Karl Marx and London match women (E275)
Like some spring daffodil, the word “Marxist” suddenly started to sprout everywhere across the media this month. Used mainly as an insult and ascribed to the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn, an unintended consequence of all this spring growth sent thousands of young people onto the internet to ask who is Karl Marx? There, they discovered that Marxism was born in London where the German-Jewish philosopher Dr Marx lived and worked. In fact, he lived and worked in London for so long that expert guided tours have been organized through the many byways of Victorian London for a growing band of interested citizens and tourists. And one of the expert guides who lead them is Dr Heiko Khoo. So, we invited him into the studio to tell us more.
Phossy Jaw was an epidemic back in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In fact, a huge number of the women workers, many of the girls, actually employed by Bryant & May matchmakers, suffered from it on account of their long hours making matches with phosphorus. That is the kind of stuff which some governments still, as a matter of military routine, drop on civilians which leads to devastating results. Those who didn’t get cancer, toiled in poverty while being ruthlessly exploited as being un-unionized and women workers. That was until the match women struck. Dr Louise Raw knows a lot about the match women’s strike in 1888. She even organizes the annual Match Women Festival. So, we asked her aboard Sputnik to tell us more about the courageous women who took on the factory owners.