The Swarm Volume 1

If you tolerate this, your children will be next ...

IF YOU TOLERATE THIS, your children will be next. Over 15 years the Tories set about destroying the Trade Unions, and with them went the last vestiges of mass working-class protest along with tired old traditions such as ‘job security’. Hence, 500 Liverpool dockers were sacked with impunity in September 1995, receiving little support from the crippled union movement and sickeningly, none from the New Labour government. But they fought on, with help and support from those few quarters that still cared.

So here’s the obligatory benefit album, (from the recently ‘downsized’ Creation Records) featuring the hierarchy of the most politically apathetic pop generation since it all began. Oasis, Primal Scream, The Chemical Brothers and Ocean Colour Scene stand shoulder to shoulder with old-time campaigners Paul Weller, Billy Bragg and Chumbawamba plus a smattering of Liverpool acts to whom the dockers’ dispute is more than just another distant rumble. It’s the latter who provide the musical highlights, notably Cast and The Boo Radleys whose awesome ‘Lazarus’ serves as a reminder of what they are capable of.

Elsewhere there are a few surprises: it’s sometimes disappointing that the heroic defiance of the dockers themselves is rarely matched by the contributors. Their altruistic intentions shouldn’t be doubted though and the inclusion of so many big names should ensure the campaign coffers are suitably swelled.

In the end, though, good intentions are not enough. The law needs changing to protect all workers, from dockers to record company employees. Next time it could be you.