Posh White Trash

Those who have been reading the blog for a while, may have picked up that I am a bit posh.  Not champagne-drinking, Puccini-listening, bun-throwing posh, but certainly on the posher side.  My parents weren’t all that posh, and my siblings, although they like to think they are posh, are a rather grubby, dishonest, grasping type of posh that the world could really do without.

I, on the other hand, am more of your oh-so-worthy worried scruffy noble posh.  The kind of posh that nobody really wants to employ, because we value honesty and integrity over money, which makes us rather unpredictable and a bit too competent at times.  There is nothing worse than trying to pull a fast one and having your underling/colleague point at you and tell you you just aren’t good enough.

This means that I am very helpful if you happen to be nearby and require some help with anything, or if you want anything organised before you get rid of me in case I show any sign of independent thought or action.  This is not particularly convenient for me, but immensely helpful if you have more Machiavellian tendencies.  What I really need is to be around somebody a lot more savvy and mercenary, who smiles at my attempts at worthiness and simplistic view of the world in terms of thinking that we should make some efforts to actually do the right thing, now and again.

Having said all this, a junkie in Govan once attempted to mug me at a bus stop, and I was able to talk her out of it by pointing out that she had children, a house, a nice watch, a nice phone which she was using so much I can only assume she had plenty of money for her contract, and really had no business attacking me as I was returning to my mother’s house after another miserable day in a call-centre because nobody actually wants a smartass posh graduate in Glasgow.

Even the museums refuse to take you unless you have been unemployed for some considerable time.  I am not the only person who has been extremely frustrated by this, and the attitude that people like me do not need to work, just like everybody else. It is testament to my bloody-mindedness that I managed to keep myself in multiple jobs until my mother needed me, despite this.

Anyway, having given you some insight into my odd political mix in terms of the parental revolutionary communist/conservative gene mix, I have some concerns about the mess that is the DWP at present.  We spend a lot of money with private companies repeatedly hammering the poor, when far more money could be gained by employing a great number of accountants to retrieve the uncollected taxes we are owed.  These taxes to which I refer are owed by individuals and smaller businesses, since I believe the larger companies negotiate their enormous amounts of relief, and frankly, if they didn’t, they would simply find a way to pay their tax to somebody else.


Please take the time to look at the table at the beginning of the above blog post, and ask yourself whether the government have prepared for taking an extra half million children into care due to homelessness?  Conservative and Labour alike, if under Smith, are willing to follow this plan.  I can only assume we will be getting articles about breeding scroungers to prepare us for the vans turning up to evict and split families, since the only way some of these people are going to be employed, is if the government shells out yet more money forcing employers like Poundland to make them work for nothing.

Iain Duncan Smith, and his half thought out, poorly planned and semi executed plans for welfare should really be prosecuted for what he has done to the disabled, welfare claimants and now families in the course of his celebration of the Conservative love of societal inequity.  God Bless him, we all know he was sparing with the truth on his CV and is not terribly bright.  Further, it is probable that an even nastier character stood at his shoulder egging him on as he laid waste to people that need opportunities and hope rather than eternal damnation. How clever of him to resign on the basis that he no longer agreed with his own poorly made plans!  I worked in Easterhouse in the nineties, and again in the noughties, and the Easterhouse he saw was vastly improved.  I wonder how he would have responded had he been hunted by a pack of dogs, as I was in the nineties? Security was tight back then.

I have seen some evidence this week, that the Conservatives are quietly trying to tidy up this mess.  Labour, of course, are in no position to challenge them on anything,  because they are still trying to kill Jeremy Corbyn in case something awful happens, like being voted into power.  I sincerely hope, for the sake of all these children, that the Conservatives take action quickly.

May I ask why it makes sense to channel people in poorly paid work back into the welfare system to do the same job for no money?  I presume it benefits the companies willing to make people work this way, but do you really think this provides people with opportunity, social mobility or a sense of optimism?  Is crushing the spirit, and lowering the birth rate via housing benefit policy really good for productivity in the workplace?  Perhaps people would be more motivated if instead you offered them hope, and sufficient to eat, instead of contempt and ever more punishment.

Malnutrition hospital admissions in England and Wales

This is not to say that I do not agree with anything that the Conservatives do on principle.  I have far more loathing for New Labour.  They have a far more sordid, unoriginal and dishonest approach to producing the same results.  What does concern me however, is that a love of your country should involve pride in the inhabitants and a noble wish to provide a basic level of decent care, nutrition and health, and I do not see this at present.

There are ways of elevating the whole economy, which seem to be regarded as rather quaint and old fashioned and which our current crop of politicians appear to have no knowledge of.  I am losing my patience awaiting some sign of awareness.  Is it that they do not know how to do it, or is it that most of the population want to see people suffer and die for their own amusement?  If the latter is the case, then evidently I am out of step.

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The British Class System is unemployed

As someeone who studied eleven centuries of international economic history in the course of my reading, I am a bit of a fan of feudalism.  Feudalism is under-rated.  On a good day, feudalism works a lot better than capitalism.

Contentious, qui moi?

It may surprise you to learn that after the Black Death, when many villages and feudal settlements were empty as a result of the deaths of the occupants, the contents of the cottages revealed, in many places, a far higher standard of living than expected.

Ask an unemployed urban dweller now whether they would feel hard done by with their own rabbit warren, space for a cow and some hens, hand me down crystal, clothing and metalware from the ‘big house’, a four day working week for the local lord, followed by a day for the church to cover education and medical treatment for the family, their wives doing cottage-based piece work for the travelling merchants, and they will admit that our marvellous capitalist system is not treating them particularly well compared with medieval peasants.  Capitalism and socialism are mutually dependent.  If you believe otherwise, you are being conned.

The difference with feudalism and the reason that it could not be sustained, was that it was based on the availability of land, which is why the British strove so hard to acquire quite so much of it.  The British class system, complete with privilege, horse skills, hunting etc was set up for exploration, not industrialisation.  Given a chunk of uncharted territory, your average toff was able to feed his workers, organise them to build shelter, reroute rivers and eventually plan out a wider agricultural and transport strategy thanks to their having been given land to manage over several generations, something I touched on in Best Scandal Ever.

Now, of course, there are far too many people for us to benefit from a feudal system with a local landowner to blame if things go wrong.  In the event that the reformation had not happened as a result of urbanisation, the catholic peasantry would have been starved and tithed out of this formerly comfortable life. The British class system, which worked so well for the Georgian and Victorian explorers and their military-imperialist tendencies, has now been reduced to a small number of corrupt individuals who, rather than believing in duty, the preservation of land, and the glory of the nation, now believe in reducing those who do not benefit from capitalism to criminal behaviour in order to survive.  Instead of national pride, we have a system which supports contempt for the poor and disabled, offering benefits to cronies in the fields of banking, weapons manufacture, construction and of course, the politicians who ensure that their instructions are carried out.

What happened then, to the idea of ‘things being better when gentlemen were in charge,’ a cry uttered by my neighbour within my lifetime.  When the gentlemen were in charge of my city, they dutifully gifted their estates on death to become parks.  Can anyone imagine George Osborne gifting his wealth to anyone? I have met some of the older members of David Cameron’s family, and whilst they would not gift their wealth, they certainly donated quite a proportion of their property for the benefit of the military during World War 2 and had a sense of humility whilst doing it.  I cannot imagine the same can be said for the Head Prefect, who spends his time whining to his local council whilst recommending that the rest of us get fracked.

So why retain faith in the Great British machine, when the Great British machine no longer works?  Clearly the answer is to remove cronies, whether they be Tories, sustaining each other’s family businesses by promoting war, forgiving banker’s errors, indulging in not-so-secret talks with corporate lobbyists before promoting policies that serve only themselves?  In the meantime, they feign caring by retaining some of the worst Labour policies.  Labour, as a party, is all but dead, they wait to be told what to think.  Consensus, as I have always said, is not a healthy or progressive state of affairs for any party, nor is attempting to centralise a country that cannot, and should not, be centralised, particularly not for the benefit of London, at the expense of the entire UK.

Honesty, in addition to duty, have gone out of fashion, unfortunately at a time when we are more aware than ever before exactly how many lies, and how many mistakes, we are at the mercy of.  Is it not time that we took some initiative to get our country back on track?  We used to be great, not a puppet sideshow, whispering in the ear of the USA to scrape a few arms sales to line the pockets of a few more fat cats, smoking in the private member’s club right next to your politicians.

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