Sunday, 18 October 2009

A Middle Class Life-Style is No Longer Available by Democratic Vote

A middle class life-style is no longer available to those on incomes of less than quarter of a million a year. Or to those who have not had the sense to go out and inherit something (as an irritated departing fiancee once put it to a puzzled friend wondering why he was getting dumped). Which is why Members of Parliament are getting so shirty about their 'expenses'.

Expenses are used to provide what is supposed to be the reasonable life style of an MP (again, taken as the reasonable lifestyle of a middle class professional). A house in the constituency, a pied a terre in very central London, staff for house cleaning, laundry, and maintenance including gardening, and enough in the way of wages to pay for school fees and health care, plus the pension supplements. This is the absolute minimum. A middle class life style until quite recently provided also regular journeys in considerable comfort, even by wagon lit, to continental Europe and good hotels or respectable villas in the south of France. (Well, S of F might stretch to including Florence, or even Rome provided nothing between Florence and Rome was counted). Boats and islands were upper class. Freebies, accompanied by wife (insistent, believe me) and/or current squeeze, de rigeur.

This vision (it was your Labour Leader who perpetrated a new meaning to the word 'vision' so no complaints from the back row)) has been promulgated by every propaganda tool - novels, biographies, poems, accounts.... throughout the 20th Century, even post 1945 - and 1945 should have put the kibosh on this nonsense if anything could.

What our 'representatives' in Parliament have been brought face to face with is inflation, (measuring the true rate of inflation has always been problematic: the choice of a basket of goods representative of purchasing power consumption; the weighting of prices insofar as we may choose the weight of the base year or of the current year; international comparisons - either exchange rates can be used for comparison or actual purchasing power exchange rates, again in terms of an arbitrary set of consumption goods, yadda yadda), meritocratic and global competition, and local taxation - just like all the rest of us. And, unlike some of us, they didn't have the sense to go out and inherit something, so busy were they in subscribing to the personally advantageous ideologies that offered egalitarianism, redistribution, the destruction of privilege (and votes) - and not to the values that yielded family, hard work applied to whatever natural endowments and aforesaid inheritance sense available, and individual self fulfilment.

Their response has been gaderene: the construction of an apparatchik caste created and supported by state authoritarian, not democratic, power.


Sackerson said...

Your title says it. Who needs us proles, now that the oligarchs (foreign born and domestic) have arrived?

Botogol said...

A middle class life-style is no longer available to those on incomes of less than quarter of a million a year

this must be where i am going wrong :-(

a great post HG. excellent.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

The lifestyle you describe would require an income of - at a guess - five to six times the national average.

To regard such a tiny slice of the bell curve as "middle class" is precisely the mistake the political class makes.

If you are that far outside the averages, you are one of the rich, and it's the MP's sense of entitlement to such status, by any means fair or foul, that is causing such rage amongst the paying classes.

They have still not cottoned on to this. Hubris will be followed by nemesis, in a few months' time.

Nick Drew said...

I think you mean upper-middle, HG, and to that extent I'm with Mr Yachtsman: but this is to split hairs

the key point, as Sackers cited the other week, is

the insiders have triumphed over the middle class

for decades it was the government, that raided the middle class (and indeed all tax-payers) to sustain and expand the underclass

the outright reassertion of an untouchable, nay indemnified monied class is remarkable - or is it that the egalitarian 20th century was the anomaly ?

the apparatchiks simply demand to be included, as their reward for allowing the looters to get away with (and keep) it

BTW, the middle classes have a great deal more in their piggy-banks and pensions that has yet to be looted, and we may be sure the looting class has its plan for completing the job

this can only be fixed by a political upheaval, and M.Poujade always cut, if not a ridiculous figure then an ineffective one. You are the constitutionalist, HG, how can it be done without recourse to the tumbrils ?

Sackerson said...

Nick, I fear they will become so bold that it will go on until they really do bring the system down on their - and our - heads. I see no strong determination by leadership, nor a mechanism for the common electorate, to rectify current arrangements.

Nick Drew said...

OK HG, we're stumped, it's over to you !

hatfield girl said...

ND, the answer was too long so I put it up as a post.