Thursday, 12 August 2010

Jimmy Reid - 1932-2010: "A rat race is for rats"

"Alienation is the precise and correctly applied word for describing the major social problem in Britain today. People feel alienated by society. In some intellectual circles it is treated almost as a new phenomenon. It has, however, been with us for years. What I believe is true is that today it is more widespread, more pervasive than ever before. Let me right at the outset define what I mean by alienation. It is the cry of men who feel themselves the victims of blind economic forces beyond their control. It's the frustration of ordinary people excluded from the processes of decision-making. The feeling of despair and hopelessness that pervades people who feel with justification that they have no real say in shaping or determining their own destinies..." [Continues here]

- Jimmy Reid, Glasgow, 1972.

1 comment:

  1. Michael Parkinson tells a great story of Jimmy Reid and Kenneth Williams being booked together on his show in the early 70s.
    Backstage in the green room before the broadcast the increasingly reactionary Williams tried to belittle Reid by quoting a passage from some classical work and asking him if he knew who had written it.
    Reid answered correctly, then stood up and declaimed this incredibly powerful piece of poetry.
    Reid asked Williams if he knew who'd written it.
    Williams said he didn't - and Reid told him; "I did."