Saturday, 2 February 2008

Miners Distributism & Pan-European Cappuccino

When push comes to shove, when the proverbial hits the fan - people are Distributists.

No-one wants the State telling them what to do, or taking the food from their table.

No-one wants to work for some fat slobbering super-rich boss who pays them a pittance.

People want to work for themselves, or at least get a fair share and a say in their workplace.

People want to have their own home and bit of land to relax in, or to farm, or to have a few fruit trees and even a goat, a pig or a couple of chickens. They want a fair size bit of garden for the children to be able to run around in.

Most people have common sense. Most people are fair minded. Most people want to protect liberties and traditions.

We are all brainwashed, pressurised and/or bribed to conform. We "must" have the banksters with usury mortgages. We "must" have big businesses with wage slaves and obscene profits. We "must" have people pushed to live in shoe-box houses.

Not to mention the crime, the drugs, the family breakdown, the mass-murder of abortion, the ridiculous wars fought for profiteers.

Those who control us, those who profit from our poverty, those who dictate policy tell us what is normal and what we should want - and what we should fear.

So when Maggie Thatcher (or "Capitalism") forced the coal mines to shut down the Miners Unions (or "Socialists") fought back and thus we had the quandary (as so ably sung of by Frank Sinatra) of an immovable object meeting an unstoppable force. The two 'isms' told the workers how it should be: Capitalism or Socialism with the workers as cogs in the wheel.

In this case, via the most unreasonable of force, the Capitalists won a war of attrition and the power of the Socialists was broken; an important victory for Thatcher and her need to set an agenda.

Yet one workforce, when told their mine would close (because it was "unprofitable") did the seemingly unthinkable. They rallied together with their redundancy money and bought the mine and ran it themselves.

They became Distributists!

They didn't listen to the system. They didn't listen to the experts. They overcame the brainwashing and the dole queue subsistence that was offered.

The mine was theirs, run mutually for their own wages (or their profit if you like - but when has a profit or wage for the workingman ever been a Capitalist concern?).

Oh the usual Socialists stood nearby and celebrated the "workers rights," just as (when it succeeded) the Capitalists clapped politely for the profits made... yet both were blinded to the facts: that the people had done it themselves.

The State had not delivered success; Big Business had not delivered success. The people, the men who had worked the seams for generations, had taken the means of production, the workplace into their own ownership.

Not the State! Not Big Business! Property was in the hands of the people!

And so it was that with the coal finally exhausted, the miners at Tower Colliery finally closed the door on their endeavour on the 31st of January 2008 with a sense of pride in their achievement.

These last few days also witnessed the (gradual but increasing) passing of another tradition in the South Wales valleys. The last Italian cafe closed in the Garw Valley - an event that is being mirrored across the South Wales valleys.

Just this month in the BBC History magazine a reader corrected a mistake in the previous issue that implied Cappuccinos and Latte Coffees were launched in Britain in 1950s London. In fact they had been enjoyed in the many Italian cafes that sprang up in the pre-War Welsh Valleys.

You're wondering how these stories could be connected (aside from their geographical proximity of course), but surely if the story of the miners becoming Distributists is a fitting tribute to "Third Positionist" Nationalism, so the arrival of the Italians in the valleys, their European culture, their assimilation to Welsh life, with their becoming a specific creation of both nature and nurture is a fitting tribute to those of us who believe in a truly European ideal (beyond the Masonic bureaucrats and centralising Marxists of Brussels) and that "multi-culturalism" is something we Europeans can enjoy without being swamped by millions of coloured immigrants?

A land in which Distributism has been victorious and in which good coffee has been be enjoyed alongside a bag of chips and a pint of beer for decades?

Perhaps the Welsh should be grateful for more than just today's rugby result at Twickenham.

Last Welsh Deep Mine Closes

Miners Celebrated Their Distributism

Valley's Last Italian Cafe closes


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