July 14, 2014

Being middle class


Simon Hattenstone wrote in the Guardian:
"[Rod Liddle] talks about his return to London as a young man (he was born in Bermondsey, hence his allegiance to Millwall) to study at London School of Economics and how shocked he was to encounter students who were so posh and so privileged and just so bloody... liberal. Before that he had considered himself middle-class (his father ended up as a tax inspector, his mother worked at the then DHSS). But not any more. "The gap between my family and the poorest family in Middlesbrough was tiny, and the gap between my family and the London lot was just enormous. And that difference has got bigger and bigger and bigger."
Alan Bennett experienced something similar:
"If the dons [at Trinity College, Cambridge] were genial some of my fellow candidates were less so. That weekend was the first time I had come across public schoolboys in the mass and I was appalled. They were loud, self-confident and all seemed to know one another, shouting down the table to prove it while also being shockingly greedy. Public school they might be but they were louts. Seated at long refectory tables beneath the mellow portraits of Tudor and Stuart grandees, neat, timorous and genteel we grammar school boys were the interlopers; these slobs, as they seemed to me, the party in possession."
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