Unrobing the Emperors and other matters of concern. An author's blog - begun in January 2016 - revealing political deception in the UK - paving The Road to Corbyn (2016, Matador), my updating of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. Featuring the story of the writing and research for The Remarkable Life of Jago Stone (2020, Unicorn) with readers' reactions. Also updates on my work in progress: Dying To Know.
Monday, 26 March 2018
THE ROAD TO CORBYN by ROB DONOVAN - TASTERS (PART ONE)
How ‘The Road to Corbyn’ began - and came to see the light of day
In 2008 when the financial crisis erupted, I sensed the historical significance of the time.
By 2010, I was compiling material from a range of sources that helped me make sense of what was happening in society and in politics.
By 2013, I was writing ‘Deception – a modern day Pilgrim’s Progress through the lifetime of the 2010-2015 U.K. government’.
By early 2014, the final draft was finished and I began the search for a publisher or agent hoping for publication before Christmas that year in time for the May 2015 General Election.
Some kind words and praise followed in 2014 but no one wanted to take the plunge.
A week before that election in May 2015, I had an email from an Edinburgh publisher that showed some interest. A phone conversation followed between us. He recommended getting the book read in a readers’/writers’ group. I did.
Two more chapters followed – to take account of the Tory victory in the election and the subsequent election of Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of the Labour Party - and a rejigging of the whole work in the light of the helpful comments from the group.
The work had now become: ‘The Road to Corbyn’. No mainstream publisher was likely to see a profit in a book with that title and message.
I self-published through Matador/Troubador in 2016.
The Road To Corbyn - A Synopsis
Following the style of Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, Deception begins with the conceit of a dream in which Pilgrim, a contemporary seeker after truth, is introduced together with the characters Hope, Charity, and the Interpreter.
Hope and Charity represent the virtues inherent in their names, the Interpreter is Pilgrim’s guide, the voice that presents the big picture of the human species and their development, particularly within the last two hundred and fifty years.
My secular Pilgrim is in search of the truth about why there is so much suffering
The Interpreter’s underlying beliefs about truth serve in this work as a secular counterpart to Bunyan’s belief in evangelical Christianity. The Interpreter’s concerns are with inequality and the unjust distribution of wealth, the suffering that is thereby caused, and the deceptions of self and others that are needed to justify the power structures and politics that reinforce these inequalities and injustices.
Pilgrim finds that his specific journey is through the lifetime of the 2010-2015 U.K. government, and then forward, past the General Election of May 2015 and on to the emergence of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party in opposition.
I wanted to emulate Bunyan’s loving use of biblical scholarship to justify his presentation of the truths of his Christian religion in the margins of his text by providing authoritative referencing for the truth claims that are made in ‘The Road to Corbyn’. The References section at the end of the book serves this purpose for my secular work. It serves as a good outline history of the Coalition government, 2010-15.
Bunyan’s character, Christian, is a pilgrim whose encounters on his journey to the Holy City could be described as spiritual fantasies. I have sought in my work to create a fantasy of encounters and events in order to present a socialist viewpoint that is clearly hostile to the ideology now shaping the government of the United Kingdom. In my Pilgrim’s journey, he comes face to face with characters who represent those figures in charge of the prime offices of state such as Health and Welfare, Education and the Treasury – and he meets both the prime minister himself and views a performance by the leader of a state similar to the modern Russian federation led by Putin.
Mammon Inc. - aka Osborne, Cameron, May and Hammond - be on guard ...
My seeker after truth becomes more and more convinced of the truth of the Interpreter’s views. When his guide supplies him with a digital black box, Pilgrim is able to start drawing his own conclusions.
A contrast ...
I will conclude the first of this series of tasters for 'The Road to Corbyn' by presenting to you the :
AN INTRODUCTION Page 2
PILGRIM MEETS THE INTERPRETER Page 4
PILGRIM GOES TO THE ELECTION FAIR Page 15
PILGRIM ENTERS THE FREE MARKET INN Page 21
PILGRIM ENCOUNTERS POSTMUTIN Page 26
PILGRIM MEETS NO BENEFIT Page 30
PILGRIM LEARNS ABOUT IGNORANCE AND ECONOMICS Page 34
PILGRIM ENCOUNTERS ALF PRICE AT THE CRIPPLE’S EASE Page 44
THE LADY HOPE REVEALS MORE Page 50
PILGRIM DISCOVERS A CRISIS OF THE FIRST ORDER Page 55
PILGRIM HAS A LESSON IN EDUCATION Page 63
NEW VOICES AND NEW VISIONS FOR PILGRIM Page 69
THE INTERPRETER ON HOUSING AND THE NEEDS OF THE YOUNG Page 75
PILGRIM FINDS OUT SOME REMARKABLE FACTS Page 84
PILGRIM DISCOVERS THE LIMITS OF EMPATHY Page 96
PILGRIM COMES TO SOME CONCLUSIONS Page 101
PILGRIM RECEIVES SOLACE FROM HOPE AND THE DIGITAL BOX Page 106
PILGRIM’S JOURNEY COMES TO AN END Page 116
REFERENCES Page 128
I hope all this may whet some appetites. I would love to sell more copies of 'The Road to Corbyn' (TRC) because the message of socialism for the 21st century that is inside its covers is so important for all of us.
Here is the link that will serve both American and UK citizens who would like to buy a copy of TRC - press here.
Buy it for yourself. Buy it to give as a birthday gift for others, especially the young. It is easy to read. I enjoyed writing it, despite my horror of Mammon, and it helped me get my head clear about what has been going on in our land for nearly a decade.
We are suffering from misgovernment in the name of Mammon.