|This is the better half of aegiandyad from the 'Mrs aegian' folder|
|The immortal sorceress who plays a thousand parts, Ldedge Y'Breq, The Lady Sharrow, Emma Peel, Mrs Dawlish and many others.|
Recently 'aegian of the FT', who is Mrs a*, was honoured by 'hard copy' publication of several comments originally published online under articles in the FT.
These appear in Before The Collapse by Cathal Haughian. www.beforethecollapse.com .
This book gathers together the informally expressed thoughts of those who can clearly see the need for change in the corporate driven, agnostic, capitalist, supposedly democratic societies of this world. This need is set to become increasingly urgent in the coming three decades; which is not all that long.
We are passionate artists and art lovers with wide ranging tastes and interests. Our long range project is the creation of 'aegian' as an aesthetic hermaphrodite, trying to express the many facets of their being. It has since emerged that we are a couple with four grown up children each of whom has contributed to this joint enterprise
While his better half prefers to remain mysterious and spends most of her time writing our journal entries, Mr A admits to having a London degree in Botany & Zoology and owning a succession of film and digital cameras. I am the man behind the lens, so there may not be many images of me submitted. We love beauty and I search for it amongst the mundane backgrounds of everyday reality as well as at fabulous gardens like the ones seen in some gallery pictures. We correspond with the Guardian as well as the Financial Times.
There will be no puckish, looped video 'web cam'; no 'fake' ID. If you want to see picture's, then this
is Mrs a*. This is a portrait after the manner of the old masters and this was recently taken, straight from the camera.
Mr a*s portraits are vanishingly rare. Here is one mocked up from an old frame of 'film' , and a much more recently taken but wildly over processed one "Now, my name isn't Harry, but names change so often in this business that I couldn't be sure there hadn't been a time when it might have been." [the REAL 'Harry Palmer'; anonymous, insolent, insubordunate spy from Burnley, as found in The IPCRESS File by Len Deighton; Penguin Books 1962]
Labour's decline was guaranteed after Blair's 'Bush adventure' in Iraq. Then Gordon Brown came in and ruined everything further. Gillian Duffy recorded how many people felt and Brown simply laughed at her (at first). Duffy was anti-immigrant but she was far more concerned with Brown's treatment of all working class people who were just above the benefit cut off. People who had £16,000 in savings were and are entitled to no income support. Brown started tax credits to help these people, which it did, but on the whole the people claiming tax credits were subjected to harassment by officials who gave out these credits and there was a great deal of unhappiness among hard working people who felt they were doing their best but were not treated with the respect given to the high paid, or the support given to the indigent. No wonder May is worried by the JAMs, because they are still probably the most dissatisfied by British politics.
The Labour Party has a relatively short history compared to the Tories, who attracted many working voters under Benjamin Disraeli who in the 1840s was a paternalist. Disraeli stressed that the wealthy had social obligations towards the poor. Social measures to improve the lot of the poor were the only way of protecting traditional institutions like the Church, the monarchy and the House of Lords. ‘The palace is not safe when the cottage is not happy’, he once wrote. His novel Sybil: Or The Two Nations (1845) was concerned with the squalid lives of the poor.
Walter Gerard, a working-class radical, tells the main character of the novel, Egremont, that there are“Two nations; between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets; who are formed by a different breeding, are fed by a different food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed by the same laws.”
Disraeli campaigned hard for the Reform Act of 1867, before which few voters were working class, the franchise being based on property possession. Disraeli backed the 1866 Bill believing that if the electorate were extended the new voters would vote Conservative in gratitude. Ironically the Conservatives lost the 1868 general election. The 1867 Reform Act aided the rise of the radical wing of the Liberal Party, and helped Gladstone to victory. The Act was tidied up with many further Acts to alter electoral boundaries but in future years the idea that working class voters would vote Conservative became more likely. The 1867 Act added 2.5m male householders aged over 21 who were living in rented properties.In 1874 the electorate voted Gladstone out in support of Disraeli's calls for a rejuvenated Empire. At the age of 70, Disraeli finally achieved everything he had worked for. He was prime minister in a strong Tory Government and he finally got the chance to play the world statesman. The wealth that was generated by the empire made working class people richer than they would have previously thought possible and since that time there has been a connection between working class people and Tory politicies.
Trade Unionism became a force during the first half of the twentieth century in the UK, at least politically. It ensured that workers had a place in the world. With Thatcher's opposition and virtual destruction of trade unionism we returned to the two nation's narrative of the 1840s. Only this time it is not the Tories who are the most alienated from the lower classes, but Labour itself. There have always been many aspects to the Labour Movement but as time progressed the left wing, upper class, intellectual side of the movement going all the way back to the nineteenth century took over in the form of New Labour. New Labour is not just Tory lite, it represents the intellectual spirit of the Bloomsbury set and is far removed from working class ideals.
The problem is obvious when one reads the Guardian. The posters there belong to this intellectual tradition. They are internationalist, globalisers, atheist and pro free migration. They are ashamed of ordinary working people who fear immigration and they mock the ordinary person's deep religious or spiritualist traditions and their morals, which are important to ordinary people. The Guardianistas laugh at them but the ordinary working, struggling people tend not to be concerned with the Guardian's far left, feminist, LGBTQ, colour problems focus, which interest many leftie intellectuals. The left wing is split between the thinkers and the doers and increasingly the people who once voted Labour cannot bring themselves to do so any more. By not speaking out for them above all other interests Corbyn is aligning himself with the intellectuals and not the people.
Labour is finished. They have nothing to say to common people.
This comment was first published under the FT article
In Stoke-on-Trent, Matthew Engel finds a party struggling to answer the simplest questions