The Redskins – Unionise

by Simon

One of the scariest things about 2010 was the fact that this song, a Redskins B-Side from 1983 was more relevant than ever. Musically a mix of The Clash, Dexys, The Jam and The Beat at the carnival, it’s lyrical content is one of the most direct and powerful political statements I know that anybody has set to music. And I repeat, it’s as relevant as it ever was. You may complain every time there is a strike on the trains or the planes, but organising a workforce is the only real strength the workers have. This comes from the times when the unions were under direct attack from the government. It’s no surprise that the current bluebloods have talked about banning unions again.

The Redskins – Unionize

“The first thing that needs to be said is hate’s all very well
But hatred must be organised if dreams are to be realised
And anger is no substitute for diciplined rebellion
To unionise is to organise

Unionise!
Fight back!
Unionise!
Stop! Strike!
Unionise!

Well all this talk of fighting back is talk to be ignored
If we don’t know where our power lies and utilize the tools we’ve got
The bosses have the money and the workers have no rights
But our muscle is our labour and we flex it when we go on strike

Unionise!
Fight back!
Unionise!
Stop! Strike!
Unionise!

We can talk of riots and petrol bombs and revolutions all day long
But if we fail to organise we’ll waste our lives on protest songs
A life worth living is waiting to be won, sure
The day the bosses fall, the day the dream has come
But stop romanticising hollow talk is just a curse
The revolution won’t appear, we all have to build for it first

Unionise!
Fight back!
Unionise!
Stop! Strike!
Unionise!”

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