I inadvertently ended up watching a major part of a TV series called The Dealership on CH4, the reason I ended up watching this was we were going out, the TV was on this channel and it wasn’t worth putting on anything decent if there was anything as we would be leaving in 15 minutes or so.
I found myself being drawn in to this program as sheer disbelief at the attitudes and behaviour of the people , customers and staff, as they went about what is evidently their daily norm.
When I married, our first house was in Hornchurch a popular commuter area, not a million miles from this area Rainham in Essex, certainly not the Lake District in looks and that much hasn’t changed, what has changed is the people.
I’m not going to slag of the people of Essex as stereotyped in this program – after all that may well have been the programs intention – all I will say is that when I lived there it included that classic mix of self made aspiring people who had left the East End looking for a better life, there was industry with Fords and the Tilbury docks, a large commuter section, many who worked in the city, and the sink estates in Basildon and Thurrock, not a lot different to many areas of Britain.
The image of the Essex white van man hadn’t been invented then, sure there were plenty of quick witted people out of the East End who made a quick and often fruit full living both legal and illegal but that was the nature of those refugees from Bow, Hackney and all points east.
What was evident in that CH4 program is the degree to which the meaning of anything of value has been brought down to that which relates to a Big Brother contestant on one hand and a complete lack of the understanding of values in any shape or form, they have always existed, the world would be a poorer place if we were “all” sensible caring prudent well mannered etc, that is a utopia for the few, the world isn’t like that and is better for as without those differences in make up and opinion we would stand still as a population and a nation.
It is the degree by which so much of what I saw on that program is becoming the norm and nobody thinks anything of it ‘it’s how it is’ and of course that is the problem.
What you saw was a group of people prepared to put themselves in debt – further debt – in some cases purely to have status symbol as perceived by them.
The young women chav who wanted a Merc the same as her two sisters who were with her had, the fact she failed a credit test was a minor inconvenience to this “dream” as first one sister who also failed an then the third to tears of delight passed and took on the debt so her sister would not be left out of the loop.
The young man who wanted to trade his BMW (surely not tired of a BMW) for a Range Rover, the fact his debt on the BMW was such that there wasn’t enough in it for a deposit was simply a shock that surely could be overcome ?
Another couple who wanted an Audi but had an inflated price in mind for their current in order to achieve this goal, and so it went on, none had any cash even the young with her parents who eventually got her car only did so because ‘daddy’ was prepared to stump the difference, the sales men openly admitted that the debt was not their problem only the sale mattered by any means possible, not that they had to try that hard in most cases.
The words that perhaps saving a bit would help never arose, it’s instant gratification at any cost that rules the way these people think, an amoeba would have more sense.
If anything of note came out of what I viewed it was the depth in numbers where this thinking applies, and the country wrings its hands over the young not being able to get on the housing ladder, many who could of course get a house if they changed their priorities.
The brain dead entitlement through debt is so ingrained that even in a recession they carry on as if nothing has changed. There is an enormous black hole of personal debt in this country.
If this program told us anything, it will not be reducing soon.