Robert Wyatt’s great elegy for the passing away of heavy manufacturing and the community values that surrounded it is as intense and moving today as it was 30 years ago.
I was not from that world and but for a brief spell as a mechant seaman have never used my hands to make a living. I’m not qualified to talk about the dignity of labour.
As a country we are embarking on a period where unemployment will be the major issue. Millions will lose their jobs and many more will be directly affected by the frustration and humiliation of having no work- I mean the workless families.
Much of the infrastructure that supported people through hard times has gone, the church and chapel, the clubs and pubs and the institutions of labour-the unions- are diminished.
People now share experience via computers, radio and TV. Without work many people have no common meeting place.
I worry for the happiness of Britain- especially for those who are and will be out of work over the next few years.