By Brian Hall
Saturday 17 Sep 2011 09:17:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles




I had prepared notes for this blog, and it was going to be light, even humorous. It cant fit that shape after today.  Odd history incidents were to be the theme, but a very grim event, very much related to history, knackered that. 4 dead miners in South Wales. How that must hit the hearts of those in the Swansea Valley , and far beyond. It hit me. Very few people up here have no link with our own mining past, and the price that was paid for coal, providing wealth for others who could not give a damn about the cost paid by those digging. And though I try to avoid too much politics in blogs - probably fairly obvious where I sit on that one, but not always - I cannot but remember the words of Thatcher when she called the miners The Enemy Within. They were from communities which helped to build the British Empire, including the current City of London by the way, and their relatives fought in many wars, and crawled in through blood, guts and thunder, or when at hyem, in depths of very black darkness. For sweet buggar all really. 


And alongside this news from South Wales, comes a totally pathetic lesson in recent history. Bankers take the piss. Shock, horror.              The latest fiddler might be shitting himself as he faces prison, but, tell you what, he would been crapping himself ten times ower if he had had to work for a living - down a pit.


Forget the wankers, sorry, the bankers, for a second. Remember the miners and see examples of really useful, but oh so costly work,  from Ellington to Easington, from Hartley to Hetton, and far beyond. Now, they do deserve to be called Investors, and wealth creators. Now, those same bankers, to be polite now, or the world in which they inhabit, mutters about our region sponging off them. Time for areas such as the North East, and South Wales,  to gan back to our holes - after all, our lot have never contributed anything, eh?

Apart from coal, ships, steel, engineering, inventions - maybe all that is forgotten and was worthless Or they divvent read History at Eton or Oxford.


It is hard to be light in this context. But a great story emerged, again, involving a former Durham mining community, involving a medal being brought back. This does not involve England winning the World Cup. No, not 1966, 1909 actually. The West Auckland miners, backed by their local community, blundered their way into the first official world footy tournament, and bloody won, against Juventus representing Italy. PlayersInc covered a piece I wrote - thanks, Steve and you lot - on the replay which took place a couple of years ago. And , aye, the spirit of the forefathers of old West Auckland did their best again. They lost that one, but they certainly held their heads high on that re-run to mark the centenary. Together, and united.


It is worth a quotation here. I want to quote somebody in the context of all the above on what I regard as a pretty dark day. And I am not propagating a political message. I belong to nee Party, but like many of us, I share the values expressed below.



" The socialism I believe in is not really politics. It is a way of living. It is humanity. ....the only way to live and to be truly successful is by collective effort, with everyone working for each other, everyone helping each other, and everyone having a share of the rewards at the end of the day." Bill Shankly - 1913-81, footballer and manager of Liverpool FC.


As for collective effort , and helping each other, Bill? Well, all I can say, and this is not an advert, is that PlayersInc are doing precisely that, for 5 charities, when they replay NUFC v Liverpool at Kingston Park. He would have liked that.


                              tarah            Bry


ps                   think positively on one thing. Those Welsh families and friends will certainly help each other after today. That is for sure in the tradition of South Wales, and the North East.

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