Last night was the Last Night of the Proms and inSwindon put on the celebrations in Wharf Green followed by the screening of the Last Night of the Proms from London on the Big Screen. Despite the fact that it got a little bit chilly it was lovely and dry and people came out and packed out Wharf Green. Free Union Jack hats and flags were given out by inSwindon and everybody got into the mood and wore the hats and waved the flags. A nice night for all and a success for inSwindon and Kirsty Heber-Smith the event organiser.
It was a busy afternoon in London on Sunday.
Whitehall was a very busy place. Firstly I covered the service and laying of wreaths at the war memorial by riders from the Help For Heroes Charity bike ride from Paris to London.
Then I covered the protest by UK based Turkish and Kurdish protestors who were there to show solidarity with all the protesters out in Turkey who are protesting against the ruling AKP party.
Then I covered a protest by some UK based Venezuelans who were protesting against alleged rigged elections by the ruling government party.
Then I covered a Free Palestine protest mainly by Orthodox Jews and members of the Neturei Karda who were also protesting against Zionism and the mass rally that was taking place in Trafalgar Square to celebrate 65 years of the State of Israel.
It was a hot, busy and tiring but really good day for a photojournalist.
So, this is how Swindon marks a historic event. I for one am very disappointed in the fact that there was nowhere in the Town Centre to watch the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. Now this is absolutely nothing to do with any political leanings I may or may not hold, it is about an event in history and as you can see by these two photos taken shortly after ten o’ clock this morning. Which is when the funeral was taking place in London.
The Big Screen was not showing the news as it usually does and only had an advert on it for an art event that was not due to start till 11.30 so in my mind they could have shown the funeral on the big screen. Now those of you who follow my twitter will have noticed that I did question inSwindon about it and there only response (both on Twitter and by phone) was oh it wasnt planned to show it!!!!!
I also took the time to talk to several people in Wharf Green and they like me would like to have watched the funeral on the Big Screen and were as equally disappointed as I am.
As someone who likes and supports Swindon I just feel a little let down by the town on this occasion.
What do other people think?????
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.
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.
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 ????
This man is getting a head start on Movember. Are you growing a mo for movember? Can you?
Lets see all those half grown mo’s around Swindon.
Some of Swindons Trades Union Officials and supporters including some for the GWH joined in the TUC OCT20 Anti Cuts Protest in London along with an estimated 150,000 others.