Our Struggle by Wayne Holloway
Our Struggle: A book I’ve been waiting for. A kind of shadow political history of Britain since the early eighties told through the life of ‘Tall Paul’, (the kind of person you may have looked up to at University or Polytechnic who was just that bit older and worldly wise than you). The unnamed narrator of Wayne Holloway’s Our Struggle, posits the question (among others): What happened to all the Tall Pauls when the intense politics of one’s late teens and twenties gave way to ‘real life’? Is praxis just a term dryly thrown about by lecturers, or can you live life by a set of socialist principles hot-housed into being by the times, where you were, where you’d come from, and (maybe) aided by copious lines of speed and countless pints of beer? What happens when the hot-house goes cold? Being left-wing was fun then. But now? After the miner’s strike? Thatcher? Poll Tax? The Battle of the Beanfield? The Iraq War? Tory created austerity? The EDL? Brexit? Paul is politically cynical, but still a believer and is living the best life he can, meanwhile his daughter, Rosa, is one of the new generation of left-wing politicos, different from her Dad’s and the narrator’s generation by donning a gun and fighting for a cause. In Rosa’s case ‘praxis’ being a word that will never be debated or figured out at university. She’s not immobilised by post modernism, she’s going to fight in a war for a world she believes in. And maybe that is part of our struggle too, especially when the world has been taken over by yet another generation of stupid men (and Liz Truss) aka short-term, profit driven, boss-class nationalist leaders, it’s just that ‘we’ don’t realise it yet. If Our Struggle by Wayne Holloway isn’t my book of the year I can’t imagine what will be.