I was once Camden Ambulance Station Shop Steward and now I am President of UNISON.
I am the first ambulance worker ever to hold this position.
On the day I was elected President (24th June 2016) the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron resigned, stock markets around the world tumbled and the Labour Party went into meltdown!
Now I’m not saying my election had anything to do with all this, but…….cue dramatic, mysterious music (da da daa)!
I am proud to be an ambulance worker, I am proud to work within the National Health Service, I am proud to belong to UNISON, I am proud to be a member of LAS UNISON and I am proud to be an employee of the London Ambulance Service. A Service full of good people trying to do their best under difficult circumstances.
It has never been easy to work for the LAS. There has never been a ‘golden age’. Ambulance work is tough. It is tough now, and it was tough in the past. When people in mess rooms reminisce about ‘the good old days’ they forget to mention the bad bits. What’s the point in mentioning really (really) low pay, primitive equipment, carrying stretchers backwards up the ambulance steps, dangerous fogging out, DIY second hand car repairs, Margaret Thatcher, scoop and run, anti-women….
Anyway, the point is that the more we lose ourselves in the past, the more we forget the future. The more we forget the future, the more we let those who are ruining the present off the hook. The more we let them off the hook, the more chance that in the future we will be looking backwards for a golden age!
I’m dizzy now! I need a sit down!
When historians look back on 2016 they will know that Friday 24th June was a momentous day (El Presidente apart!).
Which ever way you voted (or didn’t) in the EU referendum, there is no doubt that UK working people shook the world on 24th June 2016. Whatever happens it will never be the same again. Political parties know it, politicians know it and Trade Unions know it.
The fall out and the squabbling will end. Life will go on.
We shouldn’t look back to what may have been, or was. We have a brave new future to win. Let’s grasp it, however difficult, and make today a real golden age.
Cue John Lennon and Imagine!
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