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More class envy whining from Swine's resident armchair commy.

by Phil Thornton


Look, I don't suffer from 'class envy' I don't 'suffer' at all. I indulge in class 'pity' if you must know. Not self-pity, that is, but pity for those poor unfortunate rich people who accuse anyone who despises them of being envious. I don't envy you your money nobheads, I pity your cultural vapidity.

Once upon a time I used to work in an office where we had to phone in small employers and get government statistical returns from them. It was tedious beyond belief but the only enjoyment I got was winding up these Daily Mail petty tyrants who gave us down the banks for tying them up with red tape. 'Didn't I know that they were the people who were making Britain Great?' they'd ask me and I'd just say 'fill the fucking form in or I'll fine you and if that results in your entire workforce losing their jobs, all the fucking better, you self-worshipping, delusional fuckwit.' Or words to that effect.

I remembered this watching these programmes where well-meaning/simply self-publicising twats parachute into 'deprived' communities and try to like bring em culture or simply wave a cheque book about. Ballet Saved My Licence Fee, The Choir, Urban Shakespeare, Asbo Teen To Stepford Wife; that kinda thing. These type of programme seek to impose bourgeois 'cultural' values upon communities who frankly don't want or need to be enlightened by patronising middle class pricks on a mission to civilise the heathens. It smacks of Victorian Values; the Ruskinisation of the proles to make them 'useful members of society' by getting them reading, singing, dancing, grafting. Monty Don takes a gang of bagheads down the allotment and gets em to 'grow stuff' thereby replacing smack with shallots and maybe I shouldn't begrudge him his Jamie Oliver style altruistic social engagement masked as vain self-publicising.

When we went on a school trip to Romania in the late 70s we were shocked at the level of poverty in that country. Not so shocked that we didn't take out our chewy from the wrappers, re-fold them and lazz em out of the bus windows just so we could watch the desperate little Romanian kids who followed our bus scrap each other to get at these exotic scraps of western decadence, only to find there was fuck all inside them.

These programmes are a bit like that. The Secret Millionaires befriend a few families and a few local organisations in 'downtrodden' urban areas and then decide who's worthy or unworthy of their charity. Who meets with their approval are basically those who conform to their warped notion of the 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor. They parachute in to places like Kensington, Liverpool, write a few frankly small-fry cheques out, parachute out again and get to feel all good about themselves and bask in the glow of their own munificence. They can sleep easy in their beds knowing that they've done their bit just as the cultural parasites who exist almost exclusively on state subsidies to 'the arts,' can sleep easier in their inner city Georgian terraces, knowing that they've taken a few would-be muggers, burglars and junkies off the streets by getting em in tights and reciting Hamlet.

This may seem appalling, to pit poor individuals and under-funded welfare organisations against each other but it's not as bad as pitting special needs schools against each other, which is what happens on Granada's Lottery competition. As with almost every ITV programme these days, YOU THE VIEWER have the power to influence wealth re-distribution and global economic policy simply by pressing your red button or texting WORTHYCAUSE01 to a premium rate number. The prize? A lottery hand-out to the worthy cause that gets the highest number of 'votes' - so, on one occasion, you got to see the competing special needs kids all doing their best to persuade you that they were neediest and most deserving of your vote and then the look of joy on the kids who won but not the look of desperation on the faces of the kids who didn't.

You think this is sick? As sick as pop stars and actors adopting 'orphans' in acts of utter selflessness but making sure the cameras are recording every tear? Pick an orphan, any orphan, but not the sickly ones, the ones with missing bits and the ones with AIDS, no they want the cute picaninnies to add to their menageries. Maybe ITV could devise another money spinning vote poll show; I'm An Ugly Orphan Get Me Out Of Here and we can all text or red button for our favourite to pluck them from a lifetime of disease and exploitation and fuck the rest of em who didn't make it. Michael Grade; you know it makes sense.

You think that's sick? Have you not seen Extinct? Hey, YOU THE VIEWER can get to save an entire species just by voting for your favourite cuddly endangered animal. Trevor McDonald and Zoe Ball (yes Zoe Ball! Her dad knew about animals, see?) present a show that surely only Chris Morris could've devised. You want to see Aneka Rice travel to the arctic to make the case for saving the polar bear or David Suchet (he's Poirot incase you didn't recognise him without the stupid muzzy and Clouseau accent) jetting off to China to big up the panda. One thing's for sure, the parrot's gonna be first out. We only want cute species to survive total annihilation.

Like other endangered species the royal family survive by having friends in very high places looking after their interests. The BBC for one; they only cost each one of us 40p a day folks, cheaper than most papers or a cup of tea. However I have a choice whether to buy a paper of a brew. Zara Phillips is some kind of horse jumper, that is she jumps over horses on a piece of wood. I think. Whatever it is she does in her spare time, that is her entire life, it won her the 2006 Sports Personality Of The Year. Good on her; plucky Zara, with her tongue ring and her tribal tattoos, she's every bit the 21st century Royal. And of course only some bitter and twisted sufferer from class envy would accuse the BBC of nominating her 'achievement' (jumping over 25 horses on a milk float) in a desperate of act of snobbish sycophancy. Would some other rider who wasn't say, the Queen's grand-daughter, have been nominated if they'd have won whatever it was that Zara won? Ofcourse they would. Dat's meritocracy, folks! And what's personality got to do with it? Sports achievement of the year, well that's still subjective but at least you can apply some form of abstract measure. Sports 'personality' on the other hand implies that it's the person not the achievement you're supposed to be voting for and in that case, Zara is a double winner.


Nick Ross - if the ROYAL Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Animals are so hard up, go and get the fucking ROYAL family to tip up a few bob instead of laying it on thick with horror stories for aul grannies sat at home with one ring on their fire. Three quid a month might only buy a few pints down your local but it also buys a day's gas or lecky also. I love these charities who only want us to tip up 3 quid for kids being abused and animals being abused and the rainforests being abused and if you added them all up you'd be tipping up hundreds for good causes (or at least a tenner) which is fair enough, but I bet you donated your appearance fee didn't you? Minge bag!

Bisto Gravy - we pledge that one day a week we'll all sit down for a REAL family meal with REAL granulated sludge from a plazzy container and that way we'll all feel part of a nuclear family unit because dad's home from weeeeeerrrrkkkkk early and I won't go out dealing crack because I've had sausage and mash with onion gravy.




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