Sunday, June 8, 2014
I learned a brand new word last week - "precariat". This refers to the social class whose existence is entirely frameworked by a lack of predicability or security regarding employment. Of course in the thriving metropolis of New London no middle class person would ever be found in this essentially post-working class social milieu - therefore I do not officially exist nor do the majority of my friends and colleagues who all work in what would still be considered middle class white collar professions by any broad North West European term of reference.
Discussion of the perfect storm parameters of modern British life has been a mainstay of this blog over many years. In turn this of course has been the main catalyst behind the creeping scale and scope of this horror demographic across previously set class determiners. Such radical social change being thus founded upon the most staggeringly unethical banking practices experienced since the Wall Street Crash, population shifts in the South East of England that have not been seen in Europe since the fall of Silesia and East Prussia to the Red Army, the apparent Marie Celeste style-disappearance of the Ealing Comedy proletariat of yore from the streetscapes of London and the greatest middle class insecurity since the last days of the Weimar Republik.
The capital's ability to market the unmarketable fundamentally relying upon the selective blindness of the mainstream media to realistically consider any of the above alongside the greed-fuelled Ponzi housing scam, the social acceptance that children will live at home until the age of 30 and the Shoreditchisation of slum London for the benefit of European hipsters. The ubiquitous scorn for the indigenous chav underclass remaining however inviolate.
Growing up in Belfast in the Seventies of course the large working class Shankill district two miles from my home underwent a similar perfect storm - political violence, brutal housing redevelopment, urban blight, an enormous motorway scheme affecting its southern boundary with the city centre, blanket deindustrialisation and radical population decimation. In the Seventies alone the population fell from 76,000 to 23,000 alone.
No such long term drawbacks look set however to affect the onward trajectory of the New London Century - with its bread, circuses, gunsmoke and mirrors. The dense fog of zero interest rates, budget airline fares and a residential culture of transient populations strategically enshrouding the regenerated Factory of Grievances in turn. Where the past is itself and the future appears clearly written far far away from the rotting public infrastructures, the lack of a productive economic base and the misery etched on every commuter's pallid deathmask face.