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Short Story: 'The Great Difference'

Being a verbatim report of a conversation on a Tube platform between a youth of 18 and another of 21, upon a highly technical and abstruse subject.

The Younger: "What’s this about Ilford, Bill?”

The Older: "Why, the blinking Conservative has got in again.”

The Younger: "Oh, but what is all the excitement? What does it mean, 'Ilford Election Sensation’?”

The Older: "Well, the Tory has got in but the majority is about 10,000 down.”

The Younger: "Did you vote, Bill?”

The Older: "No! I wasn’t old enough when the register was made up."

The Younger: "I don’t know a great deal about politics, Bill. What is Conservatism?”

The Older (after profound thought): "Conservatism? Why, its the Nobs, that’s what it is, its the Nobs.”

The Younger: "And what o’ Liberalism, Bill?”

The Older: "Liberalism? Well, they used to be for Labour, see, before the Labour Party came in, but now the Labour Party is in, they ain’t so much for Labour now.”

The Younger: "And the Labour Party, what do they stand for?”

The Older: "Well, the Labour Party, they’re all for the working man, see. Take your own case, for example, you’re working 44 hours a week, ain’t you. Now, then, if the Labour Party hadn’t been in you would have been working 48.”

The Younger: "I see! The Labour Party go all out for the working man, eh !”

The Older: "That’s it. Besides, my father has always been for Labour and I reckon what’s good enough for him, is good enough for me.”

The Younger: "Oh, yes ! That’s about right, Bill. Hullo! here’s our train.”

W. T. Hopley