With 'Posh People' - based on the readership of Tatler magazine - on one channel and 'Skint' on another, it's probably time to address the growing inequality and the huge class divide. 'Posh people' looks at the millionaires and billionaires within the UK and internationally, this week, discussing the rise of the 'new money' upper classes within Russia and the 'old money' estates in Scotland. The week before, we saw the Tatler ball, invitation only, where the youth of the upper classes could frolic in a comfortable environment, whilst getting better acquainted with each other. Despite there being very strict guest lists for these events, the journalist from Tatler magazine, who visited her family friends in Scotland claimed that there are always 'new people infiltrating the ranks.' This highlights the strict, almost inbred nature of what it essentially means to be 'posh.' Keeping it within a few select families; there are only 26 Dukes these days after all.
The upper class struggle of the 'posh people' shows members of the British aristocracy, or at least members of financially well-off families, trying to keep hold of the family estates or castles. Those poor, privileged few obviously need staff to run these houses, which just isn't always practical, or possible. Sarcasm and satire aside, it must be a genuinely sad thing to have to sell a home that has been with your family for over 300 years. On the other hand, skint, shown at the same time, but a different channel, shows us the other end of the class spectrum. Those who have '6 potato croquettes and 2 cans of soup' to live off between two people. Then I find myself struggling to pity those who are finding it difficult to keep hold of their 'castles.' What do you mean you have a castle? They own a house fit for a fairy-tale princess whilst other people in the same country struggle to afford food. That doesn't seem fair, does it?
So perhaps these rich people have worked hard for their money, which is absolutely fair enough and perhaps those struggling to afford food and would rather buy drugs and haven't worked a day in their lives. Both of these are possible, but both of these are of course, stereotypes. What about the 'posh people' of Tatler - I'd say the majority - who have inherited their money (without working a day in their life) because they were lucky enough to be born into a privileged family? That's fantastic for them, I can't appear to be too hypocritical as I'm all for the tradition of a British royal family, but the reality is, some people are unlucky enough to have been born into the exact opposite, extreme poverty. Without a doubt, the key to closing the class divide, is education and attention being paid to those who need it most. Sex education, social and emotional intelligence, equal opportunity and a basic education on democracy and politics are what's needed to eventually stamp out social inequality.
'Skint' shows how 'parenthood and drugs' are so closely linked. The social services are involved in the lives of some of the people in the documentary, in regards to the children - rightfully - but whether these people choose to become drug addicts whilst being parents, is debatable. Of course they want the best for their children the same as the upper classes. I can't help but feel that the people portrayed by Channel 4 in 'Skint', are given a rum deal. Apparently luxury sells, the same as poverty sells, but only one of those lifestyles comes from having a choice. Are these programmes that look at people who are struggling to find work, taking solace in drugs and alcohol (just as many of the upper classes take drugs too by the way, it's just obviously less documented) exploiting the people they're interviewing?
Rather than spending money on TV programmes that may be dubbed 'entertaining but educational' perhaps we should be doing something about drug abuse, generations of apathy, the variety of reasons behind why people won't or can't get jobs. Prostitution is another issue touched upon by 'Skint' and how it's closely linked to drugs, poverty and financial desperation. Prostitution is not a career that tends to be a choice for the majority of women involved. Issues like this only become more and more common as inequality rises. When will our government address this divide? The super-rich and the super-poor? This isn't a suggestion that we start a Communist cult and scrap the whole idea of a money-based economy, simply that we consider the needs of people from all walks of life. Meanwhile... The House of Lords spend on average, £65,000 per year on champagne. Perspective.