Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Way We Work, The Way They Rioted

Started watching ‘The British At Work’ the other night but could only stand a few minutes. Although I was braced for all the inevitable footage of yuppies in wine bars, or holding brick-sized mobile phones (ooh, look!), nothing prepared me for the one-time au pair proudly boasting of her entrepreneurial success in marketing (or something), and Kirsty Young fawning over ‘Howard’s Way’ as if it was a TV milestone (well it was for her, apparently, representing all that was great about the ‘sexy’, aspirational 80s) – ‘kin hell! No doubt it was auto-balanced according to the BBC rule book but I didn’t get as far as the unemployed chewing crusts of stale bread in squalid flats or whatever. When I did flick back a ‘fashion’ designer was demonstrating her outstanding creation (the piped lapels for Herr Thatcher ) – enough already. There may be good footage in this series but it wound me up in the first episode with Young spouting fantastical claims for ‘we’, the modern worker, being so content blah blah. If she meant in comparison to 13-yr-old boys hacking coal in three-foot wide chambers deep underground she was still missing the fundamental point about Work, which is that no matter how comfortable ‘we’ might be in offices ‘we’ are no more satisfied than pit ponies or their yellow feathered friends. And I hate it when presenters profess to speak for me. Almost as much as I hate the notion that yuppies represented anything good in an age supposedly devoted to nothing more than privatisation, greed and other Thatcherite ‘virtues’.

The ‘anarchists’ must be stupid, so stupid that I’m tempted to believe the theory that they’ve been infiltrated by the forces of evil in order to help push through new laws relating to protesting. I don’t know what those laws will involve...perhaps ‘No Hoodies’, ‘No Masks’, ‘No Red Flags’? Anyway, who else but the intellectually-challenged would set about dismantling symbols of the tyrannical capitalist empire on the day of a mass demo, when it’s quite likely that the police will be out in force? With just a little thought, they could get away with much more on any other day of the year. Especially Christmas Day. But I suppose they have to be at their Mum’s then.

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