Skip to Content

Melvin Tenner

Running Commentary: Strikers Condemned

Strikers condemned

More than 5,500 workers were out on strike as a wave of industrial unrest spread to hitherto uninvolved plants. The week-long spate of walk-outs and go-slows affected 27 firms in five cities. A total of more than 8,700 people had stopped work since strikes started and more than 750 of them had been dismissed as a result. The dispute was over pay, a shorter working week and guaranteed pension funds. A spokesman for the employers’ association said he was “gravely concerned’’ and the trade union congress issued a statement expressing hope that the government would “respond constructively in solving the problem”.

Running Commentary: Concentration Camp Art

Concentration camp art

Culture lovers and those looking for sound investments from which to pay the next gas bill will have found the Art Sales columns of the Daily Telegraph of 6 February interesting reading. Their correspondent was reporting the forthcoming sale at auction of a collection of concentration camp money, including notes issued at Dachau, Auschwitz, Buchenwald and the “show camp” Theresienstadt. Believed to be the best of its kind, with 1944 Auschwitz creations expected to fetch a top price of £875 each, the collection included an exquisite example of the yellow cloth "Jud” badge which Jews were forced to wear. Noticeably absent were the unique specimens of lampshade design of the period, although this does not appear to have deterred potential buyers. The lot was purchased by the auctioneers, Stanley Gibbons, at the knock-down price of £20,000.

Running Commentary: PLO Recognition

PLO recognition

    “They’ve taken my legs, but it only means I’m more firmly planted in the soil.” Mayor Bassam Shaka of Nablus (3.6.80).

The terrorist attacks which maimed two West Bank mayors and wounded other Palestinians in Hebron last month were the climax of weeks of mounting violence in the area, provoked by what all governments would term “necessary vigilance for the security of the state”. The victimisation of communities, refugee camps and families by the Israeli security forces—together with arbitrary searchings and beatings—are having the effect of driving the most “moderate” Palestinians into the arms of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, something that Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem in the heady days of 1978 was designed, in part, to prevent.

Running Commentary: Embassy Siege

Embassy siege

May was a spiffing good month for jingoism and “those qualities which made Britain great”. Not only did the Arsenal beat those “Eyties” in Turin (a feat verging on the impossible) but we were all submerged in suffocating patriotism and national pride after “our boys” had shown those “Islam Wallahs” what we’re made of. No doubt the Iranian Embassy storming during which not many foreigners were killed — will be the subject of News of the World “I was there and our policemen are wonderful” exclusives for weeks to come, and a film starring Omar Sharif as William Whitelaw. True, Keith Joseph rather spoilt the month by muffing his presentation of the appointment of that Scots-American chappie to run “our” steel industry (what’s wrong with an Englishman?), but this was a minor aberration and surely Thatcher will take Sir Keith’s bootlaces out should he create any more bother.

Syndicate content