I come from a line of coal miners and staunch Primitive Methodists and Chartists. My grand father was badly injured underground and my father, who was 11 and his brother who was 9, had leave school to go down the mine. He was incensed at what the Labour Party has become.
Henry V111 had a conflict with the Pope as to who was the ultimate ruler of England. Henry resolved the dilema by evicting the Church of Rome and starting the Church of England and as Martin Luther had recently started the Protestant movement the CoE became Protestant. However the CoE is almost a clone of the CoR but without Confession, Mass or Pope. It retained all the CoR’s authoritarianism and fancy regailia. This led to the birth of the Methodist Church who rejected that authoritarianism and adopted more plain attire. As is human nature the Methodist clergy in time began to adopt the authoritarianism of the CoE. The new industrial age required workers who were both literate and numerate so the working men started to become educated and began to read. In 1800 some of those working men (mainly from the potteries) then began to reject that new authoritarianism of the Methodist clergy so were thrown out of the Methodist Church. They felt they did not need a ‘gate keeper’ to speak to God for them as they could speak to him directly themselves. They were still devout Christians and became known as Primitive Methodists. They started street preaching and became very popular with working men particularly in the mines, heavy industries, Textile workers etc. Those working in these new industries began to become more affulent and assertive. Then in 1838 the Chartist Movement started by working men who demanded enfranchisement. It was the Primitive Methodists, who had acquired the skills of pubic speaking by their street preaching who were able to give voice to the Chartist men assembling outside of the factories. From this union the Labour Party and the Unions were formed. The Trade Unions in 1868 formed from the much earlier trade guilds and the Labour Party in 1900.
The ‘working men’ of the heavy industries have all but gone. They have more or less been replaced by people who will be in financial difficulties if they do not get their cash at the end of each month.
Sadly the Labour Party has since been hijacked by Middle Class Fabians, academics and dilittanties while many of the Unions have been infiltrated and hijacked by Marxist militants. (view the film ‘The Angy Silence’ with Richard Attenborough 1960). The remit of the Marxists is to use the Trade Unions as a means to try to reduce the very successful Industrial Society to a destitute shambles so that a brave new Marxist society can be rebuilt from the ashes. They are more interested in exploiting the collective power of working men to achieve that than improving their welfare which now seems to be periferal. Today’s Labour Party and Unions are nothing like what they started out as and no longer represent ‘the workers’. It was never the intention of the Chartists and Prims that they would be represented by Socialists and Marxism.
Perhaps the Reform Party is now the Party of all working people?