To be a grammar school boy from Hendon and getting on a bit isn't much fun. And who would want to be an elderly Scottish failed academic with passion problems. Oh yes they are. That's what is the matter. Lack of skilled use of basic feeling, inability to differentiate with any form of subtlety. Nothing there but rage and inappropriate desire.
Poverty and ugliness on top of all that is quite unbearable. So some have manipulated, lied and forced our world to make themselves feel better. There are people out here in the world with beauty, honesty, brains, the upbringing and skills to use their brains, openness, that is the self assurance to be open to the world and what is has to offer, and real wealth. Not rich in the sense of planes and boats and trains, but rich in having an independence. Our life style does not come from earnings, though earnings are a help. It comes from absolute security.
Undoubtedly we could have lived a much less comfortable life, with cheaper frocks and without developing, at least on my part for some of us had it already, the six acre bellow across the drawing room. We have lived cold, though never hungry - scrag of mutton stew will see any family through the dark with pearl barley and a wine pipe that runs from Tuscany to whatever accademia intellectual curiosity lands us in. But the great divide made by ownership is that we live as we choose. Not herded by hunger which comes first and fear which has to be added when hunger is removed from suasion.
In the world I came from the guarantee of independence of thought and freedom of movement was skill. Until the communists and socialists in England undermined the status of the skilled man as they wormed their way through the Union movement, unable to make ground by open call for the people's support. And when skill was not enough then property, no matter how small or degraded by changed economic usage, provided the face to take decisions in honesty and without fear. United, skills and property have carried us through lies, bullying and tyranny. Through war, state murder, refusal of patronage, rejecting fearful acquiescence, to decent professional esteem and some degree, some award, of personal probity.
Pity the poor. Not because of their poverty in material goods. That comes and goes. Pity them for their undefended world. Their vulnerability to power. There inability to command the most intimate aspects of their own lives - their physical well being, their education, their children's lives in both those things and more. And never, never, depend on these hateful statists for what you need to a lead a good and decent life.
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