Rob Donovan - Author
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The Road To Corbyn - A Synopsis

Following the style of Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, Deception begins with the conceit of a dream in which Pilgrim, a contemporary seeker after truth, is introduced together with the characters Hope, Charity, and the Interpreter.

Hope and Charity represent the virtues inherent in their names, the Interpreter is Pilgrim’s guide, the voice that presents the big picture of the human species and their development, particularly within the last two hundred and fifty years.

The Interpreter’s underlying beliefs about truth serve in this work as a secular counterpart to Bunyan’s belief in evangelical Christianity. The Interpreter’s concerns are with inequality and the unjust distribution of wealth, the suffering that is thereby caused, and the deceptions of self and others that are needed to justify the power structures and politics that reinforce these inequalities and injustices.

Pilgrim finds that his specific journey is through the lifetime of the 2010-2015 U.K. government, and then forward, past the General Election of May 2015 and on to the emergence of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party in opposition.

I wanted to emulate Bunyan’s loving use of biblical scholarship to justify his presentation of the truths of his Christian religion in the margins of his text by providing authoritative referencing for the truth claims that are made in ‘The Road to Corbyn’. The References section at the end of the book serves this purpose for my secular work.

Bunyan’s character, Christian, is a pilgrim whose encounters on his journey to the Holy City could be described as spiritual fantasies. I have sought in my work to create a fantasy of encounters and events in order to present a socialist viewpoint that is clearly hostile to the ideology now shaping the government of the United Kingdom. In my Pilgrim’s journey, he comes face to face with characters who represent those figures in charge of the prime offices of state such as Health and Welfare, Education and the Treasury – and he meets both the prime minister himself and views a performance by the leader of a state similar to the modern Russian federation led by Putin.

My seeker after truth becomes more and more convinced of the truth of the Interpreter’s views. When his guide supplies him with a digital black box, Pilgrim is able to start drawing his own conclusions.

The Road To Corbyn - A Modern-Day Pilgrim's Progress
How ‘The Road to Corbyn’ began - and came to see the light of day

In 2008 when the financial crisis erupted, I sensed the historical significance of the time.

By 2010, I was compiling material from a range of sources that helped me make sense of what was happening in society and in politics.

By 2013, I was writing ‘Deception – a modern day Pilgrim’s Progress through the lifetime of the 2010-2015 U.K. government’.

By early 2014, the final draft was finished and I began the search for a publisher or agent hoping for publication before Christmas that year in time for the May 2015 General Election.

Some kind words and praise followed in 2014 but no one wanted to take the plunge.

A week before that election in May 2015, I had an email from an Edinburgh publisher that showed some interest. A phone conversation followed between us. He recommended getting the book read in a readers’/writers’ group. I did.

Two more chapters followed – to take account of the Tory victory in the election and the subsequent election of Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of the Labour Party - and a rejigging of the whole work in the light of the helpful comments from the group.

The work had now become: ‘The Road to Corbyn’.

The Road To Corbyn - A Modern-Day Pilgrim's Progress
The Road To Corbyn
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The Road To Corbyn - A Modern-Day Pilgrim's Progress