They are the ones that went to university and then to the city to join the ranks of those searching for streets paved with gold. Those that did this often gained, and are still gaining obscene incomes but at the expense of early morning commutes, no tea breaks, and not even time to drink the tea before it gets cold, while keeping up with the frenetic pace of the workaholic life.
They work for huge national and multinational companies or in the financial sector where all activities work better with more countries in the loop. They sit in front of computer screens doing work that has no product, sometimes not even hard copy, but money has been made.
Eating lunchtime sandwiches at the desk without even taking a break to walk the streets for a bit of fresh air laced with the aroma of diesel fumes. All the time checking the smart phone for messages from colleagues and other peers that might at least keep them up with the pack.
Then finally the commute back home via expensive railways where they can continue to work on route, or through the traffic jams and the long haul by-road to the home located far enough out to be affordable.
After the only proper meal of the day at home or at a restaurant washed down with copious amounts of alcohol, they and their working professional partner fall asleep on the sofa in front of the television or worse still at the keyboard of a laptop where they are preparing for another day at the office. When the second one goes to bed the other is in deep sleep.
One day an email arrives from one of the children who is going to university and needs transport with all their worldly goods. They are surprised the child is old enough to go because they have barely ever met them and have only attended three or four birthday parties.
They are very proud that they have enjoyed a wonderful standard of living, an excellent house, a couple of fine cars, employed an immigrant cleaning lady and an odd job gardener, but to pay for the university education and a deposit on the first homes of their children, they have to continue at the present pace for a few more years yet.
In 2006 my wife and I went on holiday with a group to Egypt. Among the group was a lady with fine clothes; from the jewelry, earrings, necklaces and wristwatch it was clear that money was plentiful. I enquired of her why she was on her own and she told me her husband was a mathematical genius and couldn’t leave his work. He made money by spread betting and with hedge funds. This surprised me because I didn’t know it was possible to make money through betting as the odds were stacked against the player and the house always wins. I was misinformed!
Now of course, we all are more familiar with such things and how these people play with computer algorithms to buy and sell shares and commodities in millisecond timescales, in effect milking everyone else from commodity value. How sad though that to stay in the game he couldn’t enjoy a holiday in Egypt with his wife.
The big cities and their workforces have been sucking the money out of the rest of the country and steadily starving everywhere of resources and infrastructure. Mining, manufacturing, industry, defence establishments, atomic energy establishments, and scientific laboratories have all dwindled while fishing and agriculture have been decimated by our membership of the EU.
The pro EU and pro big-business Conservative, Labour and Liberal parties are of course supported by the city slickers who in return get an enormous playground to survive in; one sloshing with money and without proper accountability.
Then when the children have flown the nest they dream of moving to a smaller town and downsizing, doing a bit of gardening or even getting a plot on an allotment. Getting a dog to do daily walks in the country and walk along coastal cliffs, to take it easy and breathe fresh air. To actually spend time with the latest partner or even go on holiday together. That would be nice.
You see, for all their education, the go-for-it city slickers never worked out when they were younger the difference between standard of living and quality of life. When they get older they want to be where we live and to live the life we have. How many of us aspire to be like them.
UKIP supporters are generally not part of the urban elite, but I think they/we have lived a life worth living and wish to bequeath a good life to our children: self-determination, fresh air, a good education, honest work, a living wage, a potential for self-improvement, house ownership, an NHS free to British citizens, good roads, and affordable public transport.
Photo by Functional Neurogenesis