- in Questions
I listened to a fascinating interview yesterday of an East London trade-unionist named Paul Embery.
Here’s the interview if you’re a sucker for punishment like me:
But you don’t have to watch the whole thing (or any of it, really) if you want the gist of it. You just need to know the title of the book he’s just published:
Well now, doesn’t THAT set the cat among the pigeons!
Paul Embery started his working life as a firefighter, has been a diehard trade-unionist and Labour Party activist to boot.
No lover of anything Conservative, right of centre, or anything even APPROACHING the centre from the left.
So for him to publish a title like that . . . . well . . . .
Methinks he’d be wise to be looking over his shoulder awhile. Death threats, maybe.
What’s really interesting to me is:
Most everyone is looking at this as a recent development.
Something that took everyone by surprise with the Brexit vote. As working class voters ignored what Labour Party officials told them to do.
And then again in the December 2019 election, as millions of workers and union members went to the polls, listened to the voices of their ancestors (sitting on their shoulders) . . . .
And then voted Conservative, for the first time in their lives.
The disconnect between Elite and Grassroots isn’t recent, and it isn’t new.
Just read good old Sir Georgie of Orwell, diehard socialist if ever there was one, in The Road to Wigan Pier.
No use for the conservative establishment, obviously.
But neither had he any use for the tweed-jacketed, pipe-smoking, armchair-sitting, Marxist academic, who had never sullied his hands in a mine or factory, and didn't care to.
Those armchair Marxists didn’t care a whit about the blackened faces in the mines or factories.
They didn't care about them. They USED them.
They just hated the Rich, and the Establishment.
(Until THEY were the Rich and the Establishment, that is. And could fashion the world in THEIR image.)
They were ENVY and ZERO-SUM THINKING personified.
Nope, nothing’s really changed. We’ve just re-woken up to the fact.
I would be very interested in an equivalent assessment from a grassroots Conversative Party insider, of their Elite.
My suspicion is that the problem is bigger than just Labour-Party-wide.
What would George Orwell think of us now?
I think he'd agree with Bismarck: History teaches us that History teaches us nothing.
I think he'd agree with Herr Berthold Brecht, when he wrote: