Thursday, 8 September 2016

At last a job for Yosser!

Older readers might be familiar with a certain Yosser Hughes, a character in the brilliant Alan Bleasedale drama Boys from the blackstuff. Set in early 80s liverpool the series depicted the terrible human cost of Thatcherism in industrial britain. As an unskilled labourer 'Yosser' soon found himself surplus to requirements in the local building trade and spent the entire 6 episodes of the series vainly searching for a job. And his desperate plea to prospective employers of 'gissa job' entered popular 80s vocabulary. I recall that in one memorable episode Yosser arrives on a building site and tries to pass himself off as a 'brickie' and proceeds to build probably the worst wall you will ever see.

But if poor old Yosser is still around things are looking up for him or indeed for anyone who can lay a brick because 'walls' - huge walls at that - are it seems de rigueur among the right wing political leaders. The Israel government started it when they erected a 280 mile long 26 feet high wall to keep those pesky palestinians from crossing into israel from the west bank. The fact that this would prevent thousands of palestinians from crossing into east jersusalem to work, visit relatives or receive vital healthcare - something they had been doing for decades - not seeming to bother successive israeli government's one iota. Just as Israel ignored the International Court's verdict that the structure constitued an 'apartheid wall'. So there you have it if you though the brutal and racist system of apartheid had disappeared 1990s South Africa you'd be wrong - because it apartheid it seems is alive and well courtesy of the Israeli government.

The next wall enthusiast came in the shape of the republican candidate for the US presidency Donald Trump. The neo fascist trump has a pathological obsession with people entering america - well he does if they're muslims or mexicans. So to stop mexicans getting into america he has vowed if elected president to build a 'beautiful wall' going the length of the US Mexican border - nearly 2,000 miles. And Trump has gone one further than the israeli's in saying he'll get the mexican government to pay for it. How exactly he'll achieve that he hasnt said but given his worship of all things military - tho like most white rich kids in the states he dodged the draft himself - presumably he'll threaten to bomb mexico 'back to the stone age' if they dont pay up.

And this week Theresa May's increasingly right wing government has announced plans to  build a wall to replace the 'calais camp' which houses thousands of refugees waiting to enter britain. And in some senses the tories would be outdoing both the israeli's and trump in that they'd actually be building a wall in another country!

So if you see Yosser and he still needs a job tell him that - so long as he doesnt mind travelling - it looks like there'll be plenty of job opportunities for would be brickies coming up!.

PS worth noting that nearly 2000 years ago the Roman Emperor Hadrian built a wall to keep the 'marauding scots out' - which shows just how far some of our modern day political leaders have come in 2000 years.  

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