Keith Smoult and me returned to Parsons this morning and ended up having a blazing row with a union official. We returned as we’d been requested to , and reported to the union office. An official there told us to come back next week because today was the Centenary of the company being formed and the place was crawling with dignitaries. We had a bit of fraternal argument with the man and told him we had no intention of actually standing on Parsons site but wanted to collect outside the main gate. He was insistent that we leave so we agreed but were really pissed off about the waste of our time and money. We left him with some leaflets and a letter appealing for funds.
As we headed for the Metro station we met two SWP members, Bob Delbridge and Ian? who had buckets and copies of the paper ready for the collection. They were also pissed off when we told them what had happened because they’d also made a special effort to come along. After a short discussion we decided to start a bucket collection outside of the gates.
We were doing well until a suit and tie official turned up and started calling us liars and communists, accusing us of not being miners at all but collecting for the SWP! He really wound me up and I angrily showed him my letter of authorisation and tried to explain why we’d started collecting. He yelled at me and threatened to get the police so we reluctantly decided to cut our losses and leave. We had collected £14.65. Here was yet another example of how some union officials are rubbish and care more about their bosses than their members!