Votes and other playthings

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In respect to those of our people who are hardest hit by Premier Kathy Dunderdale's 2013 budget, I call attention to an excerpt from "The story of the Amulet" written by Edith Nesbitt in 1906 (available free online from Project Gutenberg).

"But how badly you keep your slaves. How wretched and poor and neglected they seem," she said, as the cab rattled along the Mile End Road.

"They aren't slaves; they're working-people," said Jane.

"Of course they're working. That's what slaves are. Don't you tell me. Do you suppose I don't know a slave's face when I see it? Why don't their masters see that they're better fed and better clothed? Tell me in three words."

No one answered. The wage-system of modern England is a little difficult to explain in three words even if you understand it - which the children didn't.

"You'll have a revolt of your slaves if you're not careful," said the Queen.

"Oh, no," said Cyril; "you see they have votes - that makes them safe not to revolt. It makes all the difference. Father told me so."

"What is this vote?" asked the Queen. "Is it a charm? What do they do with it?"

"I don't know," said the harassed Cyril; "it's just a vote, that's all! They don't do anything particular with it."

"I see" said the Queen, "a sort of plaything."

Penny Allderdice

St. John's

Geographic location: Mile End Road, England, St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Tony Rockel
    April 10, 2013 - 13:37

    I'm sure Dunderdale has Ayn Rand for bedside reading.

    April 10, 2013 - 12:31

    Thank you Politically incorrect - I found Douglas's fables in Wikipedia: (the references can be found there) "The Cream Separator" is a fable, written by Douglas, which aims to explain the inherent injustices of the capitalist system as it relates to the agricultural sector by making the analogy that the upper-class gets the cream, the middle-class gets the whole milk and the farmers and industrial workers get a watery substance that barely resembles milk.[61][62] He was also known for his retelling of the fable of "Mouseland", likens the majority of voters as mice, and how they either elect black or white cats as their politicians, but never their own mice: meaning that workers and their general interests were not being served by electing wealthy politicians from the Liberal or Conservative parties (black and white cats), and that only a party from their class (mice), originally the CCF, later the NDP, could serve their interests (mice).[63] Years later, his famous grandson, television actor Kiefer Sutherland, provided the introduction to a Mouseland animated video that used a Douglas Mouseland speech as its narration.[64]

  • marilyn
    April 09, 2013 - 18:50

    I know this does not belong here but I have to post did you know that our gov is cutting danger pay to our soldiers in afg there are 930 soldiers at 500 dollars a month and they feel they need to save money on this harpers stylist makes more than that a month I have read so much about this gov that it makes my blood boil going after our soldiers is the last straw the I old saying is don't get made get even and I will start now I will keep surfing the internet for all info on this gov and will post on every site I can find day after day after day

  • EDfromRED
    April 09, 2013 - 14:15

    Premier Kathy Dunderdale should resign ASAP, and then NALCOR should put her in a Muskrat costume and employ her as a mascot.

  • Politically Incorrect
    April 09, 2013 - 07:57

    A similar story was told by Tommy Douglas about the mice who habitually voted for either white or black cats -- with predictable outcomes for the mice. Of course the mouse that proposed that a mouse be elected was dismissed as a trouble maker -- by the other mice. And so the story goes...