Friday Ephemera
Chewing Chomsky

Insufficiently Prole

It’s been a while since we’ve had a classic sentence to add to our collection. So here’s one – actually two – from the Observer’s ersatz class warrior Barbara Ellen

Mocking the posh and smirking about silver spoons rammed into gobs is a comic artform honed by the masses as a response to centuries of oppression. Unlike chav-baiting, which was pure bullying, posh-bashing is part of an instinctive protest against inequality that lies at the very core of sociopolitical emancipation.

Actually, it seems to me the word chav, like scrote, is a favoured working class term, typically used to denote the kinds of thoughtless and antisocial people you wouldn’t want housed next door, or next door to your elderly parents, however modest your means. Which is to say, the kinds of people Guardianistas want us to believe don’t in fact exist. Perhaps Ms Ellen, like Ms Toynbee, feels that people who live in the rougher parts of town shouldn’t have a word to describe those whose behaviour, not their income, lowers the tone or makes their lives a misery.


In the comments, Min notes that while any use of the term chav is denounced by Ms Ellen as bullying, “posh-bashing” is considered protest and an artform. This is given the hashtag Guardianlogic. Well, it’s also the logic of identity politics, according to which, you must always treat people as social categories, as examples of some put-upon victim group, or conversely, some notional oppressor group. To which, various contradictory and patronising assumptions must be applied regardless of the particulars in any given instance. By this reckoning, when opportunist oiks at my old comprehensive school picked on a new arrival who was well-spoken, polite and somewhat studious, the people doing the bullying were righteous, entitled and “responding to oppression.” Their shoving and sneering was apparently “an instinctive protest against inequality.” But my calling them oiks for doing so is practically a hate-crime. You see how it works?

Oh, and here’s a third contender:

Which would they prefer – the current culture of mild piss-taking or a full-on bloody revolution, at least a full-on socioeconomic overhaul?

Yes, my prole comrades, my brothers and sisters-in-arms, bitching about Benedict Cumberbatch is the next best thing to full-on socialism - and it too will set you free. Because class prejudice is a good prejudice whenever we say it is. However, one mustn’t aim that self-same bitching at one’s Guardianista colleagues, whose own affairs are not to be discussed and any mention of which will tend to get deleted.