PATRICK SHERIFF: much of the criticism of the Tab and its founders centres on their misuse of words such as â€˜snobberyâ€™ and â€˜elitism.â€™
Having taken a keen interest in what some would have you believe is the recent feud between the Cambridge Tab and the integrity of student journalism, I can’t help but notice that much of the criticism of the Tab and its founders centres on their use of words such as ‘snobbery’ and ‘elitism’, in their criticism of other student news services. Many of the critics of the Tab appear to believe that by being born to parents who subscribe to Tatler and prefer Twickenham to Wembley the founding members surrender their right to use these words, banning them on the basis of nothing but their upbringing.
Last time I checked, however, ‘elitism’ and ‘snobbery’ are not words solely linked to class, but in fact can be applied to intelligence, sporting ability, training programs or apparently even Speedway, an activity hardly associated with class warfare. So when Taymoor Atigetchi is labelled a ‘posh twit’ purely on the basis of an interview in which he accused Varsity of intellectual snobbery, I can’t help but feel that some critics are choosing not to engage with his point, instead hiding behind a veneer of class distinction. Posh twit or not, this is a massive double standard. If you will forgive the self indulgent soapbox for a moment, I will try to use an example to explain. If a poor kid from a state educated background criticised Varsity for its intellectual snobbery, would the same critics find a reason to attack them? No, they would assume that he failed to understand the content or lacked the tools to become part of the setup.
The fact is, regardless of background, almost everyone at Cambridge share a common interest in violence at Gardies. If Varsity will choose to position itself as the ‘thinking students paper’ in a place where most of us think too much as it is, it will run the risk of being accused as snobbish and pretentious. Perhaps it is the mentality of those attacking the Tab, constantly relating everything to an imagined ‘class struggle’, that is preventing intelligent debate, rather than the net worth of three students.