This May Day long weekend, those who are supposed to have an 8 hour working day, 8 hour of recreation and 8 hr of rest in a day, are celebrating what the working class are supposed to do, to celebrate as if it is a classless society out there.
The first of May is Labour Day . Workers day as it is known in Communists and Socialist Countries. My Canadian and American friends have been asking me: why are non-communist nations celebrating some day started by the Bolsheviks. Wasn't it the Bolsheviks? I dont know really. But you have Martin Luther King Day, haven't you? We were badly treated workers not exploited slaves.
We have been told that it is a day of appreciation for workers that make the world go round, that ensure all machines turn, the soils are tilled, the bosses can be bosses. A day for the working class.
Workers of the world Unite, that is the kind of slogan I saw on banners being paraded along Oxford Street during Mayday rally. Yeah, it is a day where unionist rally for support to ensure they remain relevant. I guess those in the Commonwealth were influenced by the Labourites. In the Seventies in England, the union leaders were Big names.
At a time when, even Tony Blair is considering to sever the ties with the Trade Union, the historical significance of May day is diminishing. People forget how workers have been exploited during the industrial revolution. It was not until after the world war that the first labour government was formed after years of struggle. Now the Blair version of New Labour are more Thatcherities. Where are the Jeremy Bentham and the MichaelFoots?
Now it is a weekend with the family, a weekend at the malls, a weekend of adventure imagining that we are not workers.
My company took the opportunity of the long weekend to have a team outing. We organized a camping outing at Taman Negara, the National Park. For me it was a weekend of discovery to see citysleekers trying to rough it out and survive in the wild. THe old cock in me took it as a responsibility to teach them some old tricks, some basic survival skill, descipline and environmental hygiene. WE were not bad, but the others gave me the impression as if it is a Theme Park, dressed for Bintang walk, and some look it as a parade to show off the big bikes like they do at Hard Rock Cafes of the world.
So what? It is workers day. I can do what I like. I guess that was what in their mind. The elitists would say you cannot manage a national park by pop-democracy attracting maggie-mee tourists. I tend to agree.
Read more about the 'monkeys', the mat motor, eco tourists a la 'JInjang', the plunderer and the disposable indisposed visitors to the National Theme Park, the people I met during the weekend in my forthcoming jottings (latest by Tuesday).
Happy Labour Day!!