The car not only serves as a bubble of isolatory safety and environmental control, but it represents control of ones destiny, a gateway drug to the liberal mindset. Opportunities abound, taking the proverbial rains, throwing caution to the wind, exploring, and of course, the showing of ones status.. In the 1970s and early eighties, working in the car manufacturing industry was seen not only as prestigious, and as bettering ones self as you moved through the skills hierarchy in the boom-time, But almost took ‘key worker’ status as enabling others to enjoy the prosperity once out of reach, work for ones self and seek work farther away. Based largely in the West Midlands, it gave poor communities a very visible and respected occupation. You could see the result of your labour on the streets, points of discussion involving people across the entire supply chain, neighbours, and children, indeed is the main reason that there was almost no discernible racism against the Sikh community in leamington, Birmingham and Coventry by the mid eighties.. As well as a feeing of pride in the resulting perceived wealth, the possibility that one could live in the Midlands and commute to London gave families who were, by now relatively property rich a sense that they were part of the cultural and political avant-garde. Coupled with thatcher’s support for the industry above all else (apart from finance), and in-line with the new liberal agenda, it was simple to deride the northern working class, divide and ultimately concur the synaclistic sense of community as replace it with the knowledge that; you were rich because you were doing the right thing for everyone. Class was a word without meaning or airtime, after all, home and car ownership meant that they were classless free providers of the future.. now able to send their sons off to private schools fast tracked into financial services industry, the final rung on the socio-Ecco omicron ladder. With all this ringin
Cheers for this Dave. It's a really interesting insight into the Midlands, and perhaps how it differed from the North in what seems to be that crucial early years of neoliberalism. Only thing is, your text seems to end abruptly. Just wondering if a bit of it was accidently cut off?