Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Dickens would be so proud of our brave new world - a rambling missive

Forcing people back to work, if they are unable to find work or are incapacitated, sounds like a return to Charles Dicken's country.  You could see the great man himself flicking through the pages of today's papers with depressed resignation at the direction the current government, opposition party and general populace are seemingly headed. 

With the ban on smoking, kill joys are now working on drinking, no doubt after that we'll all have to wear the correct type of clothing otherwise we'll be sent to the gallows.

Soon to, no doubt, as too many people will be perceived to be enjoying themselves, the holiday periods will be rolled back and working hours increased under the guise of research showing that if people didn't have so much free time they wouldn't:

  1. get drunk so often,
  2. have enough time to be obese eating all that balanced food

Whilst those who had too much free time on their hands would be made to work a 50 hour week for the benefit of the community, ensuring they are no longer:

  1. idly unemployed and going around robbing people,
  2. have time to smoke and so become less of a drain on the health service - eventually,
  3. need to live in deprived areas and having offspring turn into feral beasts - through boredom and nothing else better to do.

Yes, it's mainly those who are poor, whom the political chatterers and right of Stalin editors seem to have it in for.  If you're rich and wealthy then you can ensure your offspring are suitably taken care of by the chauffeur and bodyguards, even if they would rather be rogering the missus.

It's could, perhaps, be also true that there are shirkers out there who find the problem of moving to pick up a remote control, to much effort.  But the vast majority do want to work. Meaningful work.  Work, that at the end of the day makes them feel like they have made a difference. Work that is more than the means to a basic existence. 

Unlike, investment bankers, whose idea of making a difference is knowing they've pushed a few million more people further into poverty or destroyed the meager savings of another bunch of pensioners.  For this group, the government should barrel down with increased legislation.  Raise taxes so many of them actually pay proper taxes.  But will they? No. As the government is in fear they will up sticks and leave for easier climes.  Not realising that in reality, easier climes could only be had at the beach house.

A spineless government that believes this group will simply up sticks and leave, creating chaos and plunging the country into ruin. Perhaps.  but with the bloodsuckers gone, ramping up inflation (especially housing), then the vast majority will be able to manage on the average meager wage, and anyhow they will have to learn how to, once China and India truly begin their inexorable climb to burgeoning middle-class hood and their respective Bourses surpass the london stock exchange.  Then the redistribution of traders will begin as the lse fades into the distant horizon, overtaken by the far east and a new european financial exchange, the last dreams of empire finally fading into the mists.

Been at work is bad for your health, especially in this day age; unless you work for google or apple and perhaps - at a push - ibm. 

In london on any working day just - if you can bear it - travel on london underground and look at your fellow travellers.  Rarely will you see anyone smiling or laughing. If they are, it's a firm bet they are tourists, or passing through, or have only lived in the capital for 6 months and not yet had the happiness and love for life beaten out of them.  But just look at the people going to work. It's a chore, the majority don't enjoy it, but they keep doing it.  For they know if they don't, that they could be that grubby beggar pestering everyone for 10 pence or is it now £50, to help buy a cup of tea.  Heaven forbid they end up like that, so away they beaver and work. 

To be fair there are people who have lived in the capital for 10 or more years and are still happy. But then they have homes overseas, holiday 20 times a year, worked hard and don't have to endure more than they need to.

But for those stuck within the boundaries of the M25 and its lofty green fields, the constant grind has the subtleness of your own personal pneumatic drill.

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