Birmingham, blog, Blog post, Brexit, Comment, Early work, Editorial, PDBarton, Politics
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Our rosy coloured past. Hmmm.

This picture is of a house in front of one of the gas holders at Saltley Gasworks in Nechells, Birmingham. The image was taken in the late 60’s.

I was born just a couple hundred metres from here, within sight, or more accurately within ‘Smell’ of the gasworks. My dad worked there after he came back from fighting with the Desert Rats, Montgomery’s 8th army, in second world war. What’s more, those gas holders were nearly the death of him. He fell off one and survived, but that’s another story.

This image is a picture of my youth. Although my parents moved to the newly built council estates out in the suburbs, many of my relatives lived in or around this area. I would return often as a child.

What this image made me think about was just how much of a product I am of the social and political thrust occurring after the 2nd world war.

I am the product of the time and of the policies of Labour, the  political party in power back then.

  1. The massive growth in public housing after the war.
    We moved into a new council house in the suburbs around 1950
  2. The start of the NHS. 
    I was born in 1947. The NHS was born in 1948.
  3. Improved public education.
    Aged 11 I attended one of the early, purpose built Comprehensive Schools in Birmingham.

Therefore, I have the Labour Party to thank for providing me with improved living conditions, better heath care and better education. All of these steps forward were by the people and for the people.

Compare that to the flagrant self serving attitudes and policies of the current Millionaire Tory Elite and their Billionaire Backers.

What you see evident in the picture, and in the events of my life, is seemingly so deeply attractive to the Leave Party and all other Brexit believers that they wish us to be plunged back there.

For me it’s hard to understand why anybody would hold those days so lovingly to their breast? No. I’ve lived it. For millions of us it wasn’t rosy coloured with “Land of hope and glory” playing in the background. It was hard.

Lastly, whatever this present Tory government want to achieve will be directly contrary to what will benefit the real people of this country. Tories. Their lips are moving. They are lying. Run in the opposite direction, it’s a safer direction.

Peter Barton
October 2019

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