A Working Class Identity

Despite the attempts of a few who feel I’m not deserving of a (minimal) amount of success, I’ve gotten where I am by simply knowing the difference between right and wrong. This includes the people I maintain friendships with.

Success can be a matter of interpretation or opinion, but my definition is one based on playing by the rules and employing the old school ways. This certainly doesn’t mean getting ahead at any cost. I’m not in the banking industry, in other words.

I maintain and align with a working class identity.

Maybe that’s why I favour old school villains and criminal success over the elites. Old school isn’t about being the one with the most scars or the arsehole to do any bit of work. It’s more of a philosophy and a mandate.

Politeness and empathy work as part of my everyday life, but I’ve found there’s a simple rule when it comes to surviving in this world; if you want to get ahead, don’t be the one to allow for, or pander to, those in your way. There’s a reason they’re standing in front of you to begin with!

Guys in this line of work, we know how to survive. We know how to stay in front. When business people talk about the “killer instinct” they’re speaking a language we understand, albeit in a different context.

I believe that people, if we’re being honest, lean towards the variable differences presented in society.

We all know what success looks like.

But our society values different things than it thinks it does. There is a critical element in society that demands a level of purity, all the while contradicting. I’m never surprised to see those living in glass houses throwing stones.

Whilst respecting either left or right wing values, it’s a fact that society, and more specifically the working class, can fall short of its potential when it subscribes to a totally socialist system.

No success was gained in any nation’s existence by claiming or employing a welfare state of mind. I’ve always believed society will only be able to support itself by the profitable return on its initial investment, and that investment is the efforts made by yourself.

I believe that no one is going to jump-start your efforts or do things for you.

The safety net is there for those who need it. It wasn’t invented as a hammock.

I’ve had my fair share of hurdles, and believe me, many were put there with the sole purpose of making me stumble. However, the people – who many would call villains – who are a trusted part of my circle are as strong now as they were in the start.

I realised a long time ago that my role and standing amongst a certain crowd allows me a unique opportunity to make a more ‘patriotic’ contribution; I freely admit it; I’m a nationalist not a globalist, and it’s been proven that I’m as loyal as they come and there for my own.

Let’s be honest, there’s always been a prejudice towards the non-elites of industry, what the papers call the working class. This same prejudice, I’ve also found, exists towards kids and young adults from council estates and inner city neighbourhoods. What the press ignores, and what’s not as appreciated as it should be, is that it’s the same working class who form the back bone of any industry. Some of history’s most notable and innovative people have come from my background.

Any business leader who employs other people would be lying if they said they were in it solely for a moral purpose, as business is about profit, but that same profit enables a person or the people they employ to not be a burden on society or the government.

It baffles me that there’s often such negative scrutiny towards someone from my background getting ahead. There seems, to me, more of a cultural expectancy towards working class failure and simply living a meek existence, than there is congratulations for rising above their background and circumstances. That there seems to be more apathy and bitterness towards someone that’s cracked it really is truly mind boggling.

Anyone who’s being honest would have to admit that watching someone else succeed is a motivational tool. If you aren’t encouraged by someone else’s success maybe you’re not meant to be successful in this competitive world to begin with. To show apathy, malice or a bitterness is a weakness, in my view, and that mind-set will hurt you more than any competitor. But you see that attitude everywhere, and it’s particularly bad amongst the working class.

Those people – my people – should be demanding more from those in power. Instead they turn on each other and look for solutions to their own problems in the wrong places. Drinking poison in the hope someone else gets sick … that’s just moronic.

Yet I think it’s fair to understand that if you’re a lazy so-and-so you’re not going to be compensated by those who are already successful, and why should you be? We’re a competitive species, and competition can be a healthy part of the process.

Look at the sports we love, like boxing or football. How many times have you seen an unfancied team or fighter giving an effort which leaves you wondering where it came from? You often see competitors give a better performance against the opposing person(s) if that person or team is better than them. It’s a part of our nature. The competitive spirit. It teaches you to operate at any speed. Where some see arrogance, I see confidence.

The famous quote ‘Business is business, and it’s nothing personal!’ is one that I like and can say is an honest motto. I once read that someone claimed it was offensive, that you should assume everything is personal, but that simply proves that the world is full of people who think all competition should outlawed, however it sets us back.

It’s not just the law of the jungle that says only the strongest survive; it’s a fact of genetics and evolution and it’s clearly seen in everyday life.

I’d say every documented living species is a testament to success and survival itself is the greatest measure of success that there is. The biggest and strongest companies didn’t get to the top of the pile by giving in to other, less successful, companies or by adhering to what’s ‘politically correct’ and worrying about others feelings!

Working class people are the centre of this, and I often think it’s time more of us were awake to that and to the role we can play in shaping our own destiny, instead of hoping that someone else will do it for us. That survival, that competitive, instinct is in all of us.

Patriotism is also something I identify with. My philosophy is that you should be proud of your heritage as much as you should be of your personal accomplishments. By this I mean I’m proud to be born in England, but of course that’s simply an accident of birth. But if you add a sense of your work efforts and accomplishments, that not only compliments you as a person but also your culture. I grew up in a world that didn’t see working class people as more than barrow traders or factory workers, but why should I fit that narrative? I didn’t want to limit myself to the cliché of London working class expectancy, one of subservience to our supposed pay masters.

I understood that the working class are the essence of, and responsible for, the success of the country and I wanted a piece of that action for myself.

I’m a person who identifies with, and has an appreciation of, our culture.

My life and the friendships I have within certain circles justifies my choices.

I’m what could be called a home grown product.

I gain a sense of empowerment by being a contributor to the country through effort. I could easily wave the flag, maintaining that identity, but it’s about more. I chose to live by a set of beliefs and  I think that’s my way of reinvesting in the ‘English way’.

There’s a void in mainstream society that needs filling.

It’s very easy to stir up the disenfranchised, but that is where trouble starts and certain types of government succeed. Neither life nor work was ever meant to be easy and the biggest risk takers across the country set standards, not by complaining, but by proving that they are willing to put one foot in front of the other. If it’s the leaders of industry that concern you, remember there are more pawns than kings. Real change, for the better, starts with the individual.

Working class people need to start believing in their own abilities, to stop knocking those who’ve made the climb, and get their own feet on the ladder.

That’s the way – perhaps the only way – to make things better.

Mr Claret – AKA Jason Allday – the author of two books, Junior and Lessons, which is out soon. The picture was taken by Mr Pink – AKA Brian Anderson – and is part of his Glasgow Eyes collection.

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