Solidarity is launching an 'I'm backing Britain' campaign. There was a campaign of the same name back in the dark days of 1967.At that time the balance of trade showed spiralling imports, the nation was massively in debt and Harold Wilson’s government devalued the pound. The 67 campaign was based on the idea that workers would give free labour to support the country. Five secretaries: Brenda Mumford, Joan Southwell, Valerie White, Carol Ann Fry and Christine French had coined the phrase and the idea soon gained establishment support and celebrity endorsement.
The unions, however, rightly had concerns. The concept of people working for nothing could be the thin end of the wedge, they argued.
They warned that the additional half hour on a weeks work would become the norm, and those refusing to labour unpaid would face discrimination. They objected to workers being made to sacrifice for the national interest while others didn't. Their analysis was right.
For a brief moment, however, there was a mood amongst workers in the country to come together in the national interest. As Bruce Forsyth said: “The country has always done its best when it is up against the wall.”
The campaign by Solidarity wants to encourage a similar sense of unity and purpose amongst British workers and consumers. We certainly don't want people to work for nothing but we do want them to use their consumer power to back Britain and British workers. At a time of political disunity and uncertainty British workers themselves need to take the lead and build our home market to safeguard British jobs.
Here are six easy things you as an individual can start to do today:
- When you are shopping make a special effort to seek out British food. Pause when you select your food from the supermarket aisle. Look at the label. Does it tell you where the food has come from? Does it provide a description of who produced it? And if it is imported, is there a British equivalent in-season? Try to eat food in season here too! It's better for you and the environment.
- Shop in local butchers, greengrocers, farm shops and markets that source locally and will be able to tell you a little about the person who produced the food you are purchasing.
- When next in the pub, team up a local beer with a local speciality for an authentic experience that reflects the character of the area where you live. Ask the pub staff to point you to local food on their menu.
- Explore food from different regions of Britain as a fun way of experiencing our culture and heritage.
- If a shop, restaurant or pub doesn't have a good selection of British products ask them if they will consider improving their range and consumer choice.
- Join in online by telling everyone about your favourite British Food, drink and other products on Facebook and Twitter and tagging it #BuyBritish