19 August 2006
Middle class insolence
Neil Clark reports on a worrying trend which he dismisses with contempt: the problem is that it does reflect a disturbing change in inter-class relations in the UK. Basically, the report concerns the desire of Newcastle City Council to stop its workers from using such expressions as "pet" and "hinnie" in everyday speech.
On one level this can be dismissed as the desire of the "equality and diversity" lecturers who came up with this wheeze to justify their own overblown salaries. In the Exile's experience such people tend to be products of the old polys and are, therefore, thick as the Exile's dick. Good fun can be had with these creatures just by wondering out loud why they did not go to Oxbridge? Or a redbrick? Or one of those nice glassplate universities that Harold Wilson opened in the 1960s? Is it difficult to live knowing that you are a brick short of a load? You can have hours of merry fun with open speculation like that - drives 'em daft, it does.
However, on a more serious level, this attack - and others just like it - reflects a desire by the middle class to exert its control over the working class. Smoking is an issue that demonstrates the same trend: we don't do something, so neither are you, goes the middle class argument.
In normal times all this could be dealt with by the unions and the Labour Party. That is because when both those groups were strong the middle class was frightened of nasty consequences if they got too lippy. However, today the unions are small in both numbers and membership and the Labour Party has been taken over by the same middle class who caused us such grief in the first place.
On a personal level, insolence can usually be dealt with via threats of violence. On one of his trips back to the UK the Exile and son had eaten a curry in London. The Exile lit a tab and heard muttering from a couple about this fact. Not a complaint, just sotto voce mutterings. So the Exile stood up and asked in a very loud voice if they wanted to fucking well say something? They didn't and left the eating house shortly afterwards.
The problem with this approach is that while it may work to educate the odd one or two creatures, it doesn't work on the mass of them. What is needed is a working class that has the confidence that it possessed in the 1970s to basically stick two fingers up to these human cockroaches.
Alas, for that to happen the working class needs an organisation that can articulate these grievances and encourage the fightback: and such a body does not exist.
Pending its creation, the Exile can at least take comfort from the fact that two cockroaches learned their place three years ago. He hopes that the lesson has been remembered.