Sunday, 21 June 2009

Daily Express sinks to new low - if possible

Better one of these than an 1800's hovel

Well, i thought I had seen every slimy trick that the press could play but boy was I wrong. But before I go on, let us cast our minds back to the period 1868 to 1874.

A young Queen Victoria was on the throne and Gladstone had just been elected Prime Minister. Some in the medical profession were raving about the use of antiseptics in the treatment of wounds and women were just beginning their struggle for equality. Politically there were no secret ballots.

And whilst Dickens was still very popular as a author, Benjamin Disraeli's novel Sybil cut straight to the chase when he wrote the poverty of 19th Century Britain.
Two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are ignorant of each other's habits, thoughts and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones or inhabitants of different planets; who are formed by different breeding, are fed by different food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed by the same laws ... THE RICH AND THE POOR.
And whilst the great estates that we like to visit on a Sunday, (many still in the hands of the families that ruled us back then and whose descendants continue to rule us today) were being built, the poor really suffered.

Unsanitary and overcrowded houses or shacks. Inadequate diet with children suffering from rickets and always the fear of unemployment and starvation. Slaves in all but name.

And everywhere, people scratched to earn a living and survive by any means possible. Knife grinders and whole host of other tradesmen travelled from town to town and village to village plying their trade and their wares.

And that brings me back to a disgusting attack on the Chairman of the British National Party, Nick Griffin MEP.

In their desperation to attack the BNP, they have dug back in time to 1868 and discovered that Mr Griffin's great grandfather, George Griffin roamed from town to town in a horse drawn caravan selling china and crockery.

For Gods sake what did they think would be pulling a caravan in 1868? A top of the range BMW?

But what really hacks me off with The Express is the title of the piece: Dark Family Secrets of BNP Leader Nick Griffin. What is so dark about the fact that a mans great grandfather was prepared to get up of his backside, travel the country selling goods to people in areas where there were few shops and feeding himself and his family at the same time. As an early Norman Tebbit would have said. Get on your horse.
Census reports show he spent years living the gypsy life, never settling in one place because as an impoverished traveller he was on the margins of society and never fully accepted anywhere.

Yet between 1868 and 1874 records show his great-grandfather represented just such a minority. He travelled in one caravan with his family while his business partner, Mary Ann Hollis, travelled in another.
Clearly David Jarvis, the writer of the tripe in The Express has no clue about British History. Of course the entrepreneur George Griffin never settled in one place. When you have sold your products and there are no other buyers, you move onto the next market or town where you will find new buyers.

I notice also that Jarvis is careful to use the expression "living the gypsy life" thus seeking to imply that the earlier Mr Griffin was some kind of anti-social criminal. Gets some balls Jarvis and have a real pop, you little piece of excrement.
One had to be moderately prosperous to own a horse, and only the very rich could afford a carriage. "The Railway comes to Marple - 1868"
Another thing that Jarvis is not aware of, is that to be able to afford products to sell, two caravans to live in, feed a family and afford at least two horses to pull them, shows that Mr Griffins great grandfather would have been considered a quite affluent man in the year of 1868.

I will not bore you with the rest of the nasty attack by the Express, because that is what it is. A nasty little attack on the memory of a man who worked to feed his family in the best way he knew how. Personally I am glad that man existed because without him, we would have no Nick Griffin MEP. So next time you are in a pub, if you can find one that is still open, raise your glass to George Griffin, great grandfather of the worlds greatest living patriot.

Let Charles Dickens give you a description of the little house upon wheels that George might have lived in.

It was not a shabby, dingy, dusty cart, but a smart little house upon wheels, with white dimity curtains festooning the windows, and window shutters of green picked out with panels o a staring red, in which happily-constructed colours the whole concern shone brilliant.

Neither was it a poor caravan drawn by a single donkey or emaciated horse, for a pair of horses in pretty good condition were released from the shafts and grazing on the grouzy grass. Neither was it a gipsy caravan, for at the open door (graced with a bright brass knocker) sat a Christian lady, stout and comfortable to look upon, who wore a large bonnet trembling with bows.

And that it was not an unprovided or destitute caravan was clear from this lady’s occupation, which was the very pleasant and refreshing one of taking tea … the steps being struck by George, and stowed under the carriage, away they went …

When they had travelled slowly forward for some short distance, Nell ventured to steal a look around the caravan and observe it more closely. One half of it – the moiety in which the comfortable properties was then seated – was carpeted, and so partitioned off at the further end as to accommodate a sleeping-place, constructed after the fashion of a berth on board a ship, which was shaded, like the little windows, with fair white curtains, and looked comfortable enough by what kind of gymnastic exercise the lady of the caravan ever contrived to get into it, was an unfathomable mystery.

The other half served as a kitchen, and was fitted up with a stove whose small chimney passed through the roof. It held also a closet or larder, several chests, a great pitcher of water, and a few cooking utensils and articles of crockery

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