Monday, December 24, 2012
The Lucky English
Barry, My Liege :
If the Scots were miserable in the latter part of the 18th Century, the English must have been better off.
They were, according to Wingfield-Stratford :
"...But when the war was over and the inflated prosperity of the farmer collapsed like a pricked bubble, though [war measures] may have provided the best temporary expedient for keeping land under the plough, easing the burden on the farmers and providing some sort of employment for the labourers, the plight of the countryside was catastrophe. The ratepayers, many of whom were themselves on the verge of destitution and who were , besides, crushed to the earth by enormous taxation, could not afford to be generous. Relief and wages combined were forced down to the bare pittance necessary to keep body and soul together, and this level was steadily depressed until the countryside of England, which had been not so long ago famed as the land of roast beef and plum pudding in scornful contrast with that of the 'skinny Frenchmen', was peopled by gaunt and half-starved wretches shirking about on Sundays - as Corbett puts it - "in ragged smock frocks with unshaven faces, with a shirt not washed for a month and with their toes peeping out of their shoes," droves of slaves, under arbitrary tyranny of their parish overseer, often harnessed, men and women together, to the parish cart. And yet the squires and big landowners were basking in the noontide of prosperity, trapping and transporting men to preserve pheasants, and spending long days on horseback in the pursuit of vermin."
This is what the Republicans will have for us, My Liege. It is the legacy of unfettered Free Market economics.
We pray you fight for us.
Your faithful servant.