Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Dignity Of Labour

Thinking about my dad and his union exploits I'm reminded of one of his sayings which has been more than apt for me this year.

"Give us the tools and we'll do the job."

It can be said when you've got the right tools and you're whistling away as you work.

Or it can be said pleadingly, i.e. "Please give me the right tools or I'm going to go stark raving bonkers!"

Whichever way it's said it's so much more human than the saying "A bad workman always blames his tools."


  1. I prefer.. " A good workman always sub contracts out to a skivvie, then charges twice the price and pockets the cash."

  2. That's good because quite often people say I'm a tool.

  3. Jimmy - That applies to most businesses.

    Kaz - But how would you like it if your tool wasn't up to the job?

    Boz - But are you the sharpest tool in the box? I know I'm blunted by age.

  4. It was Winston Churchill who coined that phrase at the height of the war.
    Tony Blair copied it at the height of his Iraq War "Give me the Tools and I'll give them a Job - In my Tool Cabinet".

  5. If memory serves me correctly I believe the old man said something like..

    "Oh, Lord.
    You're so BIG.
    So awfully huge.
    We're all really impressed down here, I can tell you.
    Give us our daily tools
    And lead us not into union certification,
    but deliver us from that evil.
    We shall neither fail nor falter, we shall not weaken or change our attire,
    we shall fight unions in the fields and in the streets,
    we shall fight them on Parliament Hill,
    whatever the cost may be,
    we shall never surrender.
    For mine is THE kingdom,
    and the power,
    and the glory,
    for ever and ever etcetera etcetera,

    Best Regards,

  6. Murph - God, was it Churchill? It all makes sense now. All those times my dad said "You've never had it so good" when handing me my pocket money. And when he used to shout out "I have in my hand a piece of paper" when he was on the bog.

    Lord Tennisanyone - No wonder he had the black dog (not you, Murph). Churchill was truly the greatest ever Englishman.

  7. Indeed!
    There is nothing like a good hammering and poisonous gas to illuminate your disdain for the great unwashed.
    Here Here!

  8. You'd still be at home in the second chamber, m'lord.

  9. Murph is funny.

    I like that, and will quote it next time I see the 100th headline screaming about CHILDREN LEAVING SCHOOL UNABLE TO READ...

  10. One tool's just left Brown's cabinet.