Narratives are still important, even in the age of twitter, memes, snapchat and gifs. The best stories still have the wherewithal to grab people (us boys are grabbed by the cojones what are girls grabbed by? and I’m certainly not thinking trumpian which is an oxymoron). And it is very pleasing to witness the end of the ukip story (who they?), except of course they have infected others, most notably the increasingly shambolic tory party.
And I despair at what they have wrought as our benighted realm thrashes around in it’s class ridden shitpit. At the risk of confirmation bias I come across a review of a book by one Perry Anderson, someone I’ve not come across thus far, even though I’m 60 bleedin’ years on this Earth, especially as he’s our ‘most distinguished living Marxist historian’, which articulates my most current understanding of our shitpit.
And it concerns an essay he wrote in 1964 “Origins of the Present Crisis” in which he argues that Englandshire had the first ‘bourgeois revolution in Europe, experienced the first industrial revolution “producing the first proletariat”, created the first global empire and from this ” ‘set’ British society in a mould that it has retained to this day”, which is our poxy class system. And it moulds brexit as the brexiteers vaguely thrash around with no coherent strategy and “at the first tap it falls apart like a chocolate orange” (Amyas Morse, auditor general, but he’s just an ‘expert’ and not a gove).
So, over 50 years after writing his essay, his analysis gives shape to describe our ‘present crisis’. Despite valiant efforts over the last century or so to introduce an alternative the poxy class system has remained in place, in fact we have had “the retrenchment of a single hegemonic class, comprised of the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie, which not only controlled the means of production but was “the primary determinant of consciousness, character and customs throughout the society” “. So we have a totally inadequate system, producing totally inadequate wankers like boris de pfeffel twatface johnson leading us into perfidy.
And the Grenfell disaster also captures much of this as the governing classes actually create the conditions for such a disaster to happen and then compound the situation through their wholly inadequate response. It may surprise some to know that nicholas paget-brown went to cranleigh school (a private school with current fees of £36K which is about £31K more than the safer cladding on Grenfell Tower would have cost). And his replacement, elizabeth campbell, has never been in a high rise block and I wonder about her schooling? And so the whole sorry story continues.
We need a new narrative, one that isn’t dominated by an inadequate few cornflakes from the ‘upper classes’.
Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.