I’m a bit of a bastard, me.
You might have guessed that from previous posts. Especially the condescending manner with which I despatched your Butterfly blokey – although isn’t it better to be a bastard than a twat? That guy was a twat. Anyway…. bastard, yes.
I’ve never devoted myself to one political party. I just can’t. As a young voter, I longed for the bohemian cachet of being a middle class Labour voter. That faded the first time I spoke to a Labour representative who was canvassing for my vote and seemed almost pathologically unable to give a definitive answer to any of my teenaged criminal-justice-act-skewed questions. To be fair, her opponents were no better. I became a floating voter, more interested in the people I was voting for than the parties. Over the years, I’ve voted for most major parties at some point (no, not the BNP or UKIP)
My political views are best described as pragmatic. I believe in free trade but I think standing by and watching corporations become bigger and greedier is insanity. I’m against censorship but think a lot of parents can’t be trusted not to allow their kids to become exposed to some pretty horrific stuff very young. I’m for free speech but think a lot of people should be made to shut up.
My most controversial view is that they should bring back The Workhouse. People usually laugh when I say that as it’s hardly the most progressive view one can hold and it’s hard to stand behind it without appearing somewhat like Jeremy Clarkson or one of those horribly smug Tory types of people who I’m really really honestly not.
I suppose the definition itself is a problem. I’m not advocating the return of some draconian institution which splits up families and is essentially a prison which you have to work yourself out of. I just see a mad wealth of potential between all the things local councils pay for, sub-contract or ignore and all of the perfectly healthy young men and women in expensive tracksuits who seem to loaf about all day and cause trouble all night.
I’m very much for welfare – the disabled, the elderly, the ill, the temporarily poor, it’s a fine society that looks to support it’s fallen. But when young healthy people make benefits and welfare a lifestyle choice and get to claim real money to spend as they choose (tracksuits, booze, weed, those burgers that you have to microwave) without any expenditure of effort whilst there are jobs that need doing…. that’s mad. This country is massively in debt, can we not get a little bang for our buck?
Litter picking, road mending, painting stuff. You want one of those baseball caps that you’ll wear at a stupid angle and never remove the price tag from? Fine. But you don’t just get one. Go scrub a hospital floor for an hour. Spend an hour with a lonely pensioner, There’s plenty of stuff that needs doing.
I was thinking about this today – how offensive and disappointing I find the rise of chav culture. How I miss the actual working class. The working class – remember them? They’re the class that worked! They were polite and funny, salt of the earth! They had a great sense of humour but were also principled and gentleman like. They didn’t want to be celebrities or layabouts. They took pride in a day’s work and their aspirations lay no higher than a bi-annual week eating egg and chips on the Costa Del Sol. They were cheeky, crafty, simple and genuine. You could depend on them. They were skilled but content with their lot in life.
Then I realised that – really – I grew up middle class and had very little real experience of the working class. I’d been to school with a few of them but never really hung out. I didn’t have a fucking clue about the working class, never have had. So where did I get this romantic view of the country’s lower-waged fulfilling their potential proudly and contentedly?
Well, after a bit of thinking, I realised I had got it entirely from the following video clip…
That was my favourite song when I was a kid.
There you go. That’s what made Britian Great! A bunch of good solid blokes who worked hard all day and were genuinely excited at the prospect of a steak-shaped-and-flavoured reformed meat product and found the world’s infinite spectrum of possibilities in such simple a concept as a vegetable-based accompaniment. That’s the working class I long for.
Since I’m on the subject of favourite ads of my childhood, my second favourite was this one…
You might notice, as I just have, that both feature the same bloke! Daniel Peacock, I believe – he must have been the 80’s admen’s favourite working class fella. I’m particularly enjoying the fact that the big chap looks just like my mate Tom! (http://bigtommygspeaks.blogspot.com/)
Anyway, that’s still a great advert.