The Blanket

Support The Life Savers And Not The Life Takers

Davy Carlin

Already we have seen the propaganda directed towards the Fire Brigade Union and their strike action coming from the usual quarters. Amongst some of the accusations we have the 'you will be responsible for deaths' or 'we can't afford such a pay increase' or even a recent tabloid headline which shrieked 'Fire Union chiefs are Saddam stooges'. Rather than go over much of the Fire Brigade Unions (FBU's) well informed and practical replies to such issues I will make but three points.

Firstly with the talk of possible deaths isn't it interesting that the government is falling over its self to provide millions of pounds to those that may be about to take thousands of innocent lives in Iraq while in tandem doing everything in its power to prevent giving a fair wage to those who put their own lives at risk to save others at home? With the firefighters' history of heroism and saving lives - contrasted with the government's slavish 'interventions' in wars which constantly take innocent lives and putting aside the hypocrisy of ministers calls - home or abroad any fatalities lie squarely at the hands of the government. The firefighters have always been dedicated to saving lives with many of their members killed trying to save others and now have been forced into this action by a governmental agenda and intervention. I reckon though we will hear little talk from such government quarters of the innocents who will die (slaughtered) by their policy of such a war or indeed anything about its 'effects' on the economy in coming times.

Secondly there is the fact of the huge wage hike for some government ministers or the hundreds of millions spent bailing out private companies or even the hundreds of millions more 'lost' on useless projects such as the Millenium dome etc etc etc. We now have on the one hand in many such cases where the government has 'intervened' to provide hundreds of millions seemingly in 'reward' for bad management, unprofessional bosses, bad practice, those who destroy lives and health through their sackings and bad working conditions, and of course to continually bail out private concerns. Now ironically and interestingly on the other hand the government has again 'intervened' but this time though we see no 'reward' for a professional, dedicated hard working force for public concern, those who have always risked their lives to save others, but now is in fact politically attacking them while some of their media friends attempt to demonise them.

Finally there should not be any surprise that leading members of the FBU and no doubt many of their rank and file are opposed to an attack on Iraq. With the Pentagon having already drawn up plans for the whereabouts of the military bases for after the war and the acknowledgement by many that the possible attack is economically, politically and indeed strategically motivated, it is no surprise therefore that such firefighters are opposed to war. Just like the hundreds of thousands of other individuals that marched recently in London they to think that the war is wrong, again no surprise as they are dedicated to saving innocent lives rather than taking them. It is also important to note the point raised by both Jim Barbour and Jim Quinn of the Northern Ireland branch of the FBU that this issue has been pushed by the government in part to attempt to push the issue of Iraq off the front pages. One just has to remember the senior civil servant Jo Moore and her infamous E-mail on Sept 11th as being 'a good day to bury news' and a few months later her giving other advice to 'bury' poor rail statistics on the same day as Princess Margaret's funeral. With so many increasingly voicing their concerns about a war before it even starts (almost a million marched in Florence recently) have no doubt the government will use any and every opportunity to 'create' other news.

Make no mistake - the Firefighters cause is a worthy one - we should support the life savers and not the life takers. Solidarity to the firefighters.

 

 

 

 

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It is better to be defeated on principle than to win on lies.
- Arthur Calwell
 
Index: Current Articles

17 November 2002

 

Other Articles From This Issue:

 

The People Who Can't Be Bought
Bernadette McAliskey

 

Liam Mellows and the Irish Revolutions
Liam O Ruairc

 

For Stormont & PSNI

Brian Mór

 

Should Adams Be Meeting With US Warmongers?
Eamonn McCann

 

Justice Not Revenge
Anthony McIntyre

 

Arbitrary Imprisonment

Sam Bahour and Michael Dahan

 

Support The Life Savers and Not The Life Takers
Davy Carlin

 

14 November 2002

 

The Legacy of Seamus Costello
Liam O Ruairc

 

A Balancing Act
Martin Patriquin

 

The Legal Fictions And The Awkward Questions
Anthony McIntyre

 

Adamstein

Brian Mór

 

H'mmmm...Mmmm

Brian Mór

 

Guess Who's Back

Brian Mór

 

Arbitrary Imprisonment

Sam Bahour and Paul de Rooij

 

Iraq. Palestine. Give Your Support.
Davy Carlin

 

The Letters page has been updated.

 

 

 

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The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
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