I have been alerted recently to the rising levels of inequality in our city, echoing the problem of rising levels of inequality nationally, and internationally. As a writer I get to sit on both sides of the table; I earn little, but occasionally attend swanky events for free and see how the other half live. It’s a serious problem. Deep dissatisfaction has caused a marked increase in protest and civil unrest, and later this week the Organisation for Economic Development will release a report on why inequality just keeps rising in London.
I wondered, at such a time, how anyone could be so insensitive as to commission and show Made In Chelsea. But then I watched a couple of episodes and was moved by its profoundly anti-materialist message: be grateful you’re not born rich because you’d be a complete queynt. It’s an advert for levying a 100 per cent inheritance tax rate; the Socialist Party should screen it. So although I’m slightly embarrassed by this depiction of our city, I’m also grateful to the programme for making me happy with my lot.
It also provides first-class comedy. What could be funnier than watching Spencer roll around Chelsea like a Barbour-clad cheeseball in a Land Rover, moaning incessantly about the fact Caggie doesn’t love him? She, meanwhile, is on a date with a French man – his nationality subtly depicted by a perma-beret. Another great scene was watching ‘the boys’ have a highly erotic rugby kickaround. While one friend teased another about being tired, the deviant finally exploded his filthy reason for fatigue: ‘I had sex last week!’
To be fair, the show also goes a long way in promoting transsexual rights, because the men, with their Adonis ambitions, are indistinguishable from the women, and no one thinks anything of it. One of them has such great hair I’m jealous.
Now I know it’s not real. I know it’s scripted, but these people condoned it. They put their names to it, and they can’t even claim need. I work in Parsons Green, which although not quite in Chelsea pretends to be, and I’ve seen enough salmon-coloured trousers to make me believe there’s a vein of truth in all this.
So I’ve come up with a solution to reduce inequality in London with one fell swoop: rename it the Royal City of Kensington and Chelsea and separate it out. London’s average income would plummet but it would be more equal. After all, they’re living in a different world, a different city even. Then they can inbreed like the good old days – and keep the money in the family darling.
Image by wetwebwork courtesy of Flickr