Des Mannay

Ta Ta Tan Toc?

My daddy was a steelworker
he worked at “Castle Works”
Callaghan betrayed Cardiff
it’s the last time that he worked

Then my older brother
he worked at “GKN”
Thatcher and MacGregor
attacked steelworkers again

Then the ‘gruesome twosome’
turned their minds to coal
consigning miners and communities
to poverty on the dole

Now their market madness
stripped bare for all to see
a pack of business locusts
call time on industry

The gruesome twosome’s lovechild
sits in number ten
watching as the steelworkers
pay the price again

Robbing cash from poor to rich
David Cameron
is a modern day
‘Sheriff of Nottingham’

He’ll buy cheap steel from China
while ours pay China’s tariffs
all with the agreement of
China’s favourite sheriff…

Tata’s vultures will come for plant
They’ll come to asset strip
occupy the steelworks
Don’t let them take one bit

The future of Port Talbot
I’m sure you realize
could be like pit villages
we need to organise

This Government’s mean-but-weak
lets force open their eyes
we are the majority
when we shout, “Nationalise!”

Des Mannay

I wrote ‘Ta Ta Tan Toc’ (‘Ta Ta For Now), because I come from a steelworking family. My dad never worked again after the main steelworks in Cardiff closed under what was then a Labour government, and as kids, we were forced into wearing clothes from charity shops before it became fashionable with the rise of punk.
In the 1980’s Thatcher and MacGregor killed off the last of the steelworks in Cardiff, and my brother spent most of the 1980’s on the dole. I remember the posters, “Smelt the Iron Lady”. In the end, she shafted us – it was a trial run before taking on the miners.
Now, I can’t believe I’m seeing the whole thing being played out again – it will mean 4,000 jobs going in Port Talbot alone. That was after 750 jobs were axed last year to ‘save’ the plant. Across the UK it’ll mean 15,000 jobs – its sickening.
The options being floated by Tory parasites like Sajid Javid are a crock of shite – pitting one steel plant against another, and everyone takes a pay cut. The Port Talbot ‘rescue plan’ will stop steel production and use the blast furnaces to melt scrap metal.
The solution is obvious – Nationalise the lot. Opinion poll after opinion poll show around two thirds of the population support Nationalisation. If the Government can bail out failing banks and rescue their mates, there’s no reason why they can’t stop steel from going to the wall. It’s sheer spite – they don’t give a shit.

A young Des Mannay in the 80s.

Des Mannay


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