Tough Love

Monday, August 15, 2005

Arsehole of the world

We had to wait for a train at Stoke-on-Trent today.

We rather thought we’d put Stoke behind us since divesting ourselves of the ex. It’s a funny place. Well, not so much a place as five open sewers strung loosely together with dual carriageways. The only thing it ever had going for it was our ex’s family and that was, like his emotional state, basically a cross between a car crash and a room full of broken mirrors.

So we don’t have many fond memories of the place. The meal on the barge that was so bad we swear it was a bad joke or an abandoned pilot for a new series of Beadle’s About. The various trips to Stoke’s one gay nightclub (imaginatively called ‘The Club’) where the music policy fossilised in 1993 and a drag queen called Fame flicked beer at us. The dinner at the (now former) mayor of Stoke’s house where he threw up on the back doorstep while his scally shag (new-plucked from the Orange Catalogue) announced “I don’t care who’s in charge as long as I get my social…”

No, we do not miss Stoke.

And if a smidgeon of us ever did, two minutes on the station platform put paid to that. The locals were out in force. Hard-faced girls in tracksuits with scraped-back hair smoking over their newborns, unemployed boyfriends looking on ineffectually.

The whole place is an object lesson in why Thatcherism was a bad idea. Disenfranchise the working class and what do you get ten years later? The chav.

It all seems a big price to pay for shoring up Burberry’s share price.