Thou shalt not offer to take another person’s place, or help out unless you’re not paid to do it ... blood transfusions aren’t paid for.
What kind of strength is it you mean?
Well, where people don’t know how to say what they think or even think what they think but think it somehow. They live through it and take risks and make choices for it and learn to cope with what they feel but can’t think. It’s very powerful and very inarticulate.
You mean this strength is more genuine because it’s not just intellectual?
I wouldn’t say the intellect is non-genuine, except that rationality offers merely theoretical possibilities, so many slick outs and slick ways of manipulating people. And English working class culture is very non-manipulative. Rough, but not so manipulative.
In what sense?
In the sense that it was traditionally based on loyalty and bloody-mindedness. There wasn’t a sense of intricacy. Even solidarity was erratic. But there was a kind of non-performance principle. Never work too hard because that would be dropping your fellow workers in shit. The Working Class Goes to Heaven  has it. It’s what Ealing comedies should have been, if they’d had more sense of the man in the cloth cap. The British cinema got it briefly — Saturday Night and Sunday Morning , a few others — then lost it again. The Man in the White Suit  discovered it, from a middle-class angle. One could summarise a proletarian Ten Commandments. Thou shalt not strive too hard, or jump through more hoops than you have to. Thou shalt not offer to take another person’s place, or help out unless you’re not paid to do it ... blood transfusions aren’t paid for. Thou shalt not expect good treatment. Thou shalt always look for the catch, for what the other person gets out of it. Thou shalt contemplate defeat, but not change yourself to avoid it. Thou must become accustomed to always being outtalked and made to look a fool and put in the wrong ... but Thou shall not be moved ... Oh, and don’t be downhearted. Something like that.
- Raymond Durgnat, 1977
[A strange stumbling onto a previous mention of a rather particular lineage I've been drawing forth between Ealing and Petri, between Teflon white suits and the bestial mutter of a busted worker. Namely, that of a) anti-Stakhanovism and refusal of work, b) stubborn inarticulacy, c) the problem beween class as relation and as status, d) sabotage, willed and unwilled, and e) the repetition of what can't help but go on, and what will, at best, wind up naked, without a finger, contemplative, or all three, while meanwhile the blood keeps getting let and no one is getting a transfusion.]