I have been accused of being a socialist.  Well, yes, I am.  I don’t have a strong entrepreneurial sense and I advocate living justly, probably in such a way that when the revolution comes I’ll be among the first to be purged.  Fortunately it was a good-natured accusation.

So along with a thousand other fellow Dunedin residents I was in the Octagon yesterday to protest the closure of the Hillside Railway Workshops.  The sock puppets who believe that Hillside should be closed, and Woburn Workshop in the North Island, argue that it is more economic for us to abandon building platforms and buy them from China.  Such short-sighted thinkers were not in attendance were not present at the demonstration.  Even the spokesman for the local Chamber of Commerce addressed the crowd and said it was a silly initiative.

It was a smaller attendance than was present for Save Neurosurgery in Dunedin which numbered in tens of thousands.  It was a cold day and when the wind blew through the Octagon I took it as a sign for that the flags and banners should be unfurled.  God was on our side!

One of the best speakers was a retired 83 year old engineer.  He knew how to address a crowd and didn’t pause to allow for applause as some speakers did.  Dramatic pauses are only good if someone fills it.

Saving Hillside is a good argument for family values.  As one speaker said some of its workers are second or third generation, the children and grandchildren of returned soldiers of World War II, the same ones who are memorialized outside of its gates.

As well as speakers for the Unions, Labour, the Greens and Greenpeace it was amusing to see banners for New Zealand First, Democrats for Social and the Alliance in the crowd.  Maybe it was a smaller gathering than should have been there, a wide number of interest groups were in representation.  There will be consequences.  Hillside won’t be forgotten.