Talk

Advanced search

Did anyone just see the programme on the Working Class?

(18 Posts)
ks Sun 10-Jul-05 21:04:59

Message withdrawn

Bozza Sun 10-Jul-05 21:13:43

Didn't see it. But would say that the middle class was quite a bit smaller proportionately then.

slug Mon 11-Jul-05 09:38:10

A classic example of the misuse of statistics. They did not state what proprtion of all those enlisted in the army were middle class. Made my maths teacher blood boil. Grrr!!

Actually I felt the whole thing was a classic case of someone with a chip on his shoulder trying to justify racism in the working class of a small part of South London.

expatinscotland Mon 11-Jul-05 09:39:15

As a non-Brit, this show confused me. And as it only focused on London, where I've never lived, I couldn't really relate.

fastasleep Mon 11-Jul-05 09:39:43

I'm with slug!

beatie Mon 11-Jul-05 09:49:47

It didn't live up to my expectations and I switched off after half an hour.

Marina Mon 11-Jul-05 09:53:47

Me too, also a SE Londoner. It all boiled down to "me nan was a lovely old gal"...not much of a sample to base a thesis on.
And sorry, but what a shockingly bad presenter he is. Stilted or what?
It's an interesting premise I suppose but so far he has blankly refused to acknowledge that communities evolve and change, not necessarily for the better.
And I found the underlying assumption that the influx of immigrant communities was something unpleasant for working-class white Londoners to deal with unsupported pretty offensive.
That 5% statistic sticks in my mind too, ks.
But, if we are going to start using our old rellies as a representative sample for Mr Collins, how about the fact that my five great-uncles, all either rural working class or Thameside dockers, all loyally signed up in September-December 1914 and all got through four years of active service (admittedly two as POWs) unscathed.
Maybe I should contact Channel 4 and get them to commission a series about the old geezers. Diamonds every one of them... etc...etc....zzzzz
I am going to watch the next two programmes just to see where this theory heads next!

Gizmo Mon 11-Jul-05 10:25:29

<gizmo arrives and veers off topic slightly>

Marina, that's a bit spooky: I have at home a picture of my four great uncles (and grand-dad) all from SE london, who all signed up at the beginning of the Great War and all came home without a scratch (physically - I'm not sure about their pyschological health).

I thought we must have been the only family in London who had got that lucky!

Marina Mon 11-Jul-05 10:29:58

Gizmo, could we be related!! The family were scattered by then, with two uncles in Essex, two in Belvedere, and the adventurous one had tipped up in Northumberland! He was an Old Contemptible and taken prisoner something like the second day of the war. He spent his time on a market garden in Saxony apparently, turning the business around so successfully that the owner begged him to stay on...

Caligula Mon 11-Jul-05 10:31:08

I thought he was all over the place, but that he has hit on something very interesting, the marginalisation of the white working class by the media. The working classes have always been ignored by those in power, but in the last 30 or so years, there have been attempts to examine and value the experiences of nearly every group in society except groups within the white working class. Possibly because they aren't a homogenous group and really, cockneys in London don't necessarily have the same experience, attitudes etc. as miners in Yorkshire or dockers in Liverpool... he did seem to be implying that that Sarf London white culture is white English culture per se, which I don't think is true.

Marina Mon 11-Jul-05 10:31:11

Agree about the psychological effects though
Uncle from Essex was badly scarred emotionally and led a very simple and quiet life thereafter. Still lived to be 98 though...and a big, respectful turnout at his funeral, bless him.

Marina Mon 11-Jul-05 10:32:17

Back on track...you are right Caligula, that was one of the more sensible thrusts of his argument - the media marginalisation of white working classes in the UK. The Walworth Road-centric aspect was ridiculous though.

WideWebWitch Mon 11-Jul-05 10:33:15

I didn't see it but thought it looked interesting ks.

Gizmo Mon 11-Jul-05 10:40:11

Well, I don't think we're related, Marina, because my lot are all from Beckenham (they formed the core of the famous pre war Beckenham water polo team ) and remained more or less London based for the rest of their lives.

I keep meaning to try and find out more about their war record - they all died before I was born or when I was very young so I have no memories of them, but I know that four of them went right through the war on the western front and I think the other one was in the Dardanelles.

Considering we have this popular image of the Great War as cataclismic for every family involved, it's quite surprising to find two big families that were (more or less) unscathed.

ks Mon 11-Jul-05 11:22:03

Message withdrawn

Tortington Mon 11-Jul-05 14:21:22

i am interested in that argument too and programmed my brIan to watch this especially - i rarely bother waiting for a partic prog with baited breath.

i was hugely disspointed. it was very anecdotal and london centres with a mention of wigan but only in reference to george orwell.

i must admit that i was not surprised at the 5% statistic ( 5% being 5% no matter what the proprtion of middle class in comparison to today). i studied ww1 poetry - i love it. and must admit that i was always of the opinion that the working class got slaughtered becuase we were expendable but the middle and upper didn't. however on doing just brief research i find that the middle classes weren't spared any favours. i cannot find a statistic - i would be very interested. i find that ww1 was probably the first war the middle classes joined up for - as a seperate class, sometimes still being refered to as "the aspiring MC's" even if they joined up as officer - they were in the trenches same as the other lads and they were over the trenches first with their whistles and pistols.

so in short i am surprised that the middles classes although am not sure what percentage - it seems were subjected to the same misery as everyone else - however they could lament and write beautifully about it.

it was the toffs who stood at the back giving orders. you never got a wc lad working his way up to field marshall

i digress. the programme was sh*te journalism undertaken by a middle class working class wannabe with a good hypothisis ( or advert anyway) which never came to full circle. they should have called it "one man ( and his nans) journey through the history of southwark and its crappy architecture

babyonboard Mon 11-Jul-05 16:20:18

i thought so too..he didn't have another single pundit, it was all his opinion and that of his nans anecdotes..not the usual programming channel 4 churns out at all.
it was all based on his life and experiences, all about london, and too much focused on racial issues..whoich are only issues when you perpetuate stuff about them like this..
no good..i was dissapointed

bunjies Wed 13-Jul-05 09:27:23

Thank God it wasn't just me who thought he had a massive chip on his shoulder about immigrants. My dp reckoned I was just being over-sensitive as a mixed race child of immigrants (half Polish/half Indian) but I thought the programme was called the BRITISH working class not the WHITE british working class. Surely this encompasses all races...?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now