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  #127 (permalink)  
Old 14th June 2006, 14:50
ANDY-J3 ANDY-J3 is offline
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It depends on your perspective. If you live in a council house on a housing estate where unemployment, poverty and squalor are commonplace, as many people in Scotland do then you might be more aware of traditional class distinctions. I think the British are still more class conscious than other nations so would more readily talk about working class and middle class than their European counterparts.
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  #128 (permalink)  
Old 15th June 2006, 04:13
PRgirl PRgirl is offline
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Andy I was meaning to ask you about those Council Estates. How are they and how do they work? Do the residents move in and pay minimal garbage and maintainance fees? And after ten years of continuous residency they then own that flat or apartment? That is how it works in Puerto Rico. How does it work in Scotland?
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  #129 (permalink)  
Old 15th June 2006, 08:03
ANDY-J3 ANDY-J3 is offline
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PRgirl,
About thirty years ago most people in Scotland lived in a house that was built and owned by the regional municipal authorities-the council as they are referred to in Scotland. Sometimes these houses were of a reasonable standard but often they were sub-standard and built on sprawling estates that were plagued by violence and crime although paradoxically there also often emerged a sense of community and many of the people who grew up in those conditions benefitted from the harsh upbringing. Now however the term council estate is synonymous with urban decay and social problems such as drug addiction and alchoholism. The tennants of a council house pay rent but regardless of how much they pay the house never belongs to them which is why it tends only to be the poorest members of society who live in council houses and most people who can afford it usually buy their council house. It seems a bit unjust after all that you could pay rent for thirty or forty years-enough to buy the house several times over-and yet not even own so much as one brick. The only plus side is that the council are responsible for the upkeep and maintenence of the properties with no extra cost to the tennants.
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  #130 (permalink)  
Old 15th June 2006, 15:45
PRgirl PRgirl is offline
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How did they benefit from the harsh conditions Andy? I have to go to work now for ten hour shift but later tonight I will check back. In Puerto Rico the housing is relatively newly built made of steel rods and cement to withstand hurricanes. The architecture is boxy and ugly and plain, but the residents put in little tropical plants around it. My husband grew up in one of the oldest ones. It was a two bedroom little apartment on the third floor with Miami windows and screens that had the full heat of the tropical sun hitting it all day and it was steaming hot. His mother worked her whole life but made very little money but was prideful and would not accept food stamps. She saved and got her bathroom tiled in a pretty blue and white pattern. And did her own bath towel decorations. It was small and tidy and cozy...but hot as hell in the summer. My husband grew up sleeping without any clothes on just to not be hot. Lol. He never grew out of it. There was a deep sense of community in that 'caserio'. Some people's kids became professionals and university graduates and others became criminals and drug addicts and drug dealers. It was a mix of people. But the caserios with the most long time residents that owned their own places and could sell or decorate without asking permission for it tended to have the closest community feeling.
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  #131 (permalink)  
Old 15th June 2006, 16:05
ANDY-J3 ANDY-J3 is offline
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PRgirl,
I think shared hardship always helps to bond a community together so those who grow up in such harsh environments are often imbued with a deep sense of community values and an awareness of social responsibility that doesn't always exist in more affluent communities. I'm a great believer that hardship is necessary for personal growth and growing up in poverty and deprivation often gives people the strength of character and motivation to succeed in adult life. The increase in lawlessness and disrespect for traditional values etc. in the UK has increased in proportion to the rate of increase in material wealth and I don't believe that is a coincidence.
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  #132 (permalink)  
Old 16th June 2006, 02:41
emma25 emma25 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANDY-J3
It depends on your perspective. If you live in a council house on a housing estate where unemployment, poverty and squalor are commonplace, as many people in Scotland do then you might be more aware of traditional class distinctions. I think the British are still more class conscious than other nations so would more readily talk about working class and middle class than their European counterparts.
Good point! But why do you think that is? That the british (english and scotish) people are more class traditional, as you put it, then other European countrys?
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  #133 (permalink)  
Old 16th June 2006, 08:01
ANDY-J3 ANDY-J3 is offline
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emma25,
It's a remnant from our past when our society was very structured by class and due to the natural conservatism of the British social change doesn't occur as quickly in the UK as it does in most other European countries.
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