Thursday, January 04, 2018

Blood Sympathy by Reginald Hill (Harper 1993)

Lutonians talk about Hermsprong with a muted horror which is almost pride. Here is the original urban black hole into which all social subsidy and welfare work is sucked without trace. Perhaps the best account of the estate was given by its senior social worker on Radio Luton shortly before her breakdown.

‘Hermsprong is a truly organic community,’ she said in a very quiet, very restrained voice. ‘Here everyone has a place and a function. Here there are none so poor they cannot be robbed, none so insignificant they cannot be reviled, none so inoffensive they cannot be hated. This is the far end of Thatcherism. On Hermsprong they need no nanny state, they already take care of each other.’

Compared with this, Rasselas was a health resort.

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