Chris Grayling Secretary of State for Justice meets Swindon MP’s

Today I was one of only two photographers allowed in to the Swindon Probation Service Office’s to photograph Chris Grayling Conservative Party Politician, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice meeting with Robert Buckland Conservative MP Swindon South and Justin Tomlinson Conservative MP Swindon North. It was really nice as well, all three were more than happy for me to direct them around and we had a laugh and a joke whilst doing it, they were really nice to work with.

I would like to say a big thank you to Robert Buckland for arranging and allowing me access to take the photos and along with Chris Grayling and Justin Tomlinson for making it a pleasure to do.
I also want to thank the Swindon Probation Service staff for making me feel very welcome.

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Raymond Dunn Swindon Hero or Villain

Raymond Dunn

Raymond Dunn

Well it depends where you come from.

This is not a new photograph. In fact I took it prob about 5 or 6 years ago. Why? Well I was just wandering around the graveyard of The Christ Church on Cricklade Rd Swindon and came across this headstone. It really interested me as do a lot of Military grave stones. So I did a little bit of research.
Private Raymond Dunn was in 2 Para and was 20 years old when he died on the 27th August 1979. He was one of the 18 Soldiers killed at the Warren Point Massacre, a guerilla assault by the Provisional IRA South Armagh Brigade.
Raymond Dunn died in a Military Conflict, like modern day conflicts, did he want to be there?, did he understand why he was there? did he die believing in a cause or because he was just unlucky to have been sent there? Was he part of an occupying force that should never have been there?
Hero or Villain, you have to decide.

Sunday Project – No More

Well no photo of Sunday anymore. Why? I have been carrying out quite a bit of research and despite it being only the 4th Sunday of the year I have decided to bin it because it is not providing any benefit to me or anybody else. Stats are showing very few hits on those posts and to be honest I can understand why. There is no theme and is therefore completely random and unless I am on another assignment then I am just taking an image just for the sake of it with very little thought behind it. With very little information around the photo, why it was taken etc then why would anybody actually be interested in reading it.

What I should be doing more of is explaining things and why I do them, how I do them etc.

So as a start, I did a small photo shoot this morning. It was only mug shots for the person to send off as part of his profile as part of a competition. It was carried out in a gym, (in the squash court to be precise) where lighting is just awful. And short of getting the flash and umbrellas out it was a case of the ISO at 3200 and hope for the best. I just did not feel happy with the results which prob will suffice for what it was for but I just did not feel satisfied. Which at the end of the day is what it is all about for me. I have to feel emotionally involved in what I am doing and I didnt. Is that true of all professional photographers? I dont want to just earn money and not feel as though I have not done a good job.

So this blog is going to go back to the Swindon News/Photojournalism and I am not going to try to combine other things with it.

Likewise I am going to re-design my website to provide a better experience, better show case for my better images from both the UK and Spain and try to make it more interesting.

Swindon GMB supporting Protest March at Bristol against NHS Cuts

Along with several hundred others, members of Swindon GMB took part in the protest march through the centre of Bristol on saturday.

GMB, BDA, BMA, British Association of Occupational Therapists, CSP, FCS, HCSA, RCM, The Society of Radiographers, UNISON and Unite join forces against the cartel at the ‘We are One NHS’ march and rally

GMB members alongside members of the other NHS unions and public service supporters joined forces in Bristol at the march and rally to show their support for the NHS and their opposition to the South West NHS Pay, Terms and Conditions Consortium.

At the rally they called upon the 19 Trusts in the South West ‘Pay Cartel’ to withdraw from the cartel. The Trust numbers reduced recently from 20 to 19, after Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals Trust pulled out of the cartel.

They are trying to save and safeguard the future of the NHS for the likes of me and you. Those of us who need it the most and cannot afford private health.

Swindon – Flowers at a Tree but who for ???? A Mystery

Flowers against a tree

Flowers against a tree

Well this post isnt news, more of a question really.

This afternoon I was walking around looking for ‘people’ shots as this week I am the ‘PeopleofSwindon‘ tweeter and was looking for people of Swindon to photograph. As I was walking through Lawn Woods I noticed this withered bunch of flowers leant against the base of a knarled old tree. No message or anything, just the flowers.

Who are they for? what happened there? why that spot?

I have lived very very close to the Lawn Woods for 12 years and I have no idea.

Does anybody out there know what the story is?

Pete

Swindon Hospital Carillion Workers meeting in the House of Commons

On the evening of Tuesday 20th November a meeting was held in The House of Commons in London for the Swindon Hospital Carillion workers and a number of MP’s, GMB Union officials and other important speakers who were offering their support to the hospital workers. Amongst the speakers and audience were Michael Meacher MP, Lord Whitty, Katy Clark MP, Pragna Patel from Southall Black Sisters, Wilf Sullivan from the TUC, Dave Smith ex Carillion and blacklisted worker, Kamaljeet Jantu, Lawyer Shah Qureshi and many GMB officials.
The MP’s were visibly shocked when the Lawyer was reading out just a few of the allegations against the Carillion management.
All at the meeting considered it to be a success and a lot of support was offered in helping and moving the dispute forward.

For me as somebody there purely to take images of the events I found it fascinating not least because it was the first time in my life I had ever been inside the House of Commons and Houses of Parliament. If you have the chance go take a visit.

Swindon Carillion GWH workers protest in London at Royal London Hospital

On Tuesday 20th Nov a small number of Swindon’s Great Western Hospital Carillion workers held a protest outside the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel East London, where Carillion also have the contract to run the hospital. The mainly Goan workers are in a long running dispute with the Management of Carillion with the support of the GMB Union where it is alleged that the management have been involved in fraud, bullying, harassment and racism.
As a photojournalist I am there to simply record what is happening but I do feel it is important to just say that these people who are involved with the dispute are not just whinging and complaining about wanting more money, no,all they want is to be treated equally with the other ‘white’ workers at the hospital. Also that the cases of alleged fraud, bribery etc are being investigated by the police and lawyers and has now been taken up by a number of MP’s (see next post).

What do you think ????

Swindon and Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Election

I voted in the Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner election this morning. I was the only person there apart from the moderators who were drinking tea and eating bisquits. It is predicted that there will be a very low turn out probably less than 15% for the election.

Will it make any difference? Does it bother you? are you interested? will it affect you?