Peter Hitchens, that entertaining, priggish remnant of the Daily Express (the paper that was delivered to my working class tory place of upbringing) in the days when it was a real newspaper (the Daily Mail of its day) and not the bland, weird newspaper-in-an-occupied-territory publication of today, has been ranting about how cowardly and pathetic people were because they didn't go to work during last week's blizzards. I was compelled to reply at his weblog:
'I think Hitchens' comments about snow, while in his best and most splendid style of exaggeration, show how out of touch this commentator is. It is certainly true that the official classes are risk-obsessed but are people risk-obsessed? Not so much. People who didn't go to work last week certainly weren't scared of snow, because they were all out playing in it for about four days! Some very few died taking risks in it. No, the reason why people didn't go to work is because, and this is where Peter Hitchens is totally out of touch, most employers offer rubbishy pay, no pension, job security or prospects. In a country where a morally bankrupt political and economic class reward themselves vast amounts of workers' (I so prefer that to taxpayer) earnings, where the banks are given billions for failing and then divvy the money they've stolen up for bonuses, why on *earth* would anyone who lived and worked in the real world get their knickers in a twist about getting to their place of work?Hitchens is a journalist - as am I - and this is one of the easiest trades ever. The fact that hundreds of thousands of lazy, dozy graduates are fighting, at all times, to enter it, is proof that it is a wheeze of a job. Hitchens is paid a large salary to say the same thing every week (most of it common sense. It seems provocative now, but George Gale and John Junor were saying this sort of thing all the time 25 years ago and nobody turned a hair - and it never stopped the slide towards the Blairite pigsty neither), where he ought to be touring round British workplaces, looking at wage/rent ratios, house prices, company and shareholder behaviour. Then he would realise that there's little point having a pompous protestant work ethic if you're in the kind of scam economy we're in. As he will know from his Marxist training, privilege clouds the eyes...'