When I was a lad, Britain was empty of real words. It was much like it is today, because the nation was hungry for both bread and hope.
Oh, blimey, I can see a 'Hovis' ad coming on!
Growing up in the rough-and-ready streets of 1920s Barnsley, I stumbled from morning to night in both desperation and fear that I wouldn’t make it to adulthood. Now I am an old man, and both my knees and elbows have been scraped by the history of my generation.
*Yawns* Oh, sorry, are you still going..?
So don’t think I came to the Labour party conference without my eyes wide open. In fact, I expected to be disappointed by the machine that is called New Labour.
But I wasn’t, because I spent much of my time with the young delegates and people who are lobbying for ways to improve the party’s goals and message. It was heartening to see so many individuals from diverse cultures, regions and economic backgrounds engaged in finding ways to make our nation better for us all.
I don't know what they are putting in the water, but...
I was energised by talking with people and sharing my life story. I heard their own troubles and triumphs, and the tales of their ancestors struggling through the great depression as my family and I did. I came away from each conversation emboldened by a shared history that is both tragic and heroic. I didn’t feel I was meeting politicians; I felt I was meeting people.
Well, you were. Meeting politicians, that is. It's pretty much the reason for party conferences, after all.
I am not accustomed to being in the presence of people with great influence, power or wealth. but I was pleasantly surprised by my first impressions of Miliband.
Well, he qualifies for one
of the three...
I think I have lived long enough and broken bread with enough people over my lifetime to be a good judge of character.
And...I think you clearly haven't! Or perhaps dementia's set in.
"....I think you clearly haven't! Or perhaps dementia's set in..."
Or even both.
No doubt Mr Smith has pictures of Kier Hardie dotted about the place, but has not twigged that today's Labour Party and politicians have about as much resemblance and similarity to the founding Labour Party and politicians as a pomegranate has to a warthog.
...Britain was empty of real words...
Perhaps I've come over all Asperger, but the meaning here eludes me. Anyone?
"Sharing my life's story" as a conversational gambit must have made him as popular as the Ancient Mariner but far less interesting. Was there a stampede for the exits?
He is old enough to have cheered on those other heroes of the proletariat - Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot.
And the stupid old coffin dodger still doesn't Get It.
As an established historian with homes in Canada and England, Smith is hardly representative of the proletariat, which is no doubt why the Labour elite bother to talk to him. However, credit where credit's due - Smith's rise from poverty to prosperity was entirely his own doing, and not the result of government largesse. Margaret Thatcher would have been proud of him.
BTW, re Ted's reference to Keir hardie - Hardie pretended he was a miner's son, but he was a mine manager's son really. Few miners would have tolerated young Kier swanning around the house in a kimono all day, as he did following a visit to see The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan.
So he is in his late 80s and still hasn't learned the facts of political life. He is obviously one of the 'I've always voted labour and always will' brigade.
Was he so brainwashed in his youth or has dementia started as you say or maybe both? Or was the whole idea for him to have two seconds of fame before once again dropping back into oblivion?
Oh the deluded old bloke at the Labour conference. Yeah, saw a bit of that before I nodded off (or I may have died for a while, I don't know).
Mr Smith, they were using you and patronising the fuck out of you, sorry mate.
@Ted Treen, exactly.
A miner's son couldn't have afforded a kimono, the only way a miner's son would have acquired a kimono is loot from WWII.
"...about as much resemblance and similarity to the founding Labour Party and politicians as a pomegranate has to a warthog."
"Perhaps I've come over all Asperger, but the meaning here eludes me. Anyone?"
"As an established historian with homes in Canada and England, Smith is hardly representative of the proletariat..."
Well, no. But then when do they ever get to write for Teh Grauniad?
"A miner's son couldn't have afforded a kimono, the only way a miner's son would have acquired a kimono is loot from WWII."
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