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In 1936, a group of 200 men took to the road on a cold October morning in England's north. Their goal? To walk to London, over 300 miles ( about 500km ) from their dying home in Jarrow. It was not a journey for the faint of heart or the meek of mind. It was a march for their right to work. Their right to feed their families.  Thousands volunteered, but only 200 were chosen.  Their job? To represent the people to the government that apparently represented them. 

The British government had decided to close the shipyard and steelworks. 

It was the act of defiant men in great need. 

Yet, only 3 years later, shipyards and steelworks were once again in great demand due to the outbreak of World War II. The government had not acknowledged it was coming. They, in short, stuffed up. 

Despite Hitler having taken power in Germany, the world economy still reeling from the fallout from the Stock Market crash in 1929, despite the Great Depression, in spite of all of this, the government decided to shut down an industry that gave men employment, dignity, and the ability to take pride in their work.  And, an industry that would eventually save the country. So much for government wisdom. 

“During the last 15 years Jarrow has passed through a period of industrial depression without parallel in the town’s history. Its shipyard is closed. Its steelworks have been denied the right to reopen. Where formerly 8,000 people, many of them skilled workers, were employed, only 100 men are now employed on a temporary scheme. The town cannot be left derelict.”

The Jarrow Crusade – Speech by Ellen Wilkinson, MP for Jarrow, in the House of Commons on malnutrition, 1936.

 

And so it was that the chosen few of only 200 unemployed men from Jarrow ( from the thousands)  in South Tyneside began to march to Parliament in what is known as the Jarrow March or Jarrow Crusade. 

Remember this: all the men volunteered but only 200 were allowed to march.  

I cannot begin to imagine how they felt as they left on that long road to parliament in London. Did they feel expectation, hope or excitement? Or were they simply men in desperation? Trying to preserve what little was left to them by a government that seemed to have abandoned them? " The northern people of the Jarrow march were of strong character with steely determination," said one commenter. 

Indeed they were. 

Steel was in their blood.

What did they achieve? Well, Jarrow did eventually see some new industry opening.

A ship-breaking yard and engineering works established in 1938.The industry of destroying their past, their present and their future. 

Here is a song, long forgotten and rarely heard anywhere these days. It was about the breaking down of the ships and the lament of those that were forced to participate in the destruction of all that they held dear.

 

 

The song, " Goodbye Old Ship of Mine "  was written in 1935 during the Great Depression when ships were being broken down for their steel and parts. Jarrow is in County Durham. This was not only about the loss of the ship , the Mary Ann, but more importantly about the loss of their jobs and their livelihoods. It is still apparently regarded as the song of the people of Jarrow and there are very few recordings of the song.

Words by Rod Arden

The Jarrow March was also known as the Hunger March.

Today, as the Governments around the world close down coal mines, oil pipelines and people's ability to earn a living, I cannot help but wonder why we have hundreds of thousands globally being cast out of work while our governments invite millions in to feed off the taxpayer's hard work. 

Thousands came out to welcome the Jarrow marchers. Today? The crowd would be arrested, fired with rubber bullets or pepper spray.  

Yet the crowds still gather. All over the world. 

Crowds awaiting the Jarrow marchers

Australia is being bled of jobs as are other nations around the world. This time around, will it take hunger marches to change things? Or will it, like Jarrow, mean nothing?

We, like many countries around the world, are being fed sugary syrup words that, on face value, seem sincere. But when viewed through the lens of reality, we are being spoon-fed lies, deception and downright hypocrisy.

In short, our politicians are dismantling our shipbuilding, our steel works, our coal mines, our ability to feed ourselves so that we have no alternative but to feed off the government teat.  

 

 

 Something seems wrong here. 

I fear that we will see more hunger marches from unemployed and deserted citizens who head down roads and will be cheered on by the mocking glances of the newly imported " refugees " who will be occupying their homes and taking their money and laughing as the poor disenfranchised workers march by.

Or will we be too cowered and too legislated against  -  that we will never march again? Arrested before we ever leave home because " COVID " has stifled our ability to speak, hear and see anything that does not fit the political narrative?

In America, the Keystone pipeline was shut down; the border wall at the Mexican border was abandoned; the borders flung open and in Australia, we are a shadow of the country we once were. 

It is Open borders for migrants. Open borders for " anything goes " when it comes to sexual depravity, abortion and indigenous rights. Yet the people who built the nation are, like the good ship Mary Ann, being sent off to the scrap heap to be recycled. 

In order to make way for the New World Order. 

We, who, if we are not " vaccinated " will never cross the sea again. Vaccination passports. 

Yet I will leave you with this thought: all of us who are proudly Australian or American came from the brave people who walked the roads less travelled and dared to cross the seas on ships like the Mary Ann. Our blood flows with the DNA from people who had the courage to say " No " to the old and strived to create a " New. " 

Is it time to march again?

Or are we merely lamenting the passing of what was and what will be lost, like the people of Jarrow, to a march to a government that no longer cares because it can do whatever it wants?

Is it time for defiant men to act in our time of great need? 

Or, has that time already passed? 

Can we get the monkey off our back? The monkey of forced immigration to overpower our national identity?

 

 

 

  Give up? Not bloody likely. 

 

 

 

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