London Gazette

 

Reader’s Letter: People Are Choking To Death!

February 14, 1906 ·

To Me Old Mate Bromley,

Proud as I am to be a working man, methinks now that we’d have been proper to have chosen a different life. This bleedin’ fog coverin’ the city has shut down all the work that was to be had, meanin’ we Union boys haven’t got toss-all to do with ourselves.

Thems that ain’t dyin’ from starvin’ are chokin’ to death on the yellow air!

Families are going hungry, and thems that ain’t dyin’ from starvin’ are chokin’ to death on the yellow air. It’s pure acid this, and it’ll kill every Brit in London before it’s done. You’d think that things bein’ what they are, our dearly beloved Industralist friends’d be sufferin’ just as badly as we, but that ain’t the bleedin’ case, and that’s got me suspicious mate.

Birdhouses and pubs and card games in our parts are boomin’

The Caledonian’s just made a big move up the Scots way, and they’ll have more pounds pourin’ into their greedy pockets than you and I could ever count, you can bet. And they don’t seem to be bothered by the state of the dear old Capitol. Something’s on, me old mate, something big, and I aim to find out what it is.

I’ll admit to feeling a bit happy at seein’ all the rich folks’ fancy little cafes and shops and whatnot strugglin’ for a penny even with their respirators that they ain’t quite willin’ to share with our kind, while the birdhouses and pubs and card games in our parts are boomin’. I’ve been down every day with the boys at the Boots and Hammer. Time was when we was all thinkin’ this’d pass soon, and we was talkin’ our way through what we’d take to doin’ once we was back to work. Now all the talk that’s left to be had is about where we’re going to get our next bit of food.

Half a King’s ransom changes hands every night over dice and cards

Lot of the boys have given up on things like food though, and just worry about makin’ sure there’s still pints to be had. Half a King’s ransom changes hands every night over dice and cards and the like. You’d think as Unionists in times like these we’d be poolin’ what little we had left together to keep us all alive. But the boys seem to have given up, and taken to thinkin’ only about going out having a good time.

But here’s the thing mate, strange faces been showin’ up in our parts lately. And you know as well as me that our parts ain’t the type where strange faces dare to venture. Most of the boys can’t notice ’em through the booze and the gamblin’ and the birds, but there’s a few of us that have, and we’ve been talkin’ it over in the back room at the Boots. We’re going to go dark-like, and see who these knobs are, and what it is that they want.

I got one of me old feelin’s that these Industrialist sods have got it in their heads that there’s profit to be made from this hell we’re livin’ through, and as usual, they plan to do it at our expense. But I’ve gotta be off mate, time to head to see my dear, sweet Annie. I’ll keep in touch bruv, and let you know what the boys and I find. Until then, keep your boots shinin’.

Yours in Blood, Sweat, and Beers,

Haytham Ashdown

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