Words from the past

A union led by writers will always have something to say. Here are some of the best quotes from the last six decades

"What enables writers in Britain to face the future in a changing world with some confidence? … The continued existence of their own trade union of professional writers ... a group of highly committed writers of books, plays, film scripts, radio and television programmes willing to work for each other's good."
Bill Ash, former WGGB Chair, on the eve of the new millennium
"Why is it that everybody else is paid and not the writers?"
Former WGGB President and Chair Maureen Duffy, speaking at TUC Conference 1977, in support of the Public Lending Right
"Writers have been thrust into the boot for too many years. We are just climbing over into the back seat and getting a little of the recognition we have been asking for... due only to the growing stature and strength of this Guild."
Former Chair Ted Willis, July 1960, as the Writers' Guild celebrates its 1000th member
"A producer who has no money is not a producer but a wannabe, and if he commissions work without paying for it, he is a crook."
Former Chair and President Rosemary Anne Sisson, 1994
"A good agent is a good agent; a good lawyer is a good lawyer; but a good strong Guild is a power in the land."
Alan Griffiths, General Secretary, 1968-1971
"We all want to save money, but you don’t save on heating by burning down your house."
WGGB Chair Gail Renard, speaking out against Coalition Government cuts to arts and entertainment at TUC Congress 2011
"The WGGB is the only one that is concerned with us [writers] and our take-home pay and our ability to support our families... The truth is, we write better when we eat better, and if we feel that we should march, then we march longer on a full stomach."
Carl Foreman, President, 1968-1976
"What we need is not more hand-wringing and not being able to find any women writers, but equal opportunity for all."
WGGB President Olivia Hetreed, on the launch of WGGB's Equality Writes campaign in 2018
"If we want our industry to flourish we will need fresh stories to be told from different perspectives."
General Secretary Ellie Peers, talking about equality and diversity at the union’s 2016 AGM
"We have safeguarded the interests of writers in the digital age, and future-proofed our industry-leading collective agreements for at least another generation"
Former WGGB General Secretary Bernie Corbett, on signing a game-changing agreement for writers with the BBC