Always start a blogpost with an arresting picture - and a good story. Well, the picture is as you can see an image of a group of Unite members who held a three-hour demonstration in Hayle last Wednesday. Most of those pictured are striking concrete-mixer drivers; a couple are senior Unite officials - and then there's me on the end, a Unite community member who's responding to an appeal to come and join the demo.
|Greg Martin took the photograph and it was published in Cornwall Live - my thanks to them|
The account of the demonstration I will save for later. First, I am indulging in some 'schadenfreude' - joy at the seeing another person's discomfort.
Today, I am celebrating because a recent PM has left our nation's parliament.
- That man has resigned his parliamentary seat in a fit of anger. He has made a crazy miscalculation that soon he will return to his rightful place as the nation's leader.
- That man is a serial liar.
- That man suffers from narcissistic personality disorder, in much the same way as his American counterpart, the man with the orange face.
- That man is blaming everyone but himself in his letter of resignation, following the anticipated decision of the parliamentary committee to suspend him from parliament. That committee is a 'kangaroo court', he declares.
- I have devoted scores and scores of blogposts exposing that man's faults. I hold him responsible for the fact that there were so many more deaths from Covid here in Britain, per head of population, than nearly anywhere else. America under Trump, Brazil under Bolsonaro - they have similar excess deaths to Britain; spot the connection.
|My thanks again to Gary Barker for this brilliant cartoon|
I was so moved and so angry that I wrote a book in which I used my analytical and historical skills to expose what was happening during 2020. If you haven't read it, please do. It's very readable - and deeply shocking.
It will cost you a tenner, plus postage, from my publishers - using this link here. You can read 10 reviews of the book there, too
Or you can get a signed copy from me, postage free, for a tenner - making contact through my website at www.robdonovan-author.co.uk.
I have an author's understandable need to be read. Not for my own ego - but because what I choose to write about is, I believe, important to all of us.
|Front and back covers of my iconoclastic coverage of a year in the pandemic|
And now to the story about the Maen Karne demo in Hayle last Wednesday - the connection, by the way, linking all these stories is the pernicious effects of soaking a world in neo-liberalism for the last forty-five years.
"I avoid meetings these days, if I can, so when I receive notice of the local meetings of my trade union, Unite (I’m a Community Member), I glance read and delete. But last week there was a notice of a Unite political demo in nearby Hayle in support of concrete-mixer drivers working for Maen Karne who were refusing union recognition. I have not been a political activist other than as a writer and blogger since 2019 and the ill-fated general election in December of that year. I decided to answer the call to attend the demo. Here’s some background – and a photo from Wednesday’s three-hour solidarity gathering.
From Cornwall Live:
“The drivers deliver fresh concrete across Cornwall and began strike action on 30 May, with the current round of industrial action set to last until Friday 9 June. If the dispute is not resolved they say strike action will escalate, causing further delays of concrete to construction sites across Cornwall.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Maen Karne’s disgraceful union-busting and dismissive attitude towards its workforce has only strengthened our members’ resolve. Maen Karne needs to understand Unite is not going anywhere – these workers have their union’s full and absolute backing as they fight to have their union recognised, as is their lawful right.”
Maen Karne has been contacted for comment.”
My thanks to Greg Martin, the photographer, and Cornwall Live for the inspirational image.
It was a pleasure and a privilege to be in solidarity with workers who are suffering at the hands of a management intent on turning the clock back to a time when trade unions did not exist. I googled before I attended the demo on Wednesday and discovered that Maen Karne (Cornish for Rock of the Land) have now been subsumed within GRS Roadstone who have appeared 4 times running in the list of the Sunday Times top 250 companies and have just pulled off a £60 million financing deal with the American venture capital group, Wells Fargo Capital Finance, thereby doubling their operating capacity (whatever that means). Trade Unions will be very dirty words in this context.
Thanks for reading my blogpost - please help me boost my circulation and get the message of 'social murder' out there so there can be an understanding and a reckoning. There must never be a repeat of the 2020 horror-show.