Ruth Hardy (freelance writer and recent graduate in philosophy at King’s College London) on the awful ‘indignity’ of paid work:
At a state banquet for the new Lord Mayor on Monday, David Cameron gave a speech about his commitment to the cause of permanent austerity. He stood up to speak from a golden chair, and read his notes from a golden lectern.
So..? That wasn’t brought in just for him! Anyone giving a speech there would do the same.
Dinner service is physically demanding, and I am by no means the only person who combines two or three jobs. The contrast of the two worlds was striking; someone said it was like a scene from Downton Abbey.
Maybe Cameron didn’t see the irony; perhaps he forgot about the army of waiting staff, cleaners, chefs and porters who were also present at the banquet. Perhaps he thought he was in a room of similarly rich people, who understood the necessity for austerity. Perhaps it didn’t occur to him that this message might not be as easily comprehended by those who hadn’t just enjoyed a four-course meal.
Once again, the embittered socialist envy that anyone else has more. The fact that, without this job, she might not be able to afford her freelance activities seems not to have occurred to her.
He enjoys a banquet, while the number of people using food banks has tripled in the past year. As someone on the shift with me said, “It gets annoying that we always serve free food to the people who really don’t need free food.”
And we always give jobs to the people that already have one or two. Want to go down that road?
I have a fundamental problem with a man who sits on a golden throne and lectures us about spending less, like a modern-day, white-tie clad sheriff of Nottingham. And all around him, the insidious stain of austerity creeps across the country, manifesting in the bedroom tax, rising tuition fees and the closure of public services that vulnerable people depend on.
Well, maybe Ruth’s right, after all, she has got a degree, and that used to mean someth..
• This article was amended on 13 November 2013. It originally referred to the banquet David Cameron attended as state-funded, which it was not. This has now been corrected.