“Don’t hate the players hate the game”

The quotation comes from Alex Holland, a former Labour councillor who with others successfully campaigned to save Brixton Market from redevelopment as flats.  It could have come from the works of George Orwell – a significant influence on this blog.  I recently re-read ‘Keep the aspidistra Flying’.  It was an inspiration to me as a teenager.  Now it inspired feelings of despair.  But that’s the point.  It’s a kind of 1984-Lite.  The hero, Gordon Comstock is determined not to join in the common herd’s worship for the ‘Money God.’  He maintains his conviction for many years, seeing his life sink deeper and deeper into the mire of poverty and self-loathing, while his values remain ‘pure’.  But eventually even he is dragged into the money-driven world he hates.  Like 1984, it has an inevitability about it.  The final surrender is a relief more than a battle.  More than two things are certain in life.  There are a number of things you can’t beat – biology is one, capitalism is another.


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