Mayday

Today, May 1st, is the worker’s day celebration in Sweden. People of a socialist bent pull their banners out of the cupboard and get marching, to show their solidarity for their working-class comrades the world over. They march, and laugh, and sing rousing songs about beating “the man”, and paying hefty taxes, and eating tuna fish.

Except that most of the actual working-class people could not be out today, because they had to work. That’s the definition of “working class”, you see, that you work quite a lot, and especially when other people do not. I know the working class were at their jobs today, because I saw them. The man who drove the bus I took was working class. So were the people who served me in the restaurant at IKEA, and so were the people at the cash tills at IKEA who packaged my consumer products that were assembled in India by a few million working-class children.

I am not working class, thank the Lord, and I have no desire to be. I don’t see it as a “badge of honour” to be poor and struggling and have no assets to my name. And I think it a little bit strange that the streets of Stockholm are flooded once a year with middle class people who pretend they are “workers”, who have the nerve to march alongside the Swedish Social Democrats, a party who are as much “socialist” and “for the workers” as I am a Tibetan yak farmer.

Get rid of the working class – give them lattes, converse sneakers, a good education and nice, cushy jobs in the IT sector – and we’ll all be a lot happier.

/ paddy

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