Jon Cruddas Roscoe Lecture review
11 March 2011
Jon Cruddas, Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham, recently delivered a Roscoe Lecture titled ‘Robert Tressell – The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ to mark the centenary of the author’s death.
This Roscoe Lecture also invited an opportunity to help celebrate a century of radicalism in Liverpool as this year marks an investigation into the city's radical history - culturally, socially and politically.
‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ was first published after Tressell’s death in 1914. An explicitly political work, it is widely regarded as a classic of working-class literature and is set around the time that the Labour Party was founded and began to win seats in the House of Commons.
Jon talked of his respect for Liverpool and the ‘passions it generates’ and praised the community efforts and sense of tradition in the centenary events taking place in the city for the book. He commented on Tressell’s work:
“The Book teaches me that what we need today is the courage and the self -belief of our ancestors- reflected in this book’s journey.”
Jon Cruddas MP’s standing for election as Labour's deputy leader in 2007 opened the contest to new ideas -especially on housing, immigration and public services, winning the support of tens of thousands of members and trade unionists.
The Good Citizenship Award presented at the lecture was given to Emily, Hannah & Sophie Brown (sisters aged 9, 8 and 5) of Mab’s Cross Primary School, Wigan who volunteered as part of the world-wide `Helping Hands Day’ to work in the gardens of Haigh Hall. They spent their time in the walled garden planting and repairing raised borders.
You can download an audio file of the Lecture at http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/roscoe/97603.htm