'Speak when you are spoken to, Jones,' cried the clerk of the court.
‘That’s precisely what I did,’ said Bev. ‘He spoke a lie, and I corrected it. Is there anything wrong with that?’ The assistant magistrate whispered something at great length to old Ashthorn, who kept nodding and nodding.
‘You have broken the law,’ said old Ashthorn. ‘Society must be protected from people of your type.’ Bev came as rapidly to the boil as a pan full of alcohol. He said:
‘My type? What do you mean, my type? I’m a scholar forbidden to transmit my scholarship. I’m a widower whose wife was burnt to death while the firemen of London sat on their arses and picked their teeth.’
‘You will apologise to Mrs Featherstone for using that word,’ bellowed the clerk of the court.
‘I apologise, Mrs Featherstone,’ said Bev to the assistant magistrate, ‘for using that word. Words are terrible things, aren’t they? Far more deadly than fires allowed to burn on while firemen sit on their fundaments. I am not a type, your worship or honour or whatever you like to be called. I’m a human being deprived of work because I stand by a principle. I object to being a unionized sheep.’
Either romanticise the worker through deification, which means dehumanisation, or despise the worker - they were the only alternatives to an intellectual like Orwell. He had the real Ingsoc stuff in him; he read ‘The New Statesman’ while the workers read ‘Blighty’ and the ‘Daily Mirror’. The workers did not buy his books. The workers do not buy my books either, but I do not repine. Nor do I make the mistake of supposing that the life of imagination is somehow superior to the life of the body. The dock-worker and the novelist belong to the same organism, called society, and society, whatever it thinks, cannot get along without either of us.'1985', Anthony Burgess