I was born in a Working Class family. My grandparents and parents were Working Class who lived in council houses before they bought him. Research of my family tree suggests many before me were brick layers and factory workers.
When I was growing up it was clear to me as technology became more automated that it would be best if I trained to be a computer programmer. Many jobs that are left are social and customer facing. I’ve never been a people person and so in hindsight given my later autism diagnosis – computers made a lot of sense. Unfortunately after my breakdown, I have never found a way to get back into the IT industry. Part timers and people with disabilities don’t seem welcome. My skills and experience aren’t recent enough now so I have gone to the scrapheap.
What’s always been clear to me was the Middle Class had all the money and power. When I was young I even aspired to be Middle Class. My accent did change at University. Middle Class people are the Praetors of the British Empire. I’ve rarely met a manager or a person in authority who didn’t have a solid English Middle Class accent in Britain.
When I lived in Australia I got more in touch with my working glass roots. Early Australians were working class British convicts that were deported for stealing things like shoes or bread due to the widespread poverty of the time. There is still some pride in Australia in being in touch with those working class roots. Particularly when it comes to cutting down the tall poppy.
As a child of Thatcher I have seen the working class decimated. Many old working class jobs don’t exist anymore. Many people need benefits to survive to exist whether they are working or not. NHS Mental Health Services are stretched in pathologising and controlling people. The DWP and Mental Health Services preach the ideology Thatcher founded through coercion and often are neglectful as well. That’s not to say the Mental Health Services and the DWP don’t support people lots of people either. I am homed, fed and clothed right now so I am thankful for that.
As someone part of this new underclass it feels at times like I am a convict. I feel fenced off by the inflexible bureaucratic systems of control. Also I experience much social ostracism, stigma and discrimination for not working and being different*. It feels much like a class war than simply bad luck in life or a weakness of mine. The chance of making a better life seems to have diminished.
Many Middle Class people don’t seem to understand the plight of the new Underclass. It seems many have their opinions but don’t want to listen. There is a colonial mindset in how to deal with the Underclass rather than a collaborative one. Perhaps they are just dancing to the tune of their wealthy masters frightened to see their job disappear as well.
As more jobs are automated away and controlled by fewer wealthy hands I wonder what will happen to the Underclass and Middle class in the future. Will the Middle class administer the resettlement of the Underclass to a penal colony in Rwanda or the Moon like what happened to those early Australians? Or will we see a holocaust via homelessness in a cold British winter for those who claims benefits and/or are disabled?
I hope things get better but as I have previously mentioned in I’m a Political Football we are on a dangerous precipice. We are sleepwalking to the wrong side of history.
* I have a diagnosis of Autism and Schizoaffective Disorder.