Tag Archives: redneck

Renewal?

kentucky-fried-chicken

It was Plato who said, “This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are.”

So when you look at the empty Kentucky Fried Chicken bag hanging on a hedge in the middle of the countryside, it’s pretty obvious why it’s there. Our citizens are what they are. Whoever ate the meal had a car, because if they’d walked it would have been cold and uneatable long before they got here, and if they’d used public transport, they’d never have got here.

Perhaps a hundred yards further on somebody left two boxes of Christmas junk plus a lot of empty bottles tipped out in a gateway. Then somebody put photographs of this on facebook. Those who did the tipping saw the photos; realised one of the boxes had old wrapping paper in it, and drove back down and took that box away. (But not the other box or the pile of empty bottles.) Alas for them they did it too late, somebody had already been through the box, found the Christmas card envelope with the address on it and had phoned the police. The police passed this on to the local council (which is determined to stamp out on this sort of thing,) and twenty-four hours after the rubbish was reported, the council had cleaned it up and those who did the fly tipping are expected in court in February.

One problem we have in our society is that a lot of people don’t care about others, don’t give a damn about what they think, the conditions they live in, or what they believe.

We’ve got a lot of epithets, such as ‘chavs’, ‘Essex girl’, and for our American friends ‘White Trash’ and talk about the ‘Fly over states’, which are all insults based on a perceived opinion amongst ‘nice people like us’ about how these lesser breeds without the law actually live. Some of the insults tell us more about the one doing the insulting. For example, the term ‘redneck’ just means somebody who works outside in the sun, because the back of their neck gets sunburned. A redneck is a farm-worker, a builder, somebody who actually does the important stuff, that feeds people, builds homes for them. But obviously they’re not nice people like us.

And then we had the bile that spewed forth after Trump and Brexit. Now I’m supposed to be talking about renewal. How are we going to get renewal after those little episodes?
Well I’ll tell you how we won’t get renewal. We won’t get renewal if we keep treating a large proportion of the electorate with contempt. We won’t get renewal if we continue to dump the children of the poor in bog standard schools that aren’t good enough for the children of nice people. We won’t get renewal if we spend every waking hour working out ways to thwart the will of the voters.

In those cases what we’ll get is growing anger. The people who voted for Trump might send him back in four years with a larger majority. In eight years if they’re still angry, still sick of being treated with contempt and mocked, they might send somebody worse. If in this country they don’t get Brexit then we might see the destruction of the Labour party and UKIP as the official opposition.

So nice people like us are going to have to think really carefully. You see, we’ve had a cosy prosperous elite doing very nicely thank-you very much. How do you know whether you’re one of the prosperous elite doing very nicely? Well the average UK salary for 2016 was about £28,000. So anybody earning more than twice that is doing very nicely indeed. As a rule of thumb, if in the UK you’re paying higher rate of tax (earning over £43,000) you’re doing pretty damned well.

So the cosy ones, the ones doing rather nicely, are going to have to see things change. Let’s take the money spent on educating children. In Kensington and Chelsea, that notoriously run down and marginalised area, the money per pupil paid by the state was £7,036. In Cumbria which has some of the worst areas of deprivation in the country it was £4,828.

But then it makes sense I suppose. The children of a bunch of Cumbrian red-necks are never going to appreciate education anyway. Far better spend the money where it will do some good.

But unfortunately for nice people like us, Cumbrian red-necks still vote. I know, I know, a universal adult franchise was always going to end in tears, but still, unless you want the people of Cumbria, and the North-East and other areas where they feel they’ve been getting a pretty poor crack of the whip to continue to feel alienated, then you’re going to have to do something positive about it. Spreading the money about a bit more fairly would be a good start. Doing something about too many ‘bog standard comprehensive schools’ would be another.

Otherwise Brexit is only going to be the start of it, for Americans Trump isn’t the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse all rolled into one, he’s a warning shot fired across your bows. You can doubtless screw him over, but you really won’t like what comes next.

Oh yes, and the rubbish that was tipped. I know the address where it came from. Given this town I can make a fair stab at their income. In local terms they’re doing OK really, nothing to grumble at, embarrassingly close to being nice people like us to be honest.

 

But then what do I know, I’m just a farm-worker, a red-neck.

♥♥♥♥

Speak to the experts

As a reviewer commented, “I always love Jim’s farm tales, I may as well be home talking with my Dad. His sharp witted observations are a joy.”

The dignity of manual labour.

Well a word from the wise, by the time you’re sixty, you’re knackered. Trust me in this one, I’ve seen it. I mean, it’s fine for bureaucrats and others to get early retirement due to stress, but what about early retirement because your body is knackered and you cannot do the job any more?
Looking back at the jobs I’ve done, I’ve dug ditches, emptied septic tanks (and unblocked the soil pipes), corrected the spelling and grammar of senior civil servants, got the welder out to fix something, and milked cows; sometimes all in the same day.
I know how to use a yard brush properly; I can use a muck fork and load a wheelbarrow. I’ve fixed ballcock valves, bled the air out of diesel engines. I’ve marked and dug out the foundation trenches when we were building, and I was only half an inch out in one hundred feet. They had to use a laser to spot that one; I’d just used the old method of doing right-angles.

Yet it always amuses me. You see, I am a redneck. I’m someone who works outside in the sun so the back of my neck gets sunburned. And to be called a redneck is an insult. Think about it. We live in a society where the people who feed you, the people who you couldn’t survive without, the people who grow your food, the people who clean your sewers; all get looked down on by the people who think they are the educated ones. I’ve even heard people sneer at the machinists who make their clothes. Indeed people use the phrase ‘only a machinist’ as a derogatory comment.
It’s been said that society is only three meals from anarchy. That’s how thin the line is. Watch the panic buying start when suddenly there’s a rumour that the tanker drivers might go on strike.
And yet, the people who actually do the things that keep us from barbarism are sneered at. I’ll tell you one thing. There are a lot of well paid people wouldn’t be missed. The BBC journalists go on strike and the quality of Radio Four broadcasting improves.

At times it genuinely frightens me, just how ignorant and out of touch a lot of reputedly educated people are. I keep getting asked to ‘like’ campaigns on facebook which say that the government is failing us because they aren’t just putting unemployed people to work build new roads, railways and the like. This is often followed by the phrase ‘Like we did in the ‘30s’.
Have the people who start these campaigns got a clue how the real world works. Are they harking back to such glorious victories of socialism as the building of the White Sea canal?

White Sea canal

I think they’ve missed one of the ironies of the modern world. Whilst in the office the introduction of the computer has increased the amount of data that has to be shuffled and the number of people who seem to exist solely to shuffle it; out in the real world the introduction of technology means that civil engineering now employs small numbers of seriously skilled people. In factories and workshops there are fewer people, but by and large they’re a lot more highly trained.

Perhaps we ought to shuffle things a bit. I do worry about all these people who suffer from stress after years of working in offices. So how about we bring in a law; you cannot go into admin, teaching or enter the civil service until you’ve had your forty-fifth birthday?
It strikes me that most of the stress in these jobs seems to be due to appallingly bad management and stupid ways of working. Therefore concentrating on an older workforce who’ve already had jobs and know how the world works will help. Imagine telling a group of trainee teachers, all in their mid forties, that children must be left to do what they want because eventually they’ll want to learn. The trainees would probably tell the lecturer off for going out in the sun too long without a hat. Or in a civil service setting, imagine telling people of that age group that any error on a form is to be regarded as an attempt to defraud the state until proven otherwise. Say that to people who’ve already had twenty five years struggling with government forms they’ve had to fill in.

We’ll take things further forward. Aged fifty, you’ll be allowed to stand for election to local government, and at fifty five, to parliament.
Obviously we’ll have to take salary structures and pensions into account. No one paid by the state, local government or out of a tax like the TV licence can earn more than the Prime Minister and his salary is fixed to four times the national average. MPs do not get a pension or golden handshake when they quit. It’s not a career, get over it. They don’t get expenses, that’s what they get paid a salary for.
But what do I know, I’m just a redneck. And anyway; the present system obviously works so well.

Perhaps I ought to stick to writing books? In paperback or on kindle from Amazon

 

And from everybody else from here

https://books2read.com/u/me9pLg

As a reviewer commented, “

This is the first book I’ve read from this author and it’s an excellent sci-fi thriller. Three aspects of the book stood out for me. The first is the investigation, obviously a key component for any thriller and I enjoyed the path through the story. It’s well paced with enough revelation to keep you eager for more.

The second part I really enjoyed was the world. I’m always fascinated by sci-fi authors’ visions of the future and while the wider view is limited here, the microcosm it creates of humanity’s expansion into the galaxy is well told. In fairness I could happily learned more about the wider aspects this is the first book in the series so I’m happy to see what is added in the following books. Even in the small area used as the setting there were some clear divergences in culture and style that provided interest.

The characters are well built and drive the story forward. More importantly they bring different flavours to the unfolding plot and again I’m hoping we see the return of these in future books.

There was a minor downer with the ending though. For me it felt very abrupt. The story seemed to be progressing to a climax and before I knew it we were in the wreckage of the aftermath. That’s not a big deal as the journey up to that point was fine and it did leave me wanting more.”

Well now all four books of the story are published, the entire arc is out there 🙂