"You may say that I am a dreamer/But I am not the only one" John Lennon: "Imagine"

"So come brothers and sisters/For the struggle carries on" Billy Bragg: "The Internationale"

Elizannie has a reading room at 'Clarice's Book Page' http://www.villiersroad.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

And Ordered Their Estate

I have been enjoying our Indian Summer for the past week or so, roasting in the tropical temperatures on our West Country cliff top camp site. Unfortunately the tropical temperatures meant that broadband and mobile 'phone signals were frazzled so I couldn't comment on the Labour Party conference although I watched it as much as I needed.

This week, back in the South East, I have tried to avoid watching the Conservative Party conference. Especially after Theresa May's piece yesterday of what I initially thought was a stand up comedy routine, but realised was in actual fact sheer ignorance and prejudice. She involved an illegal immigrant, deportation and a cat - you know what I am talking about I am sure. If not, click on the link.

However, listening to the prognostications of the Conservative politicians this week, and to a lesser extent some of the younger Labour politicians last week, I thought back over all the conferences I have 'listened in to' over the years. I can remember being told that I was too stuck in the mud and things would never go back to what they were, politically, and I was worrying unnecessarily, hanging on to old ideals... I was too firmly left wing and 'Old Labour', I was told around 15 years ago - nobody would try and destroy the Welfare State. Nobody would stand for it. Well we all know that story about 'Nobody'[see below*] and should take heed of it...

Now we have a government here in the UK who seem intent on destroying the NHS [yet David Cameron's election quote was 'We are the party of the NHS'] and taking away any benefit it can from the poorest and most dispossessed in our communities whilst preserving low taxes and large bonuses etc for the highest earners. Our government seen to believe in very 19thC ideals such as those Mrs Alexander expressed in her 1848 hymn:
The Rich Man in his Castle
The Poor Man at his Gate
God made them High & Lowly
And Ordered their estate

[The original third verse of the poem All Things Bright and Beautiful. Now ommitted from most Church Hymn books by popular demand...] When the hymn was sung in the past including that verse I always felt it sounded like the Conservative Party at prayer and refused to sing it, much to the embarrassment of The Children.

And now to redress the balance, Eldest Daughter's favourite hymn:

They Who Tread the Path of Labour
They who tread the path of labour follow where My feet have trod;
They who work without complaining, do the holy will of God;
Nevermore thou needest seek me; I am with thee everywhere;
Raise the stone, and thou shalt find Me, cleave the wood and I am there.

Where the many toil together, there am I among My own;
Where the tired workman sleepeth, there am I with him alone:
I, the Peace that passeth knowledge, dwell amid the daily strife;
I, the Bread of Heav'n am broken in the sacrement of life.

Every task, however simple, sets the soul that does it free;
Every deed of love and mercy, done to man is done to Me.
Nevermore thou needest seek me; I am with thee everywhere;
Raise the stone, and thou shalt find Me; cleave the wood, and I am there.

Henry Van Dyke

Now those are Socialist ideals to be proud of! I am not sure of the tune name, can't find my Socialist hymn book to check right now but maybe my friends at CSM will know?

In other news I am surprisingly happy with my photo for my bus pass. Yet rather shocked that when we were shopping in Glastonbury last week, along with our normal 'ethnic' and 'alternative' shopping we somehow managed to also buy a vacuum cleaner and a lavatory seat. Does this mean we are growing-up at last? Our Children do not seem to agree.

*This is a story about four people: Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.
Everybody was sure Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job.
Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when actually Nobody asked Anybody.

The photograph : 'Well Met in Glastonbury'. Just because.

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