A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

There are some very good reasons why I don’t read The Guardian any more – and most of them are linked to my blood pressure and stress levels. But today, I came across an article that originated from there, and was reprinted in another journal.

The writer was seriously putting forward the view that the government should have the courage to increase the taxes on the rich because… wait for it… the ‘middle classes’ are being made to feel poorer and inferior in comparison.

That’s right… she wants the government to raise taxes on the rich simply so her mates won’t feel quite so jealous. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the politics of envy demonstrated so blatantly or clearly before this.

I really don’t know where to start with this, but I’m going
to have to start somewhere, so here goes…

Let’s start with the ‘middle class’…

The writer I am referring to, a Jenni Russell clearly considers herself to be of middle class. How do I know this? Because she calls herself Jenni, rather than Jenny for a start. That would be far too common for her. So I think we can all reasonably assume she also has a vested interest in all of this.

It may be just me though, but I find the whole notion of describing yourself as ‘middle class’ these days as quite abhorrent and vastly outdated. And to do so, carries with it two very unacceptable and unpleasant assumptions…

Firstly, that there is obviously another class above you, to whom you are vastly inferior for no other reason than an accident of birth. And secondly, that that there is another class below you, to whom you are superior by virtue of the way you each earn your living.

Now to me, the idea that someone is of a higher or lower class by way of their parentage, schooling or occupation is simply outmoded and just plain wrong in the 21st century. After all, we are all born with nothing and at the time of birth we are all equals. So if you MUST still divide people by class in 2010, then please do it in a more relevant way…

1. The working class

Anyone who earns their own money, or is part of a family financed by someone earning their own money, is by definition, working class. The short-term unemployed would also be included here, and people who can’t work through no fault of their own. It doesn’t matter what they do for a job, where they went to school, who their parents are or whether they use the words napkin or serviette… settee or sofa. If you finance your life through any form of employment or a business, then you’re part of the working class.

2. The non-working class

These are the people who don’t work, but are still self-supporting. Retirees would fall into this category, along with anyone else, not working, but at the same time, not living off of the state.

3. The Underclass

Simply put, scumbags to you and me… people who choose not to work… people who choose to live off the taxes paid by the working class.

But our Jenni Russell clearly doesn’t agree with me though. 

She obviously makes a differentiation based on HOW people earn their own money. And she says that the middle class (civil servants, academics and managers according to her) have a legitimate expectation of a comfortable life-style as a result of their social position.

And this expectation is currently being undermined by the fact that the new rich have more money, and make them feel relatively poor. They’re constantly trying to play catch up all the time, she says, and it’s personally damaging to the poor souls.

And her solution? Let’s take some money off ‘the rich’ so that the middle classes don’t feel so relatively poor and hard done by.

It’s the same old Marxist clap-trap garbage which used to be put forward as an argument for making the ‘working class’ less dissatisfied with their lot in the past. But it’s just been upgraded because… horror of horrors… even the Guardian journalists are starting to feel poor in this day and age.

The truth of the matter of course, is that the ‘middle classes’ are no more entitled to expect a comfortable life-style (and to feel economically superior) than anyone else who works for their money.

Yes, the needs of society are constantly changing, and those changing needs are often reflected in the money paid to, and accumulated by, different occupational groups within that society. But just because what are described as ‘middle class’ jobs were guaranteed a comfortable lifestyle in the last century, it doesn’t mean they should guarantee the same in this one.

And it definitely doesn’t mean that the old order should be any more or less supported and shored-up by a state backed confiscation of the money of members of society more valued by the current market – just to redress some old fashioned baseless balances.

And what about me you might be asking, where would I personally fit into this wide scheme of things? Well I forcefully consider myself to be completely immune from being pigeon-holed into any manufactured social grouping system…

Simply put, I am what I am, and where ever you may put me on any social scale is down to my own blood, sweat and tears. If I'm not happy with my lot, then it is up to me to go out and better it. No body will do it for me and no amount of tantrum throwing on my part will ever do anything to improve things for me, so why would I even bother? 

You see regardless of whatever I will ever say or do in my lifetime, people will still continue to be telling me that I’ve got no class whatsoever, just like they have been for the last twenty five years or so.

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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