A Raised Fist & A Helping Hand

Jamie Bramwell – WSO Interview #18

jamie“We must unite in solidarity to build a society for all not the few, the WSO can and will be that movement that can fight back collectively.”

Jamie Bramwell is a musician, union and labour party activist and one of the original instigators of We Shall Overcome. He tells how it all got started.

How did this all come about?

The morning after the election I don’t recollect feeling as low as I did then. I was out for nearly 24 hrs trying to keep the Tories out, the adrenalin and come down was immense from being so high to so low in a short space of time. It did not feel good but then Stephen Goodall called me and said I have a plan to which I bolted upright and jumped up with excitement. I see it as half time like Liverpool in Istanbul 3-0 down and the WSO members are singing together, united together to defeat this Tory Government and to end the cruelty they bestow on the poorest in society. We must unite in solidarity to build a society for all not the few, the WSO can and will be that movement that can fight back collectively, a movement I’m proud to be a part of.

What’s your political background?

I used to read the Daily Star now I read the Morning Star. I was awoken in 2010 at the age of 34 as a first time delegate to my union UCATT’s national conference. Awoken by workers who didn’t just go to work to look after number one but to stand up and look out for each other against the injustices of workplace practices by the bosses.

I was unfortunately mislead through my working years and my opinions on life where the misguided opinions imposed by right wing press/media that had me lost down the road that so many of the British public have gone down. Thankfully I was rescued by UCATT and The Morning Star, through education and guidance I’m now alive and have been able to use platforms such as the National TUC conference Bournemouth 2013 and Labour Party Conference Manchester 2014 to speak up for workers who have been blacklisted and for the release of the Shrewsbury Picket files. I will be a delegate in September at Labour Party Conference in Brighton where I will proudly wear my WSO T-Shirt and speak to as many anti-austerity people as possible – NO MORE AUSTERITY

What makes you hopeful?

Working class inspirations like the WSO make me feel hopeful. Throughout history we have changed only by uniting people as a movement of working class people, we must take inspiration from history like the Chartists, the suffragettes and as recently as the movement against the Poll tax because only when you stand together and fight together will we win together.KEEP THEM T-SHIRTS, FLIERS and BANNERS FLYING AT FESTIVALS

What are you looking forward to about October 2-4?

Besides the vast amounts of events, food raised, charity money raised and knowing that this simple idea by Stevie Goodall has exploded phenomenally then I’m looking forward to playing again. Since becoming politically active within the trade union movement I have not played as much guitar/mandolin or written as much as I should and it feels like I’ve let myself down musically but you can’t be everywhere all the time, the clock stops for no-one !
The band I played in COALHOUSE are getting back together for the event and who knows perhaps longer, but we will also be putting together by request of Stevie Goodall The Last Bastions Of Morality one of his fathers favourite bands to perform some really old tunes and the Green Manelishi and dedicating them to a great friend and socialist and perhaps biologically in truth the creator of WSO – my friend Barry Goodall RIP


Author: Matt Hill Songwriter

Storytelling singer-songwriter and community artist who offers a British take on folk and Americana. Formerly known by the stage name Quiet Loner. Recent projects include a songwriting residency in a museum, an album co-written with people at a homeless project and a stint as a resident musician in a prison.

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