Friday, 1 July 2011

March ends up in the cells

The Baltic Fleet
Yesterday was the day of the public sector strikes, and I went to Liverpool to join the march there.  I'd guess that there were a couple of thousand there from various unions, including some not officially involved in the strike, with loads of placards and banners.  Even the weather was on our side.  For some reason, the council at short notice decided to move us from the front of St George's Hall, which they'd previously agreed, to the rear; no idea why, but it added an extra half mile to the route, meaning more traffic disruption and more people seeing us.  The police, who had to move people from the well-publicised meeting point, were irritated, not with us but with the owner of the land, as they put it, meaning the council.  Own goal there, I think, Liverpool council!

Outside the Crown in Lime Street a group of drinkers having a smoke began singing "David Cameron is a wanker".  A marcher from the FBU was chatting up a young police woman, and I heard another police woman saying to a veteran marcher, "I suppose we're a bit like civil servants too", and he replied, "Yes, you are".  Horns were blown in support by buses, cars, lorries and one road sweeping vehicle, and groups on the pavements clapped and waved as we went by.  The irate, alienated public our leaders warned us of were nowhere to be seen.

The Main Bridewell, when
it was, er, a bridewell.
 The march ended up with a rally in the Blackie in Chinatown.  With the rally over, the important decision was, "Which pub do we go to?"  On the basis that the pubs on the way back into the town centre would be heaving, we set out for the dock road and the Baltic Fleet, Liverpool's only brewpub.  I tried three Baltic Fleet beers, beginning with Wit, a wheat beer.  This left a very bitter after taste, so I went on to the Summer Ale, a light golden ale, about 4.2%, which I think most of the others were drinking, apart from a couple of lager drinkers in our group.  I also had a pint of the Hale Rock (4.5%), not bad but I went back on the Summer Ale.

From there we went to the Bridewell in Campbell Square, a pub converted from the old lock up, and you can drink in the former cells.  There beers were from the Liverpool One Brewery (which is actually situated in Liverpool 3), and I had two light beers, Three Graces and Liverpool Light; I had two of the latter, so I must have preferred that one.

We finished in the Globe, a pub I've written about before, but the range, unusually, had only obvious beers; we settled on Bombardier.  Leaving for last buses and trains, we were accosted by a drunk who told us we shouldn't have gone on strike, what about the poor kids?  It turned out he thought we were teachers.  I asked, "What about the poor kids who lost a days schooling for the royal wedding?"  But that was all right, apparently.  The argument went from bad to worse when I discovered he hadn't a clue what the strikes had been about. 

Anyway, that was the only sour note; it was a great day, both for the march and the drinks afterwards with good friends in my favourite city.


  1. Glad it went well. The next one day strike is projected for October. This time, we really will be striking together.

  2. That'll be good. The media has tried to exaggerate differences of opinion among unions to create the impression of splits, but the differences were of tactics, not principle. Once the remaining unions are prepared to acknowledge openly that the current talks are no more than a sham for publicity purposes, there'll be more co-ordination.


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