Ok, I know that people here like to read bookks, rather than the sports page - so here is a really good one, folks, from the Personal Library of Minto Grubb Esq.
The Common Stream , its called , and it talks about a small stream that runs through the Middle of England. Now, maybe two thousand years of English History does not sound interesting or relevant to politics, and people interested in modern day issues.
However, when politicians go harking back to 'Victorian values' it may be good to see what happened in the victorian era when private charity was all that folk had to exist on if their parents died or they got too old to work.
The Common Stream is not about Kings and Queeens, but what ordinary people can tell us about their lives. The people in the book all came by this stream. Some settled and lived in the village, some were born here. Using the archeologist's spade and the records from all sorts of official archives, we get to meet an old woman who lived in a Victorian Workhouse; We read the will of a medieval tradesman; we read about children as young as 8 or 9 who died of illnesses that have been eradicated in modern England through vaccination.
It does not preach any political message, but it does put the modern era into a sharp pesrpective. The kids born in England since the 1950s are in fact, the best fed, the healthiest, and indeed the luckiest children ever born in Britain. Available records reveal that fewer of such children died of TB and smallpox. They have the longest average lifespans and the best education service that this country ever had - even if they happened to be working class.
In the difference it made to the lives of the Common People, the Welfare State was a great success. A fact that the book frankly admits on the final page. Read all about it.http://www.amazon.com/Common-Stream-Thousand-English-Village/dp/0897333918