My very first column
Fairfax Media have insisted that all their contributors sign a new contract. Unfortunately, this means I can't post Grey Urbanist columns here ... until 3 months after publication in the Nelson Mail.
Dread began stalking me as soon as I agreed to write a column for the Nelson Mail and on the eve of deadline, it had me firmly between its jaws. A large part of this dread originates in that fact that my column will appear in the very spot recently vacated by Teresa O'Connor. She has left behind very large shoes to fill although her feet are, in actuality, remarkably small. However, like Ms O'Connor my predecessor, I've got Irish forbears and the Irish proverb "What is nearest the heart is nearest the mouth" applies to us both. I'm just as maddened as she is by foolish bureaucracy, by venality and injustice. And I’m just as moved by small, unheralded acts of generosity and kindness: the grace moments of everyday life.
Last week I wrote about the precarious nature of work. This week I lost my most vital work contract .
Time to come out of the closet and admit to being a denizen of a shadowy netherworld society ... the precariat.
Professor Guy Standing, an economist from the University of London, coined the term precariat to describe a rapidly expanding socio-economic class, which Standing argues has arisen as a consequence of globalisation and whose work lives are characterised by unpredictability and insecurity.
Sitting happily atop Standing’s version of the socio-economic heap is the global elite,
“a tiny minority of absurdly rich and high-earning people”. Squatting very unhappily at the bottom is an “army of unemployed” and “a detached group of socially ill misfits".
Somewhere in between lie the “salariat”, who enjoy (for the moment at least) high-incomes and stable, full-time employment, and people like me - the “proficians”. who Standing describes as “self-selling entrepreneurs, living opportunistically on their wits and contacts”.
Enter your email address below