Is that all there is?

[With a nod to singer, Peggy Lee.]

There’s the organised working class
and the business class, he declared.

That’s it. The fabled western binary.
Either / or. The perfect war footing.

The business class, I pondered,
certainly suggests money and
ownership. Buying and selling.
Profit. Suits and shiny shoes.

Multi-millionaires, the landed
gentry and the aristocracy.

Irrefutably the 21st century business
class evokes greed, exploitation and
corruption on a mind-boggling scale.

Because now we know about the excess
and dominance. Powerful vested interests.
And the enduring sense of entitlement.

It is public knowledge available for scrutiny.
Corporations, multi-nationals, big business.

Does the enemy business include small
businesses? The self-employed?

Freelancers?

The organised working class, I thought.
Who might they be in 2011? Can anyone
join? More important, do they have a plan?
Are they well equipped and ready?

The organised working class. Are they
numerous? Organised? Willing?

Enough of them to do the job?
Single-handed. Heroically.

The organised working class or the
business class. Are these locations
or identities? Or both. Attributed or
claimed? Do we declare who we are?

Who we think we are. Or do we get
told? Labelled, classified, deployed.

And where or who are women in this
meagre landscape? Or black and
minority ethnic groups? People with
disabilities. Gay and bisexual people.
Transgendered? Or professionals.

Amongst others.

All the hybrids, making connections,
fuelling change. Being creative.

Are we all spread around the place?
Visibility reduced. Influence dissipated.
Our politics diluted to serve the purpose
of others. Again. At the back of the bus.

Or are we, together, the road map out
of this well worn dead end?

val walsh / 2011

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