What this country needs is a new scapegoat for ordinary, hard-working, honest families to blame for our economic woes.
Bankers no longer cut it, they’re yesterday’s news. How about contractors, freelancers, and the swelling ranks of the self-employed? They don’t work full-time, 9 to 5. They get paid way more than poor down-trodden employees. They magically declare an income which matches their personal tax allowance. They can afford the time and money to attend workshops and conferences.
Bascially, they work less, get paid more and have more fun.
And I readily admit that I am one of those tax-savvy, part-time Idle Self-employed. Tax evasion is illegal, tax avoidance is ill-advised but tax-efficiency is to be applauded. I cut my working hours to suit and I fit my work around my life.
I can heartily recommend it. Sure, there is more week-to-week uncertainty. And yes, you do have to keep on top of your paperwork and employ the services of an accountant. But it beats ‘wage slavery’ and the creeping extension of working hours from 9 ’til 6 with lunch a chilled sandwich at your desk, and where 6 doesn’t really mean 6 but actually 6.30-7. And where you are expected to work weekends.
I say no. You can say no too, if you like.
It wasn’t until I heard Tom Hodginkson on Saturday Live a couple of weeks ago that I even realised I was an Idler, that there is indeed a movement for people who don’t want the daily grind, who want time and space to contemplate the important, to spend quality time with those closest to them.
What surprised me was the venom with which Tom Hodginkson was greeted. I think it’s because people are envious, because they haven’t used their brains to organise their life how they want it rather than according to the dictates of society and employers. I also think it’s because the work ethic has been promoted above wisdom and common sense in our moral hierarchy.
In the words of the show’s guest poet Matt Harvey:
… Some say they daren't be idle
It’s a question of survival
For the hand that rocks the cradle, to be idle’s suicidal
A catastrophe of creditors would circle us like predators
But it's always worth checking ones deep default setting
For, while the icons on the desktop say liberal or libertarian,
maybe something on the motherboard’s still set to Presbyterian…