Monday, September 24, 2007

What have the Romans ever done for us?

As well as the controversy over the Drogheda Independent the union's National Executive discussed some other key issues for photographers.

It endorsed the union's support for Marc Vallee who is suing the Met over injuries he sustained covering the Sack parliament demo, it heard about the 5.43% pay rise the union had negotiated for staff photographers at The Irish Times and it backed plans to investigate the possibility of a wider claim against the police over use of the Terrorism Act to target media personnel, especially photographers following recent actions at an arms fair.

Credit where credit's due...

pic:(c) Jess Hurd

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Romans, Jeremy? Are you the Emperor Nero and the NEC Emergency Committee your Praetorian Guard? Press photography, if not all journalism, is burning. So no fiddling please.

What did the Romans ever do for us? Conquest, bloodshed, military occupation, dictatorship, slavery, suppression of indigenous culture, arrogance and throwing people to the lions in the arena. Or did they make barbarians into model citizens? Photographers into journalists? That would be patronising, so I am sure you are not saying that.

But one thing I don't think the Romans ever did was get to Drogheda and conquer Ireland. That was left to an English dictator. And now the Emergency Committee has overidden the decision of the Irish Executive Council and endorsed the Drogheda agreement.

You could have said, "What did the British Empire ever do for its' subjects?" The answer to both the British Empire and the Romans is that, notwithstanding some benefits from technology and foreign culture, the indigenous peoples of both the British and Roman Empires might probably have appreciated just a little more consultation and democracy on an equal footing, rather than as peoples subjugated to a dominating regime.

While photographers appreciate union support when dealing with the police and the odd pay rise, I dont think these outweigh the immense damage that is likely to be done to professional photography in the long-term by the Drogheda agreement. That is something you have yet to acknowledge.

Simon Chapman
Photographer and NUJ member