(STOP PRESS.. Today Tuesday 26th. January 2016 I had a consultation with a lung specialist who confirmed that I have an inoperable advanced cancer in my left lung… gives me up to a year to live, SO I MUST MAKE THE MOST USE OF WHAT TIME I HAVE LEFT BEING PRODUCTIVE AND FINISH THE ‘ IT’S NOT FINISHED YET’ LOT - Five paintings, a model railway and life story to complete.)
There were other things that I became a square peg, one being politics. My father being the son of a labourer who I think worked in Chandlers Ford brickyard, was a red hot socialist and loathed the Tories and the ruling classes, not without reason, equally me Grandmother although ‘born on the other side of the fence’ being the daughter of a Yeoman [ gentleman farmer] who didn’t do any work himself. Grandma had been a school teacher and the Church organist at Upham Village Church but had gone against her father wishes and married a clerk who was a widower with a young child with the result that her father ‘cut her off,’ from which point she learned just how hard it was on Granddad’s side of the fence bringing up ten kids but for all that, Dad did not agree with her on the subject or on the reasons they were socialists, therefore as the son, I followed dads beliefs without questioning or thinking for myself, which still happens.
I was also indoctorated by dads choice of newspaper, ‘ The Daily Herald’ and Sunday ‘People’ which were more left wing socialist papers than the most popular tabloid ‘The Mirror added to which all of my working class mates were also of that ilk and in complete contrast to my fellow students were 100% Tory, my problem with this was that liked both lots, however, there was an occasion at Art School when one of the older students made what regarded as an remark which I found offensive and clouted him with the result he fell down a flight of stairs but it was him who apologised to me.
As I have mentioned debating and discussions were introduced at the Boys Club and naturally politics were a subject that often came up, which were heavily biased towards the ‘Labour Party’ but I found that my reasons for my belief were not in accord with the rest of the lads, they simply wanted to destroy the ‘better off’ even if they gained nothing much for themselves which had happened in the Russian Revolution, merely having soft hands,such teachers and doctors etc, was enough to get you killed. I had no desire to destroy the rich in the way they wanted, my aim was to raise the working class ‘up’ not bring the other lot down, the ‘better off ‘ the better off were already having to change as fewer and fewer could afford servants anymore, not as the result of anything that the labour party had done but by more and more workers were leaving for better paid, more ambitious jobs, this trend was already apparent before the war.
More and more I found my belief failing the final straw being the very destructive action of the big Trade Unions who became very greedy as they destroyed a great deal of industry and business, not their own I might add, by stupid unjustified strikes and only succeeded in giving away some of our best industry to other countries, they destroyed ship building industry with a prolonged strike over ‘who pulls the string’ which a system of marking a sheet of metal with a chalk line with a loop in the middle which held at both ends and string pulled away by the loop in the middle with the result that once released would leave a chalk line on the metal which was unbelievably petty. There are countless other examples of this nature, a huge amount of unjustified restrictive practices which were no more than ‘bloody mindedness’. The motorcar, motorbike and print industry most of the heavy industries suffered as did the general public and the ‘closed shop’ meant that you could not get a job unless you were in a Union and if you defied a strike order you were regarded as a ‘blackleg’, if you were chucked out of the Union you were in big trouble.