Such a rich nation
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
In the Labour heartlands in Manchester is "The People's' History Museum," the disingenuous trading name of the National Museum of Labour History. Liberty-minded readers need know no more than that the word "People's" here is used as in "People's Republic".
While, as a registered charity, it must purport to be politically-neutral, the most cursory examination of its website will reveal its true colours. It began as the collection of the Trade Union, Labour and Co-operative History Society and holds the archives of the Communist and Labour Parties.
Since 1990, it has been funded by Manchester's local tax payers. They deserve no better. They have proved they would vote for a bacterium if it were the Labour Party candidate. The "museum" has recently secured another £7.18 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Nothing could better support the view of those who see the National Lottery as "a tax on stupidity". How amazing that - deep in the greatest debt in history - we have money to spare for such stuff.
An employee of the "museum" wrote to me about an upcoming exhibition to be called "Carried Away", which will illustrate the "history of protest" with photographs of demonstrators being forcibly removed by the authorities:
One of the images we are including is dated 17th May 1972 and shows a protest by the Schools Action Union in London...
I am trying to trace any of the children in the photograph (or anyone that participated in the demonstration). Your blog came up when I googled “Schools Action Union” so I was wondering if you or anyone you know was there that day.
... it’d be great if you could share any memories you have of that day with us, as it would really bring the exhibition to life if we could include first-hand accounts...
Boy, is she barking up the wrong tree. I disclosed my misguided youthful involvement in the SAU in this post, which partly explains how my journey from teenage Maoist to adult libertarian began. Somehow I doubt it is an account of Labour movement history that could ever feature in this politically-neutral "museum".
A famous trade union poster showed a mine-owning "toff" on a miner's back with some such slogan as "a miner carries enough burdens". After 63 years of Socialism in Britain, productive workers are now an exploited minority. The heavy burden they carry includes much such nonsense as this propaganda tool disguised as a "museum".