Owen Jones (2012) Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class.
We live in a something for nothing society, but only one party, only one class ensure that its members get away with it. What’s more the top centile of wealth that own almost everything, and everybody, are lauded for their efforts in wealth generation. We eat gruel. Well, not exactly, gruel. Pre-school meals and after-school care in my district are being stopped. Merry Christmas. After all responsible parents should be able to feed their children. The one growth area is in the number of food banks to feed the poor, including the working poor, suggests that this is not the case. But don’t let facts get in the way. We all know what we mean by a something for nothing society.
Britain is the sixth richest nation on earth, yet it can’t feed its children. The ideological wing of the rich, the Tory Party, are Eve-teasing the poor, the working class, those that rely on selling their labour to live. You know you want it they’re saying to the NHS. Bend over they’re saying to education policy. Industry you know you’re fucked, just enjoy the ride we’re giving you. Plan A is fucking up those that don’t want privatisation. Make a profit and then we can talk they say to public bodies. If that doesn’t work, Plan B is more privatisation. Place C is more privatisation. Plan D is… give money to the very rich and they’ll take care of you. It’s renamed ‘the trickle-down effect’.
Where did it all go right for rentier class, the top 1%? In a simple model we could talk about a shift to the right in which followed the Thatcher and Reagan years. We could talk about the fall of the Berlin Wall and the defeat of communism as a doctrine and as a place. We won the Cold war.
On the home front there used to be 85 000 coal miners and like an Agatha Christie mystery—then there were none. Look back how the media portrayed the aristocracy of the working class, who produced something that the nation actually needed, and after the oil price shock of the early seventies when oil prices tripled overnight, and you’ll see your demons. Go back another generation and you’ll find fathers of miners dying in numbers that front-line troops suffered during the Second World War. Arthur Scargill demonised as a hate figure for suggesting there was a closure programme. The Battle of Orgreave lost. Compare media accounts with treatment of bankers who almost crashed the world’s economy in 2008 and whose manipulation of the money market still trails like a comet’s tail of economic misery behind us.
Look back at Sue Townsend’s account of what it was like to be a single mother with three kids in 1989 http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/apr/13/adrian-mole-sue-townsend-welfare
Try to imagine this poverty as roll up roll up for the good old days as narrated by George Osborne. Townsend, of course, went on to become a successful writer. If she can do it there’s no reason why 30 million other poor folk can’t go on to mirror her success. Those that don’t are just lazy. They don’t work hard enough. They’re scum.
Make your own little book of clichés up put it out as a compendium and treat it in the media as a news flash. A wake up call. The truth that couldn’t be spoken, but now is openly flaunted. Poor people are poor because…[fill your own prejudice here].
We could talk about Gramsci, cultural hegemony and the working class. The truth is I intended to write something more measured, something nearer to the critique that Owen Jones’s book deserves. But I’m sick of being fucked over by those rich parasitic bastards. Money flows at an increasing rate one way and it isn’t to me or mine. It is to thee or thine, the little gods far above us that can do no wrong. Turkey for Christmas?