Join the Digital Army
Speak and Write the Truth
I grew up in a working-class Tory household,
A Daily Express household,
So, I know the mindset:
Deference and false consciousness:
‘Gawd bless ya, Mr Scrooge’;
A generation after A Christmas Carol,
The Conservative Prime Minister,
(So-called ‘One-Nation Tory’)
Described working class Tories as
‘Angels in marble’:
They had to be fashioned, sculpted, made, displayed,
In an alliance between the aristocracy and the working class,
With a modicum of social reform,
A hectoring printing press,
And an aggressive nationalism,
To provide the glue.
So it was no surprise
When the urban working class was close to the vote in 1867,
That the Tory Home Secretary declared:
‘We must educate our masters’.
The result was the 1870 Education Act.
And it’s perhaps no coincidence
That the enfranchisement of agricultural labourers
In 1885, was followed by the growth
Of a Tory press: The Daily Mail;
Sensational stories in ‘penny dreadfuls’
Flooded the market:
‘angels in marble’ indeed;
The education of the working class.
It was not until 1912 that a newspaper
Sympathetic to the Labour cause was launched:
The Daily Herald.
In this age of a right-wing press,
And in Tariq Ali’s phrase:
An ‘extreme centre’, an ‘extreme centre’
That moves relentlessly to the right,
In an age where the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph,
The Sun, the Daily Express set the BBC’s agenda,
It’s easy to become dispirited.
The almost revolutionary Northern Star,
The Chartist working class newspaper,
Outsold everything else in the 1840s,
It left the Times and co standing;
It spoke the truth for the working class.
It spoke the truth of the working class.
The same can happen today
In a different age and in a different medium.
Remember the Northern Star.
Remember the Daily Herald.
Join the Labour Digital Army:
Speak and write the truth.
‘We must liberate ourselves from our masters’
Join the Digital Army.