It was the end of an era for Corus today, the end of 150 years of producing the best steel in the world.
The final hours of a craft that was admired around the globe, in the days when the globe was coloured pink. Steel from the Redcar works had gone by boat to build the railways in India, the bridges in Persia, the sky scrapers in Hong Kong, the tanks that won freedom for us in Europe.
The men who had stoked the furnaces stood dumbfounded, barely able to comprehend the enormity of the workless future that lay ahead of them; men who had spent their spare time in the working clubs, fundraising, debating, encouraging their comrades to take up political positions, had supported the emerging Labour Party that had promised to protect the working man. Had returned a Labour candidate time after time with pride.
And today, today when it had all vanished in front of their eyes, where were those representatives? Where was Vera Baird MP for Redcar?
She didn’t show her face. Shame on you scarlet woman!
You would have been there quick enough if there had been any credit to be taken – but you didn’t have the grace to appear before those men, didn’t want to be associated with the shame of letting them down, not right before an election.
Do you really think they will forget?