First, more from the book itself - the end of the first chapter in which Pilgrim meets the Interpreter:
Pilgrim: 'You speak of market forces … It is a term with which I am unfamiliar.'
Interpreter: 'The idea of the market is one I know that you understand. Quite soon in their history,
human beings began to buy from each other the things they needed but could not themselves grow or make. Humans became buyers and sellers in the market place. Soon the market became a place where humans sold their own labour to others for a price. Money was minted to make this buying and selling more straightforward. Humans worked for others to make or grow things and were paid with money which meant they could go back to the market to buy what they needed. A new force had now entered the world. People began to realise that a profit could be made from such market
deals. More money could be made from making sure that the deal was fixed to your advantage.
Money and power became inextricably linked. Power was needed to gain the advantage; money
helped ensure you had the power. The industrial revolution which I have already explained accelerated these market forces in a way that humans have not yet fully grasped. Now there is a
market place that fills the whole world, a global economy, in which those who have fallen in love
with money invent ways to make more money, more profit. Money can be made from money. It is
commercial alchemy. Every activity, every transaction between humans, can potentially become part of this market. You will see much of this on your journey.'
Pilgrim: 'But surely these market forces will mean your developed world will always seek to have the advantage over the developing world? And won’t the rich and powerful always be striving
to keep their wealth and their status at the expense of those who have less?'
Interpreter: 'You have already begun to draw your own conclusions about how far the few who have wealth shape what is called democracy. As you consider these matters, remember those things
I have explained about oligarchy and plutocracy. Remember also the struggles I mentioned that had to be fought to secure the right to vote in elections for those who were disadvantaged. Wealth and power have been successfully challenged. Market forces have been regulated by elected representatives of people who used their vote to choose governments that did reduce the degree of inequality between fellow human beings ...'
|Labour Party poster in the 1945 General Election
The Interpreter paused. In my dream, his words were left suspended in the stillness of my night-world. I wanted to hear more, but I knew I was overcome by the sheer magnitude of what had been explained so far. But Pilgrim rose from the ground and bent down to pick up his burden. As he did so, the boughs that reached round him from all sides seemed to withdraw, and the overgrown and engulfing mass of branches and foliage around him retreated. The path became distinct. The way ahead through the wood was clear.
|July 1945 - the People speak
And now a passage from the end of 'The Road to Corbyn' - from pp. 137-138 in my 148 pages:
The Interpreter moved in front of Pilgrim and placed his hands on Pilgrim’s shoulders as if in an act of benediction. The Lady Hope had eased gently to one side, exchanging the briefest of tender glances with the Interpreter who continued.
Interpreter: 'First, very quickly, my congratulations on the quality of your research. I applaud your conclusions. But we have much to learn from the events below as well as from the events that have triggered this extraordinary meeting. We must listen very carefully.'
Below them, the figure addressed as ‘My Lord’ was now seated at the head of the table. The words of Mammon, spoken with the same calm confidence that Pilgrim remembered from the first Vanity Fair, were clear and precise. But now there was more ice in the delivery.
Mammon: 'Concern is too strong a term, my friend. Let us say only that we must remain vigilant and take steps to deal with any developments that could be contrary to the interests of the enterprise. We must continue to ensure that all our regular procedures are followed to the letter in order to minimise the adverse effects of this little local difficulty. That is why you have been called together for this gathering.
|'this little local difficulty' on the campaign trail in 2017, almost two years after I wrote TRC
We are talking here of the unexpected election of a 67-year old non-entity to the leadership of Her Majesty’s Opposition in the United Kingdom. A figure of wry amusement and now concern to the overwhelming majority of his fellow Labour Party members of parliament. Whom we have firmly yoked to our agenda. They are, after all, happy on board our Wealth Is Health train.
There were ripples of applause around the table at the sound of the familiar slogan. Their leader
silenced the interruption with a single, slight movement of his hand and continued.
'In five years when the next Election Fair arrives in town he will, we assume, be the same kind of memory dust as the leaders who failed to grasp the reins of the Conservative Party after the fall of the Magnificent One whom they knew as the Iron Lady. This ageing anachronism, this crypto-Marxist relic from the last century, is no man of steel.'
The insult went down very well all round the table. Postmutin and Onkov seemed particularly amused. Their leader's hand brought them back to order.
|My character Postmutin is definitely not associated with the leader of the Russian Federation shown here - there is no similarity whatsoever
'It seems inconceivable that there should be any fate for him other than oblivion. He has the full backing of only handfuls of party MPs, the electorate had barely heard of him and we now have the usual saturation spraying of scorn and distrust by every media outlet under our control. Even those media that are not always so friendly to us seem minded to join in on our side'
Mammon's tone became more emphatic still.
'But I will not say I am wholly comfortable ...'
For more from the jowls of Mammon, tune in to the next post in a few days. I have removed all footnote references from the text above - which is a pity. John Bunyan's references were exemplary and I modelled mine on his high standards and my doctoral training. To access them, you need to read the book and once again I make my buying plea. Here's the website page for you to spend your tenner on a gift for someone this Easter - a socialist feast for the price of a couple of Easter eggs ...