RH Tawney’s Equality taught me that the good society was the equal society, and inspired my life in politicsI knew that I was Labour when I was 12. And I knew why. All Hattersleys were Labour. My allegiance was purely tribal – no different in kind or quantity from the devotion I felt for Sheffield Wednesday and Yorkshire County Cricket Club. The idea that I ought to have reasons for supporting the Labour party never entered my head.My only real ambition was to open the batting for England, but I gradually accepted, without much enthusiasm, that one day I would teach history or English in an old-fashioned grammar school – leather patches on my sports-coat elbows and willingness to help with games on Saturday.By the time of the 1951 general election – in which I worked with a thoughtless partisan loyalty – I had been accepted at Leeds University to read English and Sheffield to read history. My father made me promise that, during my first year, I “would not get involved in politics”. Keeping that undertaking, unlike the promise about girls and alcohol, did not seem a problem.When the A-level examinations were over, AW Goodfellow, the senior master at …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books