1) Lifelong trade unionist and socialist Martin McMulkin was, until he retired, the Unite convenor at Jost in Bolton for many years.
In 2019 he became a Labour councillor in Bolton but he was unwilling to simply facilitate cuts in local services.
2) Charlie Clutterbuck https://markwritecouk.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/charlie-clutterbuck-interview.mp3
In this half hour audio interview, Charlie Clutterbuck – author of the 2017 book Bitterwseet Brexit: the future of food, farming, land and labour – seeks to examine how his predictions in it are working out following Britain’s exit from the EU.
The labour and trade movement activist explains the massive forthcoming changes in farming that will put out of business many small farmers, recalls why the EU sought to develop farming policies that ended European countries dependence on US food imports, touches on the massive imbalance in land ownership at home and how the pouring into the UK of a lot of cheaper, poorly produced food will further raise obesity levels and put further pressure on the NHS and social services.
Clutterbuck notes that it is a US company, Tate and Lyle, that was the first to benefit from the Government’s removal of tariffs on imports, literally handing millions from British taxpayers to American shareholders. Money that could have been used to subsidise better-paid jobs in land-based food producing occupations that would boost incomes in rural communities.
As a soil scientist, Clutterbuck investigates the Government’s plans for those that work on the land and finds a total absence of any detail. How ideas for greening the land in which big grants may be used to lever in private finance for projects that might possibly provide an initial job creation boost through rewilding and tree planting projects are not going to revive rural communities.
The interview ends with Clutterbuck exploring how to create a direct link using food credits between producers of high-quality food and the poorest in society.
The interview was conducted by Mark Metcalf
3) Peterloo 1819: Halifax 1842
Most people know of Peterloo 1819 when eighteen people died after cavalry charged into a crowd of around 60,000 people who had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.
Far fewer know of similar tragic events in Halifax in August 1842.
This was when, at the very least, five local people were slaughtered and dozens badly injured – by the military and special constables – whilst they were participating in a nationwide general strike that combined demands for better pay with an extension to those allowed to vote.
4) Blood Suckers – how PFI sucked the NHS dry
Catherine Howe, author of the Halifax 1842: A Year of Crisis book is also recording a 7-minute piece that examines the deaths and injuries suffered by people on 16 August 1842.
Unite oral history podcasts
The miners strike’ of 1984 and the Battle of Orgreave
Organising the 1980 truckers’ strike
Organising workers behind the Iron Curtain
Fighting the Poll Tax
The Miners Strike by A. Daykin
Organising workers on zero hours contracts – part 1
Being a union rep – Jacob Goddard
Experiences of trade union education – Jacob Goddard
Paramedic Debbie Wilkinson, a long standing Unite member, speaks of the successful two-year (2013-15) battle, including a Leverage Campaign plus twelve days of strike action, the first strike in the NHS since the Ambulance Workers took action a quarter of a century earlier, to prevent Unite being derecognised by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service. For more on the background:- https://unitelive.org/resolute-patient-safety-fight/