[1989:] In Austria they had a wine scandal, and all the world heard about it. In Britain, we've had an egg scandal, a meat scandal, a milk scandal, a cheese scandal - there's almost nothing left to eat in Britain that's not poisoned. A song for the British food industry ...
At the start of this summer Mrs Thatcher and her Minister of Agriculture Nicholas Ridley, organised a celebration of British agriculture and food which was to be held in Hyde Park. For the celebration they got pigs - Irish, Scottish, West English, North English pigs who all travelled to London, unwillingly. It was very hot weather, and all the pigs got caught in the London traffic jams. So by the time the pigs arrived at the Feast of Food and Agriculture they were half dead with heat. Still, none of them would drink the London water. They had to pour water over them to stop them from dying from heat, and they still wouldn't drink the London tap water. Finally they got water from Harrods' private well, and the pigs drank that. And the comment from the Minister of Agriculture was, What do pigs know? Scientists tell me it's safe. (Intro Hamish Imlach)
[1990:] In the period before the First World War, a great deal of industrial work was highly dangerous. There was no such thing as Health and Safety at Work regulations; the life of a worker was literally cheap. Some of the works must have appeared like Dante's 'Inferno'. [...]
The terrible costs of working in this particular inferno [in the mid-19th century] were revealed some thirty years later, in 1889, in a newspaper interview with one of the chemical workers [of Tennant's St Rollox Chemical Works in Glasgow]: "[...] If a man goes to the works young he will be past working before he reaches forty years of age [...]. For instance, you will easily know a chrome-worker from the fact that, as a rule, the bridge of his nose is completely eaten away. [...]"
The majority of the chemical workers [in Glasgow] were Irish; they were paid an average of 15s 6d per week, a pitiful wage. [...] The dreadful conditions in these chemical plants were the subject of Keir Hardie's famous attacks on Lord Overtoun in 1899. Overtoun was the proprietor of a large chemical works on the Glasgow-Rutherglen border, and also a noted philanthropist and man of religion. Keir Hardie, in a series of articles in the socialist newspaper 'Labour Leader' - subsequently reprinted as pamphlets - exposed the fearful working conditions in Overtoun's chemical works. He confirmed that the workers rapidly lost the cartilage in their nose working with these noxious chemicals, but also suffered from 'chrome holes' being burnt in their body, and respiratory diseases. Moreover, they worked a twelve-hour day, seven-day week - with no time off for meals, and in foul conditions. (Damer, Glasgow 62f)
[1999:] [Ron Angel] comes from
Middlesborough which is in Cleveland, in the UK. The whole area is
covered with chemical works, the main employer being ICI. [...] It
was written in 1964. (Keith Selby, www.mudcat.org, 26 Oct)