Counter-Heritage

The Moral Economy

Remember the moral economy? Back in the 18th century when Citizens would register anger At unjust wages and unfair prices With protests, demonstrations, gatherings, Rioting, strikes, and beating pots and pans In a cacophony of rough music, With carnival skimmington processions, And letters to the landlords and the rich With a repertoire of collective dissent. This was the expression and practice Of the moral economy at work and play: The belief in ethics and morality, In justice, fair play and commonality, Rather than the ‘laws’ of supply and demand: The red in tooth and claw market forces Of profit-seeking capitalism. Remember William Blake: ‘To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower’? … The Heavens, the Long Table, Doverow Hill, Juniper Hill, Cirencester Park, Food banks, the cost-of-living crisis: Once more the moral economy Is confronted by the search for profit. What next in the repertoire of dissent, From the proud traditions and heritage Of the moral economy? What next?...
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A People’s History

  A People’s Local History I thought it would be a great thing to try and stimulate a collective writing of a People’s History: a textual tapestry of life, work and landscape around Stroud, the Five Valleys and the county in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries (and...

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Give Thanks to the Book of Trespass

Give Thanks to the Book of Trespass When you’re walking footloose and fancy-free Along some seemingly ancient footpath, Checking your progress on the OS map, Senses working XTC overtime, (Apophenia! You’re part of it all! Just look at the view!) It’s hard to remember...

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Walking the Wall

Walking the Wall from Walbridge to Brimscombe In the early years of the twentieth century, A jingoistic electoral cry appeared: ‘We want eight and we won’t wait!’ (The eight being dreadnoughts or battleships), Well, we waited at Walbridge for a bit And almost numbered...

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