Daily Mail 1837
Not satisfied with the mill owner’s generous concession of a ninety-six hour working week, worker’s representatives – rabble rousers to a man – are now demanding two full days off a year and this in addition to Christmas day and Easter Sunday, upon which holy days they already stand idle and unproductive.
Sir Barty Ringbit, speaking from his eighty acre mansion in the Cotswolds, told us he is appalled by this latest imposition. “It was barely two years ago,” he said, “that we gave in to their clamour for a farthing a month pay rise. On top of an agreement that those dying of consumption or tuberculosis should no longer be held responsible for training their replacements, this latest outrage is nothing short of blackmail”.
Another mill owner, Lord Vileness of Bilgewater, told the Mail that since the abolition of slavery in 1833 and the concomitant increases in cotton prices from the colonies, he has been forced to sell one of his three stately homes and can now only visit his winter abode in Saint Moritz for a bare two months of the year.
“At this rate,” he continued, “members of my own family could soon be forced to take some small hand in the business, carrying out what can only be described as acts of common labour such as overseeing floggings and the like. This is an intolerable state of affairs and must not be countenanced at any cost.”
Taking a break from his sojourn in the spa town of Cambridge, Lord Vileness told us he would be raising this issue in the House of Lords the moment it returned from its summer recess in seven weeks time.
“If we continue to cave in to these scurrilous demands,” he said, “the next thing we shall hear is that children should be in school rather than being usefully employed manning the looms from dawn to dusk, or cleaning the chimneys of the gentry. It seems these Bolsheviks believe their snot nosed progeny should be given their bread and water as a right and not have to earn it with a little honest toil, which has clearly been shown to be beneficial in building moral fibre and in my opinion, has never harmed anyone. Not amongst the lower orders, at any rate, who clearly need a purpose in life forced upon them if they are not to turn out as cutpurses, highwaymen and vagabonds.”
The Duke of Sainsbree, delaying his philanthropic visit to Newgate prison where he annually distributes rotting meat and weevil-infested bread – that is yet to reach its not lethal until date – to the grubby inmates, responded to this question of worker’s rights, telling this reporter:
“I am a charitable man and work tirelessly for three days of the year to alleviate the suffering of the less fortunate. However, if we continually give in to unreasonable and costly demands, such as miners being allowed topside once a day to see the sun, or their bints being allowed several hours leave of absence for the purpose of whelping their cross-eyed bastards, then I can see a time when, emboldened by our inaction, the under classes will be fighting for old age pensions and the right to cease their labours before death has taken them.”
“As for claims that we should be employing those with missing limbs as a sop to the unfortunates of the world, this is clearly ludicrous. God visited these torments upon them – no doubt with good reason – and whether such appendages were lost in factory machinery or in tavern brawls, is neither here nor there.”
The Duke’s protégé, Baron Tesko of Littlehelpington, added, “Unless our troops are brought in to crush such rebellions by these villainous and ungrateful serfs, those of higher breeding and status may struggle to maintain their elite places in society and perhaps even face a challenge to their rightful ownership of 95% of the nation’s wealth and be forced to exile themselves in countries such as Switzerland where Sir Phillip of Collins and Saint Bono Du Taxdodge have already taken refuge.
Everything changes but everything remains the same. Read above article again and see the similarities between the nineteenth century and the tweny-first. Welcome to the beginning of the new Victorian age – soup kitchens and workhouses not just on their way, already here, but renamed “Workfare” and “Foodbank”.
Exaggerating? Am I?