A short appraisal by MERVYN HYDE
As a baby boomer, born one month after the war in Japan ended and growing up in a working class family, I grew up along with the welfare state and the NHS. From the mid 1940s until the 1970s I saw my world opening up like a flower before me, and I just accepted that life was generally like this – as I didn’t then know anything different, unlike the children of today who have seen their futures closed down in front of their eyes for very different reasons.
My expectations were that, as I did, to serve an engineering apprenticeship. On completion I was able to find well paid work anywhere in the town and my qualifications were recognised everywhere.
This was of course during the Keynesian era where the goals were full employment and social care, but then in the 1970s all that changed and Milton Friedman’s Neo-liberal doctrine prevailed culminating in the dismantling of the state by Margaret Thatcher.
I personally recognised the threat to our public services in 1974 where I joined the Labour party, noting the distinct change in language being expressed by Tory politicians, the attacks on trade Unions, British workers and the goods they produced, and no matter how good our public services and nationalised industries were, in their eyes it was never good enough.
That change in emphasis also permeated into the Labour Party which also promoted the false dichotomy of private enterprise being better than publicly provided services. This has led to the erosion of public provision and in its stead the introduction of Neo-Liberal fantasy economics, allied to which politicians have been seen to no longer serve the interests of people but global monopolies that dictate our living standards without any form of redress.
That has been supported by a complicit media and politicians of all colours and political persuasions, who have distorted peoples perceptions of public good in favour of private profit.
This video shows how factional interests within the Labour Party have used their exclusive privilege to thwart the democratic aspirations of the membership; undermined and smeared a democratically elected leader; and subverted an election campaign hoping the party would lose – that was finally achieved by losing the 2019 election with the resignation of a popular party leader.
Although now working class, my heritage stems from the farming community in Hereford and Worcester, Farmer Grandfathers going back at least three hundred years. I moved from Herefordshire to Gloucestershire at the age of seven and remained here ever since, except for a short time (approx. 12 months) I lived and worked in Germany. I have had a varied career from serving an Engineering Apprenticeship to working as a parts manager and chief storekeeper, to reverting back working on machine maintenance in a multinational company. I joined the Labour Party in 1974 and campaigned in that election supporting Alf Pegler, who in fact did not win the Gloucester seat, became a Labour City councillor from 1976-1979 campaigned in three wards due to boundary changes and moving house, served as ward secretary and chairperson, on two occasions helped convert Tory wards into safe Labour seats.