Friday, 26 February 2016

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Some social scientists working for the think tank ResPublica, are suggesting that unless you have a household income of £41,000pa, you can't enjoy or access beauty. That those in social housing, are somehow unable to see a tree, visit a museum, walk to a park, or get a bus to a beauty spot .... in fact, that they are unable to appreciate beauty through lak of money ..... I have never read such claptrap in my entire life.

When I was young, we were not well off, but I could get on my bike and ride out of the estate and into rural, or even just semi-rural countryside, and appreciate what I was looking at. I could look at our encyclopaedia of art and appreciate the images I saw.

This was because my parents were ambitious to move onwards, own a house, work, educate their children .... they were 'working class', voted Labour, and believed in inner and outer achievement, like millions of others in a still united Britain.

From Bury to Brighton, Cycling Clubs Took The Working Class Into The Countryside ...

In the 1930's 40's 50's, and even 1960's, hiking and cycling clubs took working class men and women into the countryside. Art appreciation societies offered beauty with commentary ...... the difference between then and now, is the complete paucity of ambition, that the intervening 40 years of Labour councils, comprehensive educations falling standards, and a lifestyle on welfare benefits, have wrought on those very same housing estates.

The 'working class' of that earlier era are long gone ..... mostly moved on into house ownership and  jobs. What was left behind on those estates, was the 'underclass', whose reality TV shows are such a prominent mainstay of the explosion of digital TV channels these days. These are often people who see beauty in nothing, trash their own surroundings, and whose educational achievements excluded any concept of inner or outer beauty. All they want is more money, 'its my right', for doing nothing.

Beauty Is Where You Find It ..... Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

And that's why, despite more opportunities than I could ever dream of when growing up, when asked, less than half of people living in social housing (just 45%), felt that they had the same access to beauty in urban or rural areas, as others with better incomes .... duh!

People who work hard, get better jobs, move to nicer areas .... but access to all is just a 30 minute ride away from any inner city area in the UK, to the countryside, except maybe its a generation of hard work and mobility ambitions away, for some.


  1. I like the word "beauty", I wonder if the Americans have 'simplified' it yet?

    1. I'm referring to American spellings of English words such as Color instead of Colour and Theater instead of Theatre, there's a long list of them...

    2. Hmm, I get your point Vroomfondel, but as neither beauty nor simplified are on the list you kindly linked to, and indeed seem to be the universal spellings, then I have to sympathise with the anonymous commenter who said ????.

    3. I'm glad that you sympathise and don't "sympathize", I just hope that it stays that way.


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