Planet Online

We Can Refuse to Sell Our Labour

by Greg Cullen

Playwright Greg Cullen encounters Jeremy Corbyn, and summons the ghosts of Nye Bevan and Jennie Lee at the 2016 Trade Union Pride demonstration in Cardiff. He remembers the generations of working people who taught us that collective action can transform our lives.

It was a Saturday morning and I was sat on the steps of National Museum, Cardiff waiting for Hope to arrive. I’d grabbed a coffee on the way and picked a spot among the crowd who sat with the Palladian columns of the museum behind them and a disused fire engine in front of them. The former suggested a noble lineage to Greek slave-owning democracy and Plato, while the latter housed an anarchist called Cosmo with a guitar.

A woman from the museum came out and asked us to leave a clear path through for people who were actually coming to the museum. I’m not sure who was more hopeful, her or the hundreds who had assembled to oppose the latest round of anti-Trade Union legislation. The Westminster Trade Union Bill will impose severe restrictions upon our right to strike, organise and negotiate. The UK government seeks to impose these laws upon Wales, despite the devolution of many public services which would be affected by the Bill. The woman was very sweet, perhaps she knew within weeks she would need to strike.

© Aimee Caines

© Aimee Caines

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