Wednesday, 18 June 2008

The Strike

In these football obsessed times, it might be assumed that this will be another incursion in 4-4-2. But no. It's real social beef on this occasion.

I am a striker for industrial action courses through my veins. I am bonded with thousands of other audio visual workers protesting against brutal plans to demolish our public funded brotherhood.

Well one man's reconfiguration is another accountant's annual bonus. So who's to know the truth of these issues? But at the heart of all the unrest are plans to scale down the language services at Radio France International and pump the cash into the France 24 TV station.

Somewhere there must be a logic but if you are at one of the threatened language services, this doesn't make you entirely happy.

There was a part of me that did not want to take this kind of trip during a big sporting occasion like the Euro 2008. My conspiracy theory is that it was called for June 18 as it would mean no one would have to report on France's abject failure at Euro 2008.

Yes the French team went out in a blaze of collective incompetence that perhaps is a metaphor for the proposed reconstruction of the audio visual world. But that's me veering to 4-3-3 territory.

How often have I toyed with the macro/microcosm? How often have I found signs on the ground? How often have I been proved right?

Well, while walking the streets today with one of my brood, I bumped into Manu - the wife of one of my mates. She was on the way to the Conservatoire with one of her brood who takes guitar lessons there. Though in a hurry, we still had the chance to say don't see you for months and then twice in two days. I'm on strike you see. My how we chuckled.

And off she went as I stood at the street corner to decide between Le Sporting or L'Atmosphere. Where to take the mid morning coffee. These are the visceral dilemmas of this debutant striker.

I opted for Le Sporting as the sun was beating down onto the terrace at L'Atmosphere and being a family man I could not have the children glazed. The father might be being braised by cruel, soulless capitalist forces, but the bairns shall survive.

Then while eldest child was reading her library book I phoned a woman whom we'd all got to know while she, her husband and son were staying in Paris last year.

Actually her son had bitten the boy in the park.

"Rachel, you sound busy..."

"We're just leaving..."

"To go out?"

"No for the airport...."

I established that her flat was within yards of Le Sporting, so while husband went out to look for taxi, I caught up with her, saw her boy and when I was joined by the rest of my brood, up they all went for a quick tour of the new flat.

When hubby returned with a taxi, I helped with the loading of the suitcases. Toil, honest sweat - these are the core values of the striver.

The point of relating this interlude?

When we left Le Sporting we bumped into Manu - don't see you for months now three times in two days?

This time there was time to chat.

And what else is there to talk about other than the defeat?

Well I said at least France got to the last 16 before their non performance. England didn't have the capacity to be humiliated at the tournament.

Manu said it would be great if the Turks won.


"Well Sarkozy doesn't want them to join Europe....."

That lass is on another track of radical subversion. But then she is a doctor.

I'm not bound by the Hippocratic Oath so the rebel in me now wants the Turks to win.

The audio visual world may be on the verge of devastation but the boss of it all may yet be thwarted.

Even if it is only by irony.