Thursday, August 4, 2011

Identifying With Jack

This is a photo of the Labour Cabinet of 1945. The fourth person from the right in the back row is Jack Lawson (1881-1965). He differed from me in many ways, such as working in the pit where he went as a 12 year old , becoming a Government Minister and then a Peer. Yet there are many points on which I can identify with him. Although things often happened to us in a very different order and in a different context. For me, they were also at a much more shallower depth. But I can claim to share aspects of the points below - although unlike Jack I left the Methodist Chapel.

1. He was born in the north of England in a coastal mining community. 2. He grew up in a Durham County mining colliery. 3. He became a Methodist. 4. He joined the ILP. 5. He joined the Labour Party. 6. He joined the Co-op. 7. He was a bibliophile. 8. He made use of a bookseller in Newcastle in his early days. 9. His wife had links with Sunderland. 10. He had an involvement with adult education. 11. He studied at Ruskin College. 12 He served for two years in the forces. 13. He became a Labour MP. 14. He spent time at Easington Colliery.

I have finally got around to reading his 1932/1944 autobiography "A Man's Life" which I review here. However be warned, my review is a long one and I say nearly as much about myself as I do about Jack. But these are the entitlements of an old blatherer.

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