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Opinion

Landed on Mayfair

23 Jun 2024 4 minute read
Landed on Mayfair by Sarah Morgan Jones

Ben Wildsmith

Does anybody even know the rules to Monopoly? If we ever did, they are lost to time when the set is brought out to distract everyone from ancient, family resentments.

Never trust anyone who wants to be the top hat, I’m always the little dog myself: unthreatening and unassuming, yet stolid and determined.

At the end of the game, when a ghastly brother-in-law has accumulated unsurpassable tracts of prime London real estate, and you’re left with the deeds to the gasworks and Old Kent Road because you ‘don’t live in the real world’, it ceases to be a pleasant pastime and takes on the soul-crushing inevitability of life in general.

Marcus – let’s call him that, because I want you to hate him, and everybody hates a Marcus – is desperate for the game to continue.

As you dream of a walk in nature, away from this grotesque charade, he wants to lend you £2000 in fake money, so that he can take it off you on your next go round the board and whoop to the thrill of his ape dominance over your childhood home at Christmas.

That stage of the game was reached in 2008, when the world’s capital was sucked up, like a line of coke, by the world’s ultimate shitty brother-in-law, the banks.

Wild ideas

Hindsight is 20:20, but its abundantly clear that the board should have been turned over then, the table pushed back, the family guillotine wheeled in from the shed, and the coal bucket emptied as a receptacle for the head of your sister’s unfortunate marital error.

Instead, we’ve allowed Marcus to pay us off with PIP, furlough, cost-of-living payments, and mortgage deferments as if the rotten, autumnal droppings from his tree were compensation for a life lived on the forest floor.

Sixteen years of economic stagnation has settled on the people of the UK like a degenerative disease. All we can rely on is that next year will be worse than this.

One wrong move at work and the little security you have will be taken from you and your credit score obliterated.

Like medieval serfs, our wellbeing is dictated by whims we can never comprehend.

‘Why has my mortgage doubled?’

‘Because Liz Truss questioned transubstantiation.’

Are you surprised, then, that wild ideas are taking hold? When you are walking round the post-apocalyptic high streets of post-industrial Wales, where the only viable businesses pander to vices or peddle Chinese tat, can you tolerate it?

Overflowing bins and dog shit

Labour’s stately procession towards stewardship of our decline doesn’t reflect the seriousness of the situation. Even here, where making the best of things is a matter of pride, nobody is happy, are they?

Look at your local Facebook group and observe decent people channelling their rage into complaints about overflowing bins and dog shit.

‘It’s the council! They are all in hospitality suites at the Taylor Swift show whilst XL bullys drop empty Prime bottles where the playground used to be!’

Not to worry, though, Sir Keir Starmer, Sir Rachel Reeves, and Sir Wes Streeting MFC are here to euthanise our dreams politely and with dignity. Your call is important to them.

It’s not important to Nigel Farage, either. He has, though, at least taken the time to record an entertaining answer machine message.

As you hang on to communicate your frustration to Nigeco Ltd, he tells you of a 20% income tax threshold, 50% nationalisation of utilities, and that your kids being conscripted into a Russian war is preventable.

Populist hucksters

Human beings can’t live without hope.

Every story we devise leads to our redemption and, crucially, centres us personally as the authors of it.

I see no hero’s journey for any of us in Labour’s offering, no route out into the sunlight, just another go around the board with humiliation at the end.

If they don’t ginger things up when they get into office, the siren call of populist hucksters will amplify.

Something must be done, this is something, therefore it must be done.


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Richard Davies
Richard Davies
21 days ago

Hope died on Friday 13 December 2019, waking up with the compulsive liar for prime minister instead of the honest decent guy! Funeral in 11 days, to be buried alongside its younger sibling, Faith.

Annibendod
Annibendod
21 days ago

They will not take on the Tory State Ben. The have resisted every call for every progressive reform from the significant to the slightest. They say they will govern like Tories but competently. They say they want to grow the pie but don’t expect a bigger slice – the rich WILL NOT BE TAXED. It is as if the UK electorate think that any change to this abomination of an unequal State will be catastrophic.

“We know it’s s***. We just want it to be boring and s***.”

Starmer: “Hold my beer…”

Last edited 21 days ago by Annibendod
Mark
Mark
18 days ago
Reply to  Annibendod

34% of income tax is paid by the richest 1% of the population. Meanwhile, 44% of adults pay no income tax at all. It’s about time the 44% showed a little gratitude to the 1%.
Plenty of billionaires have a choice of where they live and they are perfectly within their rights to leave the country and take their money with them. I would if I were them.

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