"Art'noon Fred. That vein's playin' up in me leg again it is. Gettin' older mate."
"Join the club, Ron. Got a pint in for yer there."
"Cheers. Fallin' t' bits I am. Must sit dahn n rest me leg.......ah, that's better."
"My boy's lost 'is job. Thirty years bin there. Just tells 'im from outa the blue yes'dee."
"They don't care nowadays Fred. Expect nuffink from 'em."
"Bloody big mansion 'is boss as got as well. Told me son the new machine does it all itself, and does it quicker and better. Thirty years."
"Yep. The trubble wivs what yer calls these new technoleegies is that yer workin' class people aint needed no more far as the bosses are concerned. Excess to requirements, Fred."
"Yer gotta make way fer progress Ron, I know that, but it still aint nice the way they does it. Thirty years. Oh, I've got that milk you phoned n asked me t' get fer yer on the way 'ere."
"Ta mate, ad t' get the bus 'ere 'cause ov me leg so couldn't pop in the supermarket on me way."
"Oh, that's alright Ron, no bovver."
"When we was kids ye'd av the old milkfloats comin' rahnd ev'ry mornin' wiv yer milk. Fink they ad 'orse pullin the float first ov all, then a small ingin, pulled a lever fing at the front the old milkman would, then walk along in front of it as it moved along. After that came the floats wiv a cab fer the milkman t' sit in, progress see. But 'e still 'ad a job deliv'rin milk didn't 'e, Fred. Floats got better but it just meant the milkman got t' finish 'is rahnd a bit quicker so's 'e could get 'ome and av a bit more time t' spend wiv 'is family. Nuffing wrong wiv a little bit of progress s' long as they know where t' stop."
"Roads 'd be full ov milk floats first fing in the mornin', one goin' this way, one goin' that way, all the milk bottles rattlin' abaht in there crates. They 'ad that special sahnd to 'em, sort ov a 'wooooooooo' as they'd move along the road."
"Yeah, I remember that 'wooo' what they 'ad, I can 'ear it in me 'ead now. 'Wooooooooo' they'd go, gradgely gettin' a higher sahnd of 'woooooooo' as they'd pick up speed."
"There was a kid lived along my road 'elped out on a geezers milk float sometimes. I 'ad a paper rahnd meself."
"Yeah, I did a paper rahnd Fred. Bleedin' 'eavy bag on a Sundee mornin' it were though, all fick papers wiv extra bits in 'em on the Sundees. Did yer bloody arms in on Sundees they did."
"Me dad used t' tell me it'd get me used t' gettin' up early f' when I'd leave school n av t' go out t' work. Up at 'alf four I was 'cause me old man sorted me out three rahnds t' do each mornin'."
"In those days the jobs was there waitin' f' the lads when they'd leave school Fred. Pages n pages ov 'em ev'ry week in yer local papers there'd be. Not now, just a cuppla pages of jobs in 'em now there is, and those ones a' for people wiv loads ov qualifications."
"It's all it this, it that, innit Ron."
"Yeah, but a few years ago there'd be loads a pages OF those IT 'it' jobs, now it's just one or two, n they're mostly big square ads fillin' up 'alf the page. Where's the bloody milkman jobs t'day eh?"
"No milkmen mow Ron. If they av machines that do fings quicker then you tells me why we aint all sunnin' ourselves on a beach all year rahnd wiv lots ov money in the old pockets as well, eh? Why is it people end up out ov work and skint?"
"They don't wanna share it out mate, that's why. The poorer they keep us makes them feel more special."
"Always whistlin' our milkman was. Whistle, whistle, whistle all the time. Don't 'ear people whistlin' nowadays do yer. Evry'one seemed t' stop whistlin' when they did away wiv the milkmen."
"That was when people started t' av fridges Fred. Some twit then fort, eye, eye, now they've all got a fridge we don't need those milkmen takin' bottles ov milk rahnd t' peoples doorsteps no more. We'll knock that right on the 'ead by stickin a load ov milk in the new supermarkets we're openin' up n make 'em come n get it themselves once a week. Keep the price dahn a bit as well so's t' furver discourage 'em from avin it delivered, and we'll still be quids in 'cause that milkman's bin makin' a livin out ov all that milk, and we don't av t' put up wiv that no more, not now peoples got fridges."
"Same was 'appenin wiv uvver jobs annal Ron, not only wiv the milkmen jobs. A geezer would be sellin' bags a peanuts outside the old Clapton dog track on race nights, made a nice few bob 'e did, then the supermarkets started t' sell big bags ov 'em cheaper n put the poor sod outside the dog track out ov bisness. 'Getcher nuts, tanner a bag!' 'e used t' call out."
"There was a time Fred when people on the market would only be sellin' one fing. Carrots, t'maters, cucumbers, not all three, just one ov 'em. Gave everyone a bite ov the cherry it did. Supermarkets wanna sell ev'ryfing they do."
"That was more in my grandparents day that was, just sellin' one fing."
"Slippery slope mate, slippery slope. That's the fing, it don't appen all at once, they does it bit by bit so's yer don't notice what they're up to. Stage arrives when it aint new machines makin' lives easier, suddenly the bleedin' fings don't need anyone t' be pullin' the levers no more."
"But oo's buyin' the milk Ron, 'cause it aint like the supermarkets av trubble shiftin' the milk. Sell lots ov milk them supermarkets do."
"They certinly do Fred."
"So ooze buyin' all the milk then if load ov people are out of work?"
"Well, we're all buyin' the milk, Fred. Some are buying milk wiv the money from their jobs, the it jobs like, whereas the non-Einsteins are buyin' milk out ov their state pensions, or else out ov their little bit of dole money. But those on a pension or on the dole aint got no way ov improvin' themselves, they're stuck wiv what they get given mate, and it aint much what they get given. Yer see, what the guv'ment would like t' do would be t' make the price of a bottle ov milk so expensive that only a very few would av the money t' buy it. Course, they can't do that 'cause then there'd be riots on the streets, 'cause workin class people likes a drop ov milk in their tea. Milk in yer tea aint a luxury, it's one ov life's essentials to our kinda people."
"So they make sure people get that milk."
"Keeps 'em quiet, yeah. Make sure they get their daily drop ov milk for their cuppa n meanwhile the uvver lot are all lappin' it up enjoyin' all the luxury items bein' produced by the new machines. I mean, after the milk, tea, and uvver essentials av come out of yer pension or yer dole money there aint much left t' put aside t'wards a Ferrari is there Fred, let's be 'onest abaht it me old son."
(to be continued...)