so - but I have down loaded it as a podcast so if you send me your email I assume I can forward it to you (12MB file!)

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