Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Tenant Right and Archibald M'Ilroy

This extract from When Lint Was In The Bell is insightful - M'Ilroy's activism around land reform means that he must have known about TW Russell (whose story I need to return to and complete). Nobody owned any land, just the landlords. Not all landlords were evil. But rural people had laboured and toiled and sweated over their few rented acres for generations and there was no greater desire than to actually own it, and to hand it down. Here's what Archibald wrote –

There has been some chat here recently about our religiously segregated school system, and that (surprise surprise) children are being taught two different curriculums and two different versions of history (article from The Guardian is here).

Looking back to my own school curriculum from '83-'90, I learned pretty much nothing about my own place, despite it being full of literature, language, story, tradition and music; no sense of value for where I lived. Anything of that nature I learned outside and after the classroom, so therefore I had perhaps been 'neutralised'. Perhaps others have in some way been 'radicalised'.

Tenant Right is a story that we all share. Nobody owned any land. Perhaps that is why it is not talked about. Maybe there is no real desire to have a common story.

Putting the word 'shared' in a few press releases and project titles is a cosmetic exercise. Taking down statues is similarly easy and symbolic. These things satisfy the chattering classes and give the media a few pieces of footage to loop for a few days, but they don't actually change much at all. The hard work to be done - with relationships and mindsets - is superbly expressed in this joint article by Robert P George and Cornel West. –

"To unite the country, we need honesty and courage. All of us must speak the truth — including painful truths that unsettle not only our foes but also our friends and, most especially, ourselves..."
Read it all and you'll see what vision looks like.