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    The "This is Britain, 2008" thread

    With Brown and Cameron already both promising that they will "listen, and learn from" the people of this country in what is now shaping up to become the most protracted general election campaign since Major v Blair in 1997, who are those people? What is "modern Britain", and who lives in it?

    We clearly need to refine the Major stereotypes of women cycling home from church, and men drinking warm beer watching cricket on the village green, because those dreams of Mr Major no longer exist (even if, in truth, they ever did, when he had his "Good Life" vision of the country in the early 1990s).

    There must however still be groups of people who make up our great and proud country, whom we would all recognise as ubiquitous to all towns and cities, from Wick to Weston-Super Mare, from Barry Island to Blackpool. But who are they?

    I'd start with (from a mental walk around my village):

    1. Groups of men in hi-viz jackets sat on wooden tables in pub beer gardens drinking lager

    2. Young mums putting oven chips and mini-pizzas into trolleys at Asda

    3. Men in their mid-thirties wearing jeans and pringle sweaters and still using hair gel, washing their mid-range hatchbacks on their drives on Sunday mornings

    any more...?

    #2
    The "This is Britain, 2008" thread

    Rog- Major's bicycling village greeners were already an advertiser's fantasy when the Kinks sang about them in the 60s. Or arguably, when Agatha Christie steretyped them in the Body in the Library.

    Your list could include any societal group celebrated by veteran Scouse folkies HMHB. This from their new record out last week,

    King of hi-vis

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      #3
      The "This is Britain, 2008" thread

      People walking down the High Street with North Face clothing on. Out of breath and over weight.

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        #4
        The "This is Britain, 2008" thread

        By high-vis, do you mean the sort of thing that road construction workers, firemen and cops wear to be seen (bright tennis-ball yellow, bright orange, reflective strips, etc). Or do you mean some other sort of odd fashion statement? Girls in my junior high school (1985-1986) wore fluorescent colors, but that fad died pretty fast.

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          #5
          The "This is Britain, 2008" thread

          That is a pretty mental walk around your village, Rogin. What are your normal walks like?

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            #6
            The "This is Britain, 2008" thread

            Pensioners, wearing kind of beige-coloured clothing, sitting in parked cars and staring vacantly out to sea- on the seafront at Seaford, or Eastbourne, or numerous other places along the coast.

            I haven't been in Britain since 2002, mind you.....

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              #7
              The "This is Britain, 2008" thread

              I couldnít do one for your villages, because itís too long since Iíve been there. But for my big village, the archetype is a woman in her late 30ís or early Ď40ís Ė about six feet tall with a big bum, solid thighs, and an incredibly short miniskirt - cycling through Aídam with a big kid on the back of the bike, a baby perched precariously in a seat above the handle-bars, swerving and slaloming through traffic while speaking to a friend via a mobile phone that she holds in her left hand along with a roll-your-own fag.

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                #8
                The "This is Britain, 2008" thread

                Groups of man - boy "businessmen", (though god knows what they do), looking out for the lash in foreign cites, wearing clone, unstylish and totally innapropriate suits. Loud and laughable.

                And John Gaunt listeners.

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                  #9
                  The "This is Britain, 2008" thread

                  They'd be yer estate agents and recruitment 'consultants' MA.

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                    #10
                    The "This is Britain, 2008" thread

                    People walking down the High Street with North Face clothing on. Out of breath and over weight

                    I'm overwieght, and today I cycled into work, was breathing quite hard as I stopped at the lights by Farringdon and was wearing a North Face top.

                    Men in their mid-thirties wearing jeans and pringle sweaters and still using hair gel, washing their mid-range hatchbacks on their drives on Sunday mornings


                    I'll be 33 this year, in my pocket I have some hair gel, that I'm about to put in when I go to the loo. I almost wear jeans but have no pringle sweaters (I have Massimo Dutti sweaters, I have pringle socks). I have a mid-range hatchback but I rarely wash it.

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                      #11
                      The "This is Britain, 2008" thread

                      Go and find a pub beer garden and have a pint of lager with some men wearing hi-viz jackets and cement-encrusted jeans.

                      Then you will, truly, be the everyman voter of the Asimov (? Clarke? Dick?) story, who we can just select to vote on all our behalfs.

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