Among the general public there are ominous signs that the present abnormal conditions are creating poisonous distrust between rich and poor. We hear its echoes in the House of Commons and in the daily press. Everybody who is in an office of State is in turn suspected of guiding affairs to his own personal advantage.
Lord Devonport is in very ill odour with the common people, first because he asks them to eat less, but chiefly because he is rich, and may be presumed to have a desire to become richer. Farmers are hated as “profiteers” and openly accused of making “fortunes” out of the starvation of the people.
A miner told me the other day of a case in which a potato grower made £3000 out of 46 acres, and the cost of production was mere nothing. As he lit his pipe, he gave a triumphant, “Ha! I see good times coming. After the war the red flag will fly, and we’ll have a revolution. We’ll have no more of these fellows making money out of the working people.”
I had to deliver leaflets in a certain district, almost exclusively working class, and if the husband chanced to be in, he would instantly attack me with invective against the Government and the rich, who, they appear to think, are in league to exploit the working man.