The Shipbuilders` Strike
Sir Albert Pringle
In my opinion, this strike is a complete waste of time � of my time and the shipbuilders` time. No worker will be made redundant. Some dockyards, about five or six, will close, because as a nation we do not have enough orders to keep them working. This industry must make a profit to survive. Men at dockyards which close will be offered jobs at other yards. I want this strike to end as soon as possible. I have asked Mr Arkwright to sit down and talk, but he refuses. He is trying to make this strike political, not industrial, and there is real risk of shipbuilders losing their jobs if this strike goes on much longer. We are losing all our orders to foreign competitors.
We are on strike because shipbuilders` jobs are in danger. Sir Albert Pringle wants to make 750 men redundant by closing ten dockyards. We can still make the best ships in the world, but this management is trying to get rid of all the workers, and soon there will be no shipbuilders left in the country. We are trying to save not just jobs but communities � towns and cities that have always depended on shipbuilding for a living. Now, I want this strike to end as soon as possible. I have invited Sir Albert Pringle to sit down and talk, but he refuses. This is not just an industrial strike. It is political, because we are fighting for the right of the working man to have a job and live in his own place of birth. My men are prepared to stay out on strike as long as it is necessary to save this industry.
The car accident
A policeman is giving evidence in court.
PC Jones I asked Mr Walter where he was going, and he told me he was looking for a hotel.
Solicitor But there aren`t any hotels around there.
PC Jones That`s right. Then I asked him if he knew the area, but he said he didn`t.
Soliciter I see.
A divorce lawyer
I = Interviewer
S = Jane Simpson
I Mrs Simpson, could you tell me who most often starts divorce proceedings, the man or the woman?
S The woman.
I And what is the most common reason for divorce?
S Well, the legal reason most commonly stated in the courts is adultery, but this is a symptom, really, rather than the real reason. I think there are two real reasons. One, the couple have grown apart with time, and two, either the husband or wife has found the courage eventually to bring to in end an intolerable situation. More specifically, the woman`s reasons are that she doesn`t have to put up with it any longer, and she has grown up, become more mature, as it were and is perhaps making an important decision for herself for the first time in her life. The man`s reasons are that he is growing away, perhaps because of business, and his wife who`s left at home doesn`t come with him either physically on business trips, but more important, doesn`t develop with him spiritually.
I You said that adultery is often the symptom of divorce, not the cause. Could you say a little more about that, do you think?
S Yes. Adultery is not often the reason why a marriage breaks down. It`s really an event that brings out the reasons why a marriage has already broken down. Adultery, you see, is a tangible fact. Many of us find it difficult to know our true feelings, our emotions, and it can be even more difficult to talk about them. Well, adultery is something you can actually point at, and say `That`s why`.
I I see.
S People by nature are conservative. We`re afraid of change, we`re afraid of the unknown, and so people put up with the most intolerable circumstances for years before coming to the decision.
I Oh. After all your years of experience in the more unpleasant side of marriage, what`s your opinion of it?
S Well, I`m in favour of it. I think there are many good marriages. They do work, but they need a lot of work to keep them going. I think this is something unfortunately that most people just don`t realize. Marriages need effort to be invested in them, just as for instance flowers need water and attention, or they die. I must say, I think it`s better to end a relationship that doesn`t work, rather than stay together in misery for year after year.
S So my advice to divorcees is `Think long and hard about what went wrong with that marriage, and so avoid making the same mistake twice.` Too many people rush into another marriage too quickly, and for example a woman who thinks she needs a dominating man but then hates being dominated will marry another dominating man, and of course it all happens all over again.
I Mmm yes, do you think divorce should be made easier or more difficult, or in your opinion is the situation acceptable as it is?
S Yes, it`s OK. I personally think the grounds for divorce should be simplified. I think the only reason required for divorce should be one year`s separation. At the moment, as you probably know, the fundamental reason is `irretrievable breakdown`, and a number of signs that might prove that. But what actually happens is that a couple knows their marriage is over, and has to find one of the accepted labels to explain it. So the present system is a bit dishonest you might say.
I And is it true that children are the ones who suffer most?
S Oh yes, they suffer more than we care to realize. Parents need to talk honestly to the children, preferably together.
I Do you think then that having children is a reason for staying together?
S No, not if the parents can`t behave in an adult way. Children are a very good reason for working harder at a marriage, however, and so stopping a bad situation starting in the first place. But if the atmosphere is already tense, there will be a lot of relief when the parents divorce.
I Uhm, tell me how you find your job? Doesn`t it depress you sometimes, that you`re dealing with couples who perhaps hate each other, or who`ve lied and hurt other people, and are now perhaps fighting selfishly to get the most for themselves?
S Oh yes, sometimes I`ll think `Why can`t you sort out your own problems?` about a particular client. `Be honest with yourself and the others in your life, that`s all you`ve got to do.` But of course that`s something we find very difficult. What I wish most is that they would realize just how well-off they were, and I don`t mean money by the way. But when I have the client in front of me, well, I just have a job to do, and I must do it to the best of my abilities.
I Thank you very much, Mrs. Simpson.