Dulltown, UK: Today’s nice adjectives are: bonkers, khaki, repousse, renunciative, intrant, bumpy, and commensal.
I was, what with all this mad political stuff going on here in the UK, pondering on the idea of rich people, and on the idea of poor people. What do I know of such things? I am but a simple soul. I suppose poor people think about rich people a lot more than rich people think about poor people.
Are the moguls, the bankers, the retired Prime Minister war criminals, the media tycoons (‘tycoon’ is a funny word, isn’t it?), the heads of international sporting organisations, and the hedge fund managers, completely oblivious of poor people? Perhaps having been brought up and privately educated alongside other rich kids just like them, their mind-set, their weltanschauung, will always revolve around money, power, game playing, growth, prestige, competition, the admiration of ruthlessness, and also around how jolly handy a private jet can be. Perhaps they can’t conceive of any other way of life?
I suppose they have to be aware of the existence of poor people, like a whale must be aware of krill. Do they ever wonder who these individuals are who, every day, buy the newspapers that they publish, work in their factories, obligingly go and fight and die in their carefully organised wars, which they gamble on in the markets?
If they think of poor people at all, they probably, but grudgingly, do consider them as actual humans, but that they are unfortunate lesser beings, who lack ‘that certain something’; beings to be manipulated and used as a commodity in the wonderful great game.
Do the rich folk ever consider that the poor folk have feelings, emotions, beliefs, passions, compassion, and possibly intelligence? They must imagine that if these members of the seething underclass do have emotions and passions, they must be the same as the ones that they have themselves – for they know of nothing else; they have never met anyone whose existence is any different from their own.
The mental image of the bubbling life outside their own little sphere, that they may have once or twice glimpsed on TV or the internet, must be that of a vicious jungle, the rule of survival of the fittest, with rampant crime, stupidity, greed, squalor, violence and hatred – just like theirs really, but without all the money and the comfort. I suppose it would be like that, if poor people were just like rich people, but in my experience they are not, and poor people are, in the majority, not at all like the rich ones.
In the real world at the bottom of the great wealth pyramid there is a surprising amount of humanity, generosity, respect, humour, and intelligence. These are the very things which seem to be lacking in the people sitting at the top. We should really feel sorry for these poor mean-spirited stiffs with their arrogance, their yachts and their mansions. Come on dear reader, let’s send Rupert Murdoch a card with a couple of fluffy kittens on it. On the back we could say, ‘Hey Rupe! Oh, come on, snap out of it! There’s still time, we really can help you get out of that hole that you have dug for yourself – you poor sad mean old bastard…’