A Map of Dover, 20 March 2022

The Spirit of Britain in Dover Western Docks (next to Admiralty Pier). The sacked workers have all left. Essentially blackmailed by their employer, DP World. ‘If you don’t do as we say, you won’t even get your redundancy money’. There are people on the three ferries as at least two have been firing up their engines.

Eastern docks at Dover with empty berths. The three ferries at the centre of the lock-out are in the distance in the Western Docks.

The Eastern Docks again. This is all land reclaimed from the sea.

Eastern docks. In general, the facilities are minimal for anyone going through the Port. There is no free wifi and the only place to eat is Burger King.

Cannon Street in the centre of Dover. It was once a major high street. Photographs from 100 years ago show crowds of people and shops selling all sorts of things. I have never been able to determine who owns this building which has been closed for about the past three years. Various suggestions include ‘it’s part of the portfolio of a London based property company’ (or is that a shell company based in Bermuda?). ‘And they won’t sell because they won’t get enough money for it’. Nor will they knock it down or donate it to the town. So it just sits in the centre of the town and rots away. Just like all over England. And nothing ever happens to change this.

Irish Ferries and DFDS are still operating from the Eastern Docks. Bear in mind that the photograph is distorting how close the ferries are to each other. But they are close to each other, only a few feet apart. And they have just both come through the narrow entrance to the harbour. Are these difficult manoeuvres going to be improved by paying people £1.83 an hour (which is one of the figures being quoted)?

Mid afternoon Spitfire flying over the harbour. Dover was hit over 2,000 times during the Second World War by shells fired from the French coast by the German army. The local cemeteries contain many Commonwealth Graves, included rows of those killed in the Dunkirk evacuation. Local sailors were involved in bringing back the British Army.

The people of the town deserve better than this. Getting sacked without any notice. Being made redundant knowing that the jobs are still there but now undervalued to a pittance.

Eastern docks with The White Cliffs. Famous around the world. And in their shadow global capital acts with impunity. The Prime Minister went to meet oligarchs in the Middle East last week. It’s now becoming more apparent what the Tory links with Russian oligarchs have been.

Only realised that the back of this lorry refers to London Gateway. A large container port in the Thames Estuary and owned by DP World which also owns P&O Ferries. Apparently Rishi Sunak has close links with the company.

The building with the green dome was designed by Arthur Beresford Pite in the 1890s. In their wonderful book, ‘Dover: What we Saw’, Philip Hutton and Christopher Lumgair describe Pite thus: ‘…eclectic architect….developed an idiosyncratic style which combined Arts & Crafts influences with the occasional homage to Michelangelo, his hero’.
And this is Dover, in what was once the centre of the port. It’s fantastic.

This is the entrance to the cruise terminal. It was once where the boat trains arrived. This is the entrance to where the three ferries are berthed. There are cars coming in and out. P&O are apparently losing £1m a day so will be preparing the ferries to be working again as soon as they can.

The ship is the Charles Island, a reefer (refrigerated transport). Being unloaded on a sunny Sunday afternoon. I must check out which political parties are so keen on supporting family life.

This is a refugee ‘processing centre’. Refugees who are picked up in the Channel are bought here. The workers in the yellow jackets are security staff. And guess what, all of them are migrant Indian and Sikh labour. I managed to talk to two of them but they were very reticent.

The Spirit of Britain. As can be seen, smoke from the funnel so there is definitely activity on the ship.

There’s surely something lovely about ships, sea and sand and a sunny day. But capital takes all the pleasure out of life. One’s labour activity should be something to be enjoyed, something which is part of the development of the heart and soul and the mind and the bodies natural, sensual characteristics. Labour is intrinsic to our creatureliness but everywhere our labour is distorted against our will. And instead labour becomes a toil, surrounded by fear and oppressive practices, like being sacked via a pre-recorded Microsoft Teams call message.

I met a little friend but they were a bit shy. Just remember that the people who claim they can’t afford to pay workers a proper wage spend millions of pounds each year shooting pheasants and partridges, hunting foxes and shooting elephants.

The three ferries at the centre of the lock out. From the left of the picture they are the Pride of Canterbury, the Pride of Kent and the Spirit of Britain.

Workers on the Spirit of Britain. But it’s impossible to find out who they are now employed by. There is a great deal of secrecy, chicanery and propaganda.

Somewhere lies the truth and finding that will be a revolutionary act in itself.

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