May the Tories, Labour, and Unions burn in hell
In the bookstall on the station, they had paperbacks of modern German philosophy, but I could not see one copy of Arnold Bennett's Potteries classic, The Old Wives' Tale.
In that masterpiece, the author celebrates the fact that wherever you are in the world, the plate off which you are eating or the cup from which you are drinking was probably made in what he called the Five Towns of Stoke. Not any more.
When I look back on my father's admirable life - using all his intelligence to make beautiful things, to sell them profitably without exploiting the lives of the workforce - he seems to me an embodiment of all that was best about Britain, an economy founded not on boom and bust, not on the roulette-wheel of speculative capitalism, but on actual skills and commodities.
Whatever happens to Waterford Wedgwood next, none of that will ever come back. When that happy woman told me as a child how much she enjoyed her job painting cups and saucers, Stoke was filled with similarly skilled individuals.
Row upon row of women in the Wedgwood factory were painting cups and plates during my childhood.
When I visited recently, there were none. One man alone was on display painting a plate for the amusement of visitors and tourists. What had been the whole raison d'etre of 'the works' had now become a sideshow.
Norman Wilson had predicted disaster when the firm passed out of the hands of himself and the Wedgwood family. All the same, I am glad that my father is not alive to see the sorry state to which things have sunk since those glory days.
The article is worth reading in its entirety