“Relatively few UK citizens, I maintain, can anticipate their futures with sanguinity. So my employment of ‘precariat’ acknowledges this insecurity without making the ‘error’ of discovering a new class”.
Graham Scambler outlines a revised class structure for the UK that brings new light to the 1% that the NS SEC class structure is not able to describe. The quote refers to the ‘precariat’, not as a new social class separate from the middle and working class, but as a term to describe many in working and middle class positions whose lives and jobs can be described as being precarious, i.e. could be described as only a few pay slips away from penury and food banks. Given the level of personal debt faced by people, including mortgage debt which low interest rates are protecting us from, and given that the jobs themselves can be outsourced to another country, restructured into redundancy or overtaken by technology, or become too hard through ill health, then many might come to see precarity as a feature of life regardless of being in the middle class. Nurses, who were once a solid feature of the working landscape, might also be in this precarious position. To nurse requires good physical and mental health. Any challenge to this, or to the health of a family member, might put the job in peril. Many nurses right now are enjoying low interest rates on their mortgages and will also have loans and credit card debt. For now that is safe, but this historic situation will not last. NHS Trusts could in the future replace nurses with assistant practioners or a higher HCA to RN ratio. We have yet to see how technology will deskill and replace professional nursing, however we would be foolish to think nursing is immune from this process. Scambler has done us a service by reminding us that our life course is linked to the decisions made by the capitalist executive and their political supporters. The NS SEC classification may give a false sense of security of class position that may not be merited. Are nurses middle class and thus safe from precarity? I don’t think so.
Perhaps this test might show this? Its from the BBC called ‘the squeezed middle’.
Fact of the Day:
“In the UK, the poor stay poor and the rich stay rich”.
It seems to be the case that the greater levels of inequality there is in a country correlates with lower levels of upward mobility.
So choose your parents very carefully.
If your mum has not got a pot to piss in, then choose another one. Choose a Mum that is, not a pot. Preferably one like Lady Mary on Downton Abbey. She is a good choice, especially if you like repressed emotions and pent up sexuality with your cash. Why you should be looking for pent up sexuality in a mother is another issue and one that Freud would have a field day with, you dirty little b*gger. You could of course go for Kate Middleton//Saxe-Coburg Gotha-don’t mention the war-Windsor. Trouble is I think she has done with sprog sprouting for the moment and would welcome your advances to be offspring as she would a dose of syphilis.
If this strategy does not work try getting yourself adopted by some other posh bird. Try hanging around in Kensington and Chelsea looking suitably adorable and cuddley (don’t puke down your babygro and make sure you cover up the piss stains). Try burbling the baby equivalent of ‘Yah daarling’ and drink fizz out of your bottle. Do not wear a football shirt. There is nothing guaranteed to invoke disdain more quickly in the upper classes than a baby oik in West Ham colours.
Avoid certain areas of the country to be born in. Access the Community health profiles (http://www.apho.org.uk/default.aspx?QN=P_HEALTH_PROFILES) and do a bit of research to find the area with the highest income decile and lowest social deprivation index. Then get born there. You’ve got be smart these days to join in with the Eton and Harrow crowd. Redruth is of course right out, You’d be better off being born in a manger than in Drump Road.
According to Oxford University, there is social mobility except it is downward. So all you middle class types had better watch out, you and your sprogs could slip down the ladder quicker than a fireman with sh*t on his boots.
“the chances of a child with a higher professional or managerial father ending up in a similar position, rather than in a wage-earning working-class position, are up to 20 times greater than these same chances for a child with a working-class father”.
So choose your dad as well, or get your mum to sh*g a doctor.