Strike 2: nice day

Bright, cold and sunny weather always makes me feel optimistic about the rest of the day. Especially when I discover a new Viz has been released as well. It was even colder today, but thankfully dry, so I managed to do 4 hours on the picket line before bailing out and going over to the caf. What was most irritating, apart from the armies of News Line salespeople who always turn up on these sorts of thing, was the number of students who just don’t get what it’s all about. When it comes to attitudes towards striking, some people confuse laziness, apathy and weakness as cynicism, wisdom and toughness. I know this because for most of my 20s I did too. Sneering at the public-school boys selling Socialist Worker. Giving a world-weary shake of the head to the left organisations perpetually going to meetings and trying to engage people in conversation about revolution. Hmm, well I still think the idea of a socialist revolution in the UK is ridiculous, and stil think Socialist Worker pushers are a pain in the arse…but that’s not the point. Jeremy Hardy taks about this a lot, about snerring middle class people who say things like “yes well you’re not going to change anything by just carping on about it”. Yes, far better to just lie back, think of England and let it happen.
You may remember me talking about an offhand comment by a fellow member of staff during the last strike about us “middle class people playing working class trade unionists” and how it was pointless and unreal….supporting his argument by talking about how his dad had to strike for 9 months. An odd argument. It irritates me more than I can say and the person who said it would probably be really chuffed if he knew how I’m still talking about it 6 months later, nice bloke though he is.
Yes – it’s a middle class protest. But we’re not playing. Losing 2 days pay, and spending the days in the freezing bastard cold trying to persaude people to stay away from work and support the action is not much fun really. We are angry about how the government, and the employers regard eduction with such cynical contempt. All of these people in the upper levels of HE who award themselves massive pay rises while refusing insulting rises to the lowest paid make me a tad angry, and I want to go out and remind people that it’s going on, and that it won’t change if there is no resitance. OK it may not change if there is resistance, but it’s like the lottery. You’ve got infinitely more chance of winning the lottery if you do it, than if you don’t.

So many students crossed the ine, because they said they wanted to be eductaed. “I want an education mate” one particulary odious posh bloke said as he quickly ran off. Do you ? Well what the fuck do you think we’re out here campaigning for ? “I don’t want to talk about politics” said another, just before I started to talk politics to him. This is the cancer that needs a good dose of chemo. It’s quite simple:

EVERYTHING is political

In debt ? Find food really expensive ? Fed up with how big your bills are ? Irritated by traffic in London ? Annoyed the bus is late ? Angry about how crap the resources are at your university ? But you still don’t want to talk politics because you’re busy and have more important things to do ?
Well, guess what ?

Anyway…

Met up with Dave and Ian and went down to Dorking. Despite intending to set off at about 12:30 we didn’t get there until half four. Great evening tho’ and realy good to see Brodie again. Got into a debate with some bloke about the meaning of the word Gourmet. A common theme in definitions seem to be “a connoisseur of food and drink”, and this guy’s contention was that you could therefore be considered a gourmet if you only ate mcdonalds and really liked it. Hmm.


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