Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Blackbird Leys

End stations. Often abroad, I like to take a random bus or tram to its end station. Especially in touristy places like Prague, end stations tend to represent something “real”. Here in Oxford I have spent the last four days travelling with red buses to their end station in Blackbird Leys.

Today I found myself comparing Sweden and England to an Indian lawyer. It felt strange telling him that the most visible difference is the poverty in Britain. Of course, by Indian standards, there is no poverty in Blackbird Leys. Yet, from a European perspective, it is striking how conscious political decisions have created an underclass of historically disadvantaged people.

Today, I walked in the opposite direction from the city centre and saw the "other" Oxford. Of course it was an uplifting experience, especially along the Thames. I could very well think of myself living here for a while. Personal reasons aside, it is so easy to melt into that latte-drinking existence and simply forget about its socio-economic base. This is why I think that every Tory, or Blairite for that matter, should get a copy of Brian Barry’s Why Social Justice Matters and take bus number five. To its end station.

1 Comments:

Blogger Elin said...

The always changing contexts of a globetrotter's lattes are far from socio-economic constructions alone. The meanings and intrepretations of the coffe (independent of its form) and its time-spatial contextualisation are not measurable in such terms and thus they could neither be re-distributed nor socially just, or?!?

= everything is not what it looks like.

But, my Kitchen Aid Esspresso Machine still works :-)

12:08 am  

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