Sent to the blog yesterday by the excellent [Godfrey Oakparkrunner], I here present the flyer for the sculpture unveiling binge set to take place in the Wood in a couple of weeks. My views on this hideous waste of regeneration funding haven’t changed in the slightest since I wrote about it back in May 2009. For a sum of cash that could have been used for something constructive – £45,000 I believe – we’ll get a new climbing frame for the yoots and a target for tatters in the High Street. This hideously contrived, cliched gesture will not create a single job, nor will it improve the lot of pensioners or the deprived in the area. Instead, we get yet another trite mining memorial, just like the many other mining memorials scattered round the towns of the area, proposed, propagated and brought to the community by those that championed the demise of the coal industry in the UK, and who would surely have crossed the road to avoid contact with those they claim to be commemorating. All this while their council takes a hatchet to social services, charities and those working with the kind of deprivation they claim to be remembering with this fatuous gesture.
The miners were proud, hard, strong, and above all brave people who built the wealth of this area through loss of their lives, poor education and ill health.We owe the ones that remain – many suffering breathing conditions, terminal illness and other industrial disease – more than empty gestures. We owe them loving care and the best support we can give them, not the superficial respect and crocodile tears we’re self-indulgently engaging in here.