A feted underclass that deserves nothing more than disdain

New Labour has always fed on the politics of envy and hatred. Michael Martin is an exemplar of all that is wrong with the idea. His brand of inverted snobbery, his hatred for anybody that wasn't born in a slum and his subsequent egregious milking of the system that enabled him to rise to the highest rank, is evidence, as if you needed it, that there is nothing noble about the lower classes. Lower they are, in thought and word and deed.

To rise above your surroundings, you have to be a believer. You have to believe in the pursuit of the common good, the power of education and moral authority. To some extent, you must surmount your lowly background and play the winners at their own game, except you must go one better, and do it the good way. That means in practice, that you do well at school, or in business or just work hard, believing that working hard is a badge of honour in itself.

It does not mean, necessarily, material success. It means though that you must certainly buy into a concept of public and private morality.

My first home was a council house. I am the first person in my family, my entire family who got a degree. (So is Mrs Weasel or Dr Weasel, as she is now) There is no doubt that I was held back by my modest beginning in life, but I am not bitter, nor do I feel anger about those with priviledge. Indeed, I accept they are privileged and accordingly, it is incumbent on the privileged to do better, to excel and to lead.

My own children went to independent schools. The main reason for this was because of the poor levels of support offered to kids with dyslexia. Had there not been money to do this, I would have considered home schooling - something that has increased year on year since Labour gained power for reasons that should be obvious.

I have a feeling that my position can be criticised, as if I am a sort of white version of an "Uncle Tom" character, who yearns to be like the white man. Of course, I don't buy into either the speciousness of the Black model, or the White model. You do not simply throw out something that works, just because you are not its natural constituent. That is the function of true integration - you integrate.

What Labour has done is to pander to the underclass, to make them a cause celebre, when in fact, they not only do not deserve it, they should be punished for it.

I was beaten senseless by the underclass. I was held back by those contemporaries who resented my upward mobility. Those who welcomed me were the elite, the educated, those who were secure in themselves. At one point in my career, I was working on a national newspaper with those who had all been to top universities (at the time before I got a degree). I was there on merit, and for no other reason.

And so it brings me to the reason I wrote this.

We read today that a mob beat up a man in Derry and killed him, ostensibly because he was a Catholic.

My contention is that the real reason they did this was because of hatred and an inability to rise above the foetid miasma of moral degeneracy that is so prevalent among the so called have nots.


Anonymous said...

Yes it's strange that the Labour party who kid on that they are the champions of the poor have actually done most to prevent the upward mobility of the poor working class. Scrapping the 11 plus and forcing children of all abilities into Comprehensive schools must have prevented many children ( myself included )from reaching their full potential. I missed the chance of going to an Academy by a year and so spent years twiddling my thumbs in an uderperforming school. Any attempt to be scholary was derided so my education was stifled and my chance of University lost.
The same thing is happening with the introduction of tuition fees which will put poorer children off going to University with the fear of debt hanging over their heads.

Ruth@VS said...

A good post, and so true. Like you, I was the first in my family to go to University and so I can empathise with everything you say. I was fortunate enough to go to a comprehensive where rigorous streaming meant the academic kids were fostered and encouraged, so I was able to avoid the "dragging down" effect of the others.

It is a scandal that instead of encouraging people to aspire to better things, Labour has instead reduced education (and so much else) to the lowest common denominator. In the days when it was accepted that not everyone was capable of completing a university degree, those of us without money were funded by the state. Many cabinet ministers got their education this way and it is a scandal that they have denied it to those who follow them.

100 years ago most of the working class aspired to better things, and this was fostered by the upper classes who provided libraries and support for educational clubs. Patronising? Or a way of sharing the privilege they had received? Their museums, libraries, clubs, parks and even free concerts showed people the possibility of another life and many grabbed at it. My own family was one of them, and they gave me opportunities denied to my ancestors.

We have a celebrity based culture which idolises the rude, uncouth and drug-addicted, sees money and not good living as the ultimate aspiration and a government which encourages stereotyping of groups of people, keeping them in their ghettos, whether white or black, protestant or catholic. This is what causes these problems in our society.

Anonymous - it's never too late! I got a second degree 12 years after my first and it was the making of me. It was hard, but very worthwhile.

CrazyDaisy said...


A profoundly honest post, I too am part of the "working class done good inspite of Thatcher's desire to leave my father without a job" component of todays society.

You will find that the killing of the catholic man in Coleraine is everything to do with religous bigotry and little people pretending to be part of the community and thinking they're big fish, despie clearly living in a wee pond/goldfish bowl.

The hatred by Loyalists is ingrained in the psyche as is playing at being victims, the Union caused this situation from years of mismanagement of N.I. what else were the Catholic commuity expected to do?

Subjugated by Westminster, as is Scotland, it will take generations to sort out these social problems in NI, hopefully not so long in Scotland once Labour are completely torn to shreds.

Richard said...

Very, very well-conceived post. Thank you.

UB41 said...

Quite thought provoking.

Not sure I go along with the "be punished for it" line, but I think I agree with the essence of your argument.

I want to write a lot here, too much for a comment, and you've inspired me to make an entry on my own blog tomorrow.

I'll hat tip & then post the comments back here tomorrow if that's OK?

Flemingcrag said...

A curious thing about the Labour people who rise from humble beginnings to places of authority where they could if they applied themselves properly change the lives of the many, is that this seldom happens.
If you examine the deprived areas of the North of England, Wales and Scotland you will note that these areas have been at the bottom of the social opportunity ladder for generations. This despite the fact that with every election that comes they always elect the latest Champion of the little people resplendent in their Labour rosette.
The reason for this is they either get a representative who has worked their way up through the Union ranks who has spent all their life opposing change and almost always proves to be out of their depth when it comes to decision making or, they get a wet eared smoothie straight from Uni who have never worked a day in their life and gathered all their experience at the Union debating society or a Yates's wine bar.
Whichever it is they almost all pursue self first soon ensconced in their big house in the smartest part of town with a single minded determination to control peoples' lives not to improve them, for without the underclass they would have no future and in the end thats all they really care about.

Anonymous said...

The entitlement culture is a terrible thing. To believe you are owed something for nothing.

I was brought up in a Council house my Dad was a factory worker.But he decided he could do better. He was proud to pay the top rate of tax, it was a badge of success.

strapworld said...

I can remember moving into a brand new Council House in Chadderton, Near Oldham as a young lad. Went to a local Infant/Junior School. I was sure (years later) that the character KES in goal was created after watching me keep goal at school!!

I moved then to Prestwich, (Dad's job) went to junior school where my great love for cricket was lit by Mr Ardnt a Ceylonese teacher and friend and Mr Woodward who played once for Lancashire. I moved on to the Secondary Modern School after failing the eleven plus. Actually I sat the Manchester Grammer School exam - which was in two parts. I am still waiting to hear if I passed the first half!

We then moved to Middlesbrough (Dad's job)and attended Whinney Banks Secondary Modern School -the local approved school. Caned every day by one leg Gasgarth- he lost his leg in the war- He was our English, Maths, Geography, History teacher!! Left school at 15 and started working for a local shipping company and worked every day until I was 60!

I have moved with beggars and Queen. Even got an OBE of which I am proud. I think I am the only OBE Whinney Banks Secondary Modern ever had (closed now).

I read anything and everything, Have travelled the world and lectured and spoken in many countries.

Not bad for a thick, council house lad from Oldham.

Terrific life- so far!!

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Anon 3:12 Generations will be held back

Ruth, like you, I got my proper degree later on. I enjoyed doing it too.

Crazy Daisy, I agree that there is a sectarian aspect, of course there is, but violence is violence. It Catholic or Protestant, it means little to the dead.

Richard, thank you.

Flemingcrag, I have just remembered something.

Ken Clarke and Ed Balls went to the same school, except that Ken Clark got a scholarship for poor people. Labour abolished it and now, people like Ken would never get that opportunity.

Anon:10:00 My point in a nutshell

Strapworld, then you know that anyone with a commitment to personal improvement, belief in dreams and public service can not only do well, but be duly and properly honoured for it.

Anybody can buy a knighthood, OBEs have to be earned!

Thanks for the feedback. It seems I am not alone in my experience.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

UB41, sorry, missed you out because I made a mental note last night to say that of course, go ahead and use what you want to!

Twig said...

Have you ever noticed the pride with which MP's announce "I represent one of the most impoverished constituencies in the country", as if it's something to be proud of ?

The simple fact is that if the uneducated masses managed to lift themselves out of their ignorance and welfare dependency they would almost certainly stop voting for the party who has a vested interest in keeping them ignorant and welfare dependent.

Paul Halsall said...

I have a working class (and broken home background), and went to 13 schools as a kid.

Still, thanks to the system put in place by Harold Wilson in the 1960s I was able to do well at a comprehensive school, go to University or free, and eventually get an MA and a Ph.D.

And the people I always though the worst of were people like you who seemed to think they did it without society's help.

You were not "welcomed" by the elitie. You were subsumed.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Twig, the inverted snobbery of Labour politicians is rife, and evidenced in the "Toff" campaign. Glad they think this sort of fake outrage works.

Paul, thanks for commenting on the blog. I think we disagree. Whilst I don't want to get into a competition about who came from the shittiest background, what I do not do is blame anybody but myself for it. Shit happens, but if you expect society to bail you out, you do not understand what society is.

Anonymous said...

I've never understood the class system. I wish it didn't exist. it enables people to hold themselves back. I think Obama could happen in America as no one kept telling him he was a working class lad who should only aim so high. If all of us went through the same school system it'll disappear. In Nigeria, there are no private schools. So in one classroom you find children of doctors, people too poor to buy their kids shoes and the richest businessmen or politicians. Result is, no one talks about a class system and people realise hard work gets you what you seek in life. Class one aspect of life in this country I wish we'd do without.

Anonymous said...

I can't really add to the post except to say from the comments here from people who are far, far more successful than me, and from the people I know, us unwashed generally make our way out of the world we were born into by reading, doing things we enjoy doing, being pro-active, and generally persevering.

The worst mistake I ever made was going to college with the herd after leaving school. I was told that to get into architecture (which I'd always wanted) I needed to take physics, history, maths, and graphics. I spent the next six months wondering how on earth any of it was connected to architecture and generally hating academia. So, instead of moaning with the rest of my esteemed peers I quit college. I got a job in an architects practice printing drawings, have spent twelve years working my way up to senior architectural technician, have run some great projetcs with far more aplomb than many of my seniors.

The thing I've learned most, is that you have to be doing something you love, or at least enjoy. If you don't enjoy it you won't put the effort in, and if you don't put the effort in it makes your life a misery rather than the joy that it can be.

Apologies for the rant! :)

Wrinkled Weasel said...

1984..You reminded me of the words of another President: My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

"reading, doing things we enjoy doing, being pro-active, and generally persevering". Never a truer word.

You see, I came from a broken home, which is why I beat people up and go on the social.

Ayrdale said...

The contempt that the socialist left display for their fellows is breathtaking, and the fact that the MSM have perpetuated the myth that the left is "caring" and "progressive" makes the pretence even more disgusting. I'm 12,000 miles away, but the circumstances and attitudes are the same.
We've just got rid of a 3 term lefty and the feeling of community relief is palapable. The harm that 3 terms have done though is evident. Pay a visit to my blog and others.