Alex Massie

Trouble At Mill

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My friend Toby Harnden finds John Edwards doing his best Monty Python in Iowa:

Remember the "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch, which ended with Eric Idle describing how during his childhood he had to "drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah"? Edwards can top that.

Well, almost. "I grew up in a family where my grandmother walked to work at the mill every day wearing her apron,” he said. “My grandfather, who was partially paralysed, hauled rolls of cloth using one arm. My dad worked in those mills for 36 years, my mom worked too – all of them for one reason – to give us a chance to rise up and have a better life."

Wearing an apron! Oh the humanity!

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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