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Fear and Loathing

When I was a 17 year old office boy at the Glasgow Herald I was sent to the Mitchell Library for about a week to find out what the paper had said about momentous events in history. This was for a book to mark the paper's bi-centenary. I can't remember now much of what I found but I do recall they didn't use the comments on the acquisition of Hong Kong in the early 1840s. Basically, the paper said Britain had been cheated by the Chinese and what was it going to do with this barren island at the mouth of the Canton. What I do remember is how the paper's attitude to the poor and working classes changed after the First World War. Before the war the paper took a paternal and concerned attitude. After the 1918 the working classes were the enemy within. These were days of Red Clydeside. This was the paper read by the handful of men who ran heavy industry in Scotland and who, along with their sons, would cripple attempts from the 1930s onward to diversify the Scottish economy and give workers a wider choice of employers. And then eventually move their shipbuilding operations, etc, to places like Korea. Even before I joined the Herald, Koreans had a higher standard of living than the Scots. The Red Menace of 1918 conjured up by the Herald had been vanquished.

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