I’m proud of the history of this nation, for such a small island on the corner of the continent we’ve punched above our weight consistently since the Armada sank beneath the waves. We looked forward and developed the modern age with the industrial revolution, then all of a sudden we stopped. Once we had peaked the powers that be panicked and became concerned that the ‘ordinary’ folk would upset the upper classes. For the past century class warfare has been at a peak, and it’s time we stopped worrying about who we were born to and more about what we were born to do.
Mrs G is fascinated by the British attitude to class, coming from the more meritocratic US she is amazed that we have an upper chamber of white elderly men who are there because their forefathers either had lands or the favour of a monarch. Nobody has chosen the Lords other than generations of royalty and politicians who are repaying large donations or playing for political points. These are the toffs, they speak with their plummy accents and very rarely will have been someone who could be classed as “working class”.
Not that anyone is working class anymore, the worst someone will claim to be is lower-middle class, or so they say. To those at the top we are still the great unwashed. Do you work in a shop or office? Do you manage people? Do you have to worry about paying tax in the higher bands?
Then you are still working class. It doesn’t matter if you shop at Waitrose for lamb, you are still buying mutton. We’re constantly told by the uppers that those at the bottom are the scum, the chavs, the benefit cheats, the lazy, the untouchables. For those at the top the greatest social system is the Caste system where everyone is in their place and there is no chance of movement. Heaven forbid that someone from the streets of the North should come and upset the perfectly inbred system of the South. It’s why we are encouraged to worship at the altar of the aristocracy and are thrown the bread and games of free Bank Holidays and spectacular events.
The class system and our hereditary democracy are an anachronism in these modern times. It supports nepotism, cronyism, power through payments and the status quo of the halcyon old times when people knew their place.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “West End Girls.”
Every city and town contains people of different classes: rich, poor, and somewhere in between. What’s it like where you live? If it’s difficult for you to discern and describe the different types of classes in your locale, describe what it was like where you grew up — was it swimming pools and movie stars, industrial and working class, somewhere in between or something completely different?