Philip Whiteley's Blog

August 18, 2010

The Guardian sneers at ‘trade’

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 9:22 am

A youngster called Owen Hatherley had a prominent slot for an opinion piece in the Grauniad on 13 August, and devoted it to a satire of the ‘motivational’ gush that apparently accompanies back-to-work training via the British state these days. He enjoyed poking fun at the acronyms such as SWOT and STAR before proceeding to smirk at the fact that ‘Southwark Pest Control’ were hiring. Well, of course, it’s hilarious that any delicate creature used to working for The Guardian should have to do anything as unseemly, or as useful, as assisting public health in south London. This, at least, appears to be the point.

We could probably dispense with the more toe-curling motivational techniques, but is it really so beneath contempt to work for a pest control company and turn up on time (punctuality is uncool, according to this writer)? Or to work at all? I note that nearly all the comments on the web page heartily approve of this missive. I wonder, were the employees of Southwark Pest Control invited to comment? Or the potential customers putting up with rats or cockroaches because the company has staff shortages?

It’s in keeping with the relentless ‘work to live’ propaganda that emanates from The Guardian/Observer, which adds to the message that pretty much any regular job is some sort of prison, and that real life consists either of life as a stand-up comic, idle commentator, or on the dole (without nasty representatives of tax-payers nagging you to get a job). Where would it all end? With no one working? Who would actually win the export orders and pay the taxes to permit Master Hatherley and his fragrant admirers to read the news and play video games all day?

Increasingly, the institutional left sound more and more like Victorian ladies who sneer at ‘trade’ and value a life of leisure. With someone else paying.


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