Wherein your intrepid bar-room philosophers wondered if the acceptance of the Welfare State, and the success of a slightly softer socialism that ver hardkore Bolshevik Leninism in the UK was all really due to Tom Brown’s Schoolday’s. In as much as the British (some say English – the Scot’s would probably say English) conception of “fair play” allows for a base line fairness within the codified game (not that any of the game is TBS are codified, or indeed make much sense on the page). In a similar way the British constitution is not codified, and therefore the parameters with which “fairness” would be applied is unclear, nevertheless the proletariat (lumpen or not) also got to understand fairness not as a conception of redistribution of wealth, and as an antagonistical way of attacking the ruling class but as a (usefully undefined) national characteristic.

It all made sense in the pub, with Thomas Hughes being Britain’s Marx (except of course Marx was Britain’s Marx which is why he has left his real actual marks on the tables in the Reading Room of the British Library which is no longer in the British Library. Marx Woz ‘Ere, it says, which has been wittily amended to “Marks Are Here”.