Is “She” the shorthand for the end of NuLab?
A key media development in the past eight weeks has been the regularity with which programmes makers and writers have looked to former Woolworths employees, almost all of them women, to illustrate what’s gone wrong with the economy. BBC2’s Newsnight did it again last night.
So while “Mondeo Man” and “Worcester Woman” might have defined key voters in recent elections the 2009/2010 general version looks like being one of the thousands who lost their jobs when the store group collapsed before Christmas. PB’s cartoonist, Marf, has inserted “Woolies Woman” into a number of drawing including the one above published on the day after Brown’s famous “saving the world” slip at PMQs.
On the overnight thread I was very taken by a post from someone who used to be much more of a regular here but don’t see so often now – “Yellow Submarine”. He (I assume that’s the gender) sought to identify the characteristics of “Woolies Woman”:-
She is going to be: “1. …..utterly shocked to her very core at how unequal the equation is. Sheâ€™ll have paid taxes all these years on the silent and begruding assumption that while the state never helps her she didnâ€™t need it. But now she does and Job Centre Plus is useless. She has to worry sick for 3 months before mortgage help. training is a joke. the contract is broken if it was ever there in the first place.
2. Angry and Articulate. Woolies Woman isnâ€™t a traditional oppressed group that NuLabor can employ middle class state workers to â€œoutreachâ€ to and dispense state largess to. WW is powerful and is going to march on the going government. She will not be passive in her distress because she has known better.
3. Woolies Woman has networks and social resources… For every Woolies Woman dozens of relatives, friends and contacts will hear of the horror of unemployment.
4. Finally Woolies Woman canâ€™t be reversed in time. The flood of redundancies isnâ€™t going to peak let alone subside before the parliament Act drags this sorry governmemnt to the polls in June 2010.”
There’s another point as well – Woolies Woman is everywhere. There’s hardly a high street in the UK today that does not have a boarded up premises in a prominent position where the local Woolworths used to be.
Marf’s own site is LondonSketchbook.com
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