England, My England: Ballard of a Windrush Workhorse

You were in charge as long as you were on your own. Once someone white came along, you became his or her assistant.

Whitechapel Road, 1965: All photos by David Granick/courtesy Tower Hamlets Local History & Archives Photograph: David Granick
On the corner of Greatorex Street at the heart of the clothing trade in the East End of London, 1965. Credit: David Granick / Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives.
Aldgate East station in the 1960s. Credit: David Granick / Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives.
Aldgate East station in the 1960s. Credit: David Granick / Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives.
Aldgate East station in the 1960s. On the left is Gardiners department store, once a stalwart of the London shopping scene. Credit: David Granick / Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives. — The Guardian
British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, after winning election in 1979.
The Brixton Riots, April 10th 1981. Credit: David Hoffman Photo Library / Alamy.
The Brixton Riots, April 10th 1981. Credit: David Hoffman Photo Library / Alamy.
Mass UK unemployment and increasing tension between police and predominantly black youths in Brixton erupt into ‘The Brixton Riots’ on April 10th 1981. Credit: David Hoffman Photo Library / Alamy.

“A country’s duty is to its citizens and vice versa. A country’s leaders collect taxes from the rich to run services on behalf of its entire people. Taxes are not a new thing. Joseph was on his way to pay his taxes when Mary gave birth to Jesus. Maybe there is a moral and irony in that for everyone. How can people who live and make their money in a country expect their taxes to be used only in the areas in which they live?

It doesn’t work that way at all. Joseph was on his way to Bethlehem to pay his taxes. He did not live there. He had to travel a long way to get there. It is obvious, therefore, that even back then; all taxes were collected at some central head office and distributed according to the needs of the various communities. Not just for the benefit and concerns of the rich folks and the areas in which they live.”

She had represented herself in court. This kind of feisty talk did not get a claimant far or endear them to the panel. It was well beyond the jurisdiction of this employment tribunal to look into such matters and far beyond the interests of the imminent and well-appointed lawyers, barristers and judges representing her former employer.

Writer/editor and marketing pro. World Traveller. Shower Crooner. Free Spirit.

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