Yesterday I read in the news that the middle classes might have their benefits cut. There is a real possibility that they will no longer be eligible for the winter fuel allowance or child benefit.
I worry about the middle classes. Everyone else worries about the poor, the hungry, the homeless. I worry about the middle classes. They seem to have a miserable life.
It goes like this. They leave university and take up a safe, well-paid job. They marry someone their parents approve of, and move into a nice house, in a nice street. So far, so good. But then the troubles begin.
After a few years, they have to move to a smaller house, in a much more expensive area, so that their unborn child can go to the right school. When little Jonny is born, their life becomes an eternal round of shuffling little Jonny and a little later, his sister Anna to their tennis/ballet/fencing/after-school activity, all the while worrying about whether they’re earning enough to pay for the insurance on the 4WD gas guzzler, and the fuel to put in it. Now they have to stick at the jobs that long ago became boring, because they have to keep up the payments on their huge mortgage.
They eat those awful ready meals that are probably giving them cancer, because mum is working full-time and doesn’t have time to cook. They drink too much red wine and eat too much cheese.
For the next eighteen years, they troll along at their mundane jobs in middle-management, still worrying about money, and still shuffling their over-stimulated kids around on a never-ending merry-go-round of extra-curricular activities and school trips. They never get to go on that holiday to Thailand they promised themselves before the kids came along. Instead, they trade in the gas guzzler to pay for university tuition fees. And, after all this, they die of a heart attack.
Doesn’t seem like much fun to me. Think I’ll stay poor.