New Internationalist

Bank strike!

Never thought I’d live to see the day when Masters of the Universe went on strike.

Now they’ve been out since 9 August 2007 - longer than the British miners! Shouldn’t they be charged with something? And I thought secondary picketing was illegal.

Mind you, if they’d paid the miners what we’re paying the Masters of the Universe to stay out, the miners would have been mad to go back to work just to close down the pits.

I guess you must expect anything from Masters of the Universe. After all, they expect to get their way, come what may. Told governments to get out of it until a few months ago. Then grabbed public funds as if nothing could be more natural.

The enemy within, I reckon. Where’s the army when you really need it?

Which reminds me, I’m still a corporal in the Uruguayan Cavalry. Militarized during a bank strike there in 1969, I was - charged with desertion if I didn’t go back to work. Never demobilized.

Ah, Uruguay! Lovely little place. The Switzerland of Latin America. Hundreds of banks laundering gold from the Amazon, fiddling foreign exchange, that sort of thing. Kept half the country in the most boring work in the world, at least some of the time.

Rather like Britain exactly 40 years on, now I come to think of it.

Trouble was, Uruguayan bank clerks turned out to be subversives, part-time novelists and the like.

Before too long the whole damn shooting match was militarized. Set about torturing people with tips they’d picked up from the American Embassy. Locked up the country and threw away the key.

Soon came to their senses, I can tell you! 

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About the author

David Ransom a New Internationalist contributor

David Ransom joined New Internationalist in 1989 and wrote on a range of issues, from green justice to the current financial crisis, before retiring in 2009. He was a close friend of Blair Peach, once worked as a banker in Uruguay and continued to contribute to New Internationalist as a freelancer until shortly before his death in February 2016. He lived on a barge on the waterways of England’s West Country.

His publications include License to Kill on the death of Blair Peach in 1979 and The No Nonsense Guide to Fair Trade. He also co-edited, with Vanessa Baird, People First Economics.

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