Friday, 6 January 2012

Community? No, sorry, I don't understand!?!

Years ago I did the whole Abbey Road thing, walking across it with my friends Grant and Andrew pretending to be some band from years ago. I then took a look at some of the houses around me. I’d heard Bjork didn’t live too far away and that there was quite a bit of money in some parts of that area. I turned around at one point and saw a house that I had to move my head to the left and right round to the right just to see the length of the house and I swear I am only exaggerating slightly. Madness, in London you are talking serious millions for such a thing. I realised though that there was no privacy as all the grounds were exposed. I then laughed at myself – as if that would be a problem if you could afford such a house, you no doubt also had your own island.

Wouldn’t that be great? Your own island. Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis have their own and it’s called ‘Fuck off Island’, I wouldn’t say no…… the island.

I then carried onlooking around me and saw some really not very well to do people coming out of some huge houses. It made me want to go and knock on the door and ask them how the heck they could afford such a place. I figured the only way I would ever live in one would be to become a live in Nanny for some rich persons brats….sorry….bundles of joy.

This morning on my walk to work I go past some houses that are quite nice. They are nothing special, not too big but I know darn well that they are well out of my price range. I work full time. D works full time, but neither of us are on a typical London wage. Even so…….we still can’t afford much more than a postage stamp sized plot of land, big enough to maybe grow a blade of grass on. Around by me tiny one bedroom flats that don’t even have a separate lounge and kitchen are £350,000 not only is that utterly ridiculous you should see the state of them. Even if I had the money they would not be worth the investment. But someone keeps on buying them.

I know refer to a quarter of a million pounds as not much! Wowsers, how did that ever happen?
Anyway – I was looking at these modest little houses and daydreaming away about how I’d decorate when out pops quite a skanky lady. I hate to bow down to cliché’s but Waynetta slob springs to mind.
How could she afford to be in one of those?

I then rounded the corner where I know the flats on the left are for people on benefits and the housing on the right is for people who are not. The flats on the left had satellite dishes, big widescreen tv’s on the wall and the houses on the right, only one or two did.

Um, what’s going on here? Why are there so many people working hard but getting so little back, struggling. When there are some people doing sweet F.A and way better off (financially) than I ever will be in London?

How is that fair?

How is that breeding happiness and harmony amongst society? How is that teaching children they need to work for the pretty things in life that they want to own?

I see street cleaners. I smile to them. I know that many look down on such people…..but at least they are working!!! Cleaners, every business needs them and you really should befriend them at your work place as they are the people that know everyone and therefore know all the gossip. But so many times I’ve seen cleaners looked down on. At least they are working! I knew a cleaner that would work in a shop first thing, then go on to a hotel where he would get all his food provided for the day. He’d get home mid-evening and relax in his humungous flat in the centre of town. Suck on that one!!!
I maybe draw the line at traffic wardens and debt collectors. I know that we all should work but those jobs must be soul destroying.

Thing is how can we expect children to grow up and be proud of earning the clothes that are on their backs and the food they put on the table. How can we expect them to grow up with respect for their country and the people in it when you turn around and see bankers being so greedy, spending £70,000 on one night out, throwing £50 notes on the floor whilst stupid women scrabble to collect them. How can we expect children to grow up wanting to earn a living and having that sense of pride when you look around and so many that are not working have so much more than those that do. When the housing laws are so crap in this country that if you private rent you get shat all over and end up with bad living conditions and little money in your pocket? Where is the encouragement to make yourself a good human being?

In one job I had, I went to visit a group of kids living in Brixton, we had a really interesting conversation about the estate they live in and some of the things that bothered them about it was quite interesting. They said just because they were young didn’t mean they didn’t care about the places they lived but when the older boys were doing drugs and throwing litter around they realised there was little they could do to stop them so they joined in even though they didn’t like it. They realised the ridiculousness of what they were saying but they also said they weren’t going to change unless the others did as what would be the point? When I went to an estate in Durham I asked some children what they expected when they left school. One said he easily thought he’d get a job for £25K and get a house and a flash car. On an estate in Hounslow I asked one child what he wanted to do when he grew up. He told me he wanted to be a hit man like his uncle as his uncle had women, cars and a house where his brother who worked in a factory had nothing.

Things like that really hit home with me.

It’s time we brought the word community back!!

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