“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

A great read but is this the same John Major?

I have been reading My Old Man, John Major's history of music hall. Of course Major was born to parents who had trod the boards as jobbing music hall artistes and political opponents later made the most of this, sneering in a way that implied that we should all have parents who were Marxist theoreticians or chairman of a knicker elastic company. Be that as it may, My Old Man is a wonderfully detailed history of the halls and the characters who worked them. Major writes movingly about performers who, no matter how rich and famous they became, never forgot where they came from and could reach out across the footlights to a working class audience and sing about a life that they had all experienced. Apart from his own parents, Major shows the most warmth toward the "Queen of the Halls", the wonderful Marie Lloyd. No respecter of authority and an outspoken champion of the underdog, Marie was an unofficial leader during the bitter 1907 music hall strike.  Is this the same John Major who happily sat in Margaret Thatcher's cabinet during the miners strike and later as PM himself oversaw the final days of the national coal industry and the devastation of so many working class communities? Surely not.


Dr Llareggub said...

Maybe it is time to understand some aspects of conservative philosophy.The Tories have had a connection with the working classes since Disraeli formulated his vision of conservative workers as angels in marble. Remember Thatcher was elected by many working class voters. So I am not surprised by Major's apparent double sidedness.
Having participated in the miner's strike ( I had the job of reconciling lorry drivers and strikers) I now see it as a futile effort by brave people led by a moron who thought he could recreate the Bolshevik revolution by sacrificing mining communities against a state that could so easily crush them.
Today the miner's strike is celebrated by many greens and leftists who censor my comments in support of the Kentucky miners whose jobs are being destroyed by the US green agenda. And its not the left who are supporting the Kentucky miners; its the evil Tea Party. And don't forget the arguments used by Greens and the US left for closing down coal were used by Thatcher who financed the early research into global warming crap. Thatcher would never have accepted fracking.
I do believe that loyalty to left ideologies and loyalty to the working class are not identical.
Link here: yeah yeah, I am sure it is from a right wing source

gitane said...

"The Tories have had a connection with the working classes since Disraeli formulated his vision of conservative workers as angels in marble" eh?
In my active days in a trade union I met many Tory voting trade unionists. More so in some unions than others; the old AEUW was a particularly difficult bunch who would accept conditions that had been rejected at democratic meetings. Freemasonry was also an unspoken undercurrent that united the Tory working class.They were much stronger and effective than much of the gobby left, however they'd sell their children for a foreman's job so they were never really trusted with the role of union vanguard.
The Tory working class's paradoxical position was to seek to destroy the organisations that they supposedly supported; there's a lot more to this than the Nottingham miners,it was evident in almost all unions this needs a lot more historical work, the left's archives won't be enough.

Dr Llareggub said...

To be clear. I am not defending working class Tories, but drawing attention to the fact that Tory survival and success depends on harnessing working class people. As for working in unions to destroy them from within, it smacks me that both Labour and Tory have done their share of destruction, not to mention the Trots.
Are you somehow contesting my argument that the Tories have been able to secure working class support?
The question you really need to address is how working class people can be diverted from supporting Tories. For I suspect that you are really concerned that they are not supporting Labour.Now that does not bother me as I see no difference between them