The Mole in the Class System
I’m well aware that it’s fairly irritating when people talk about the class system, particularly at Cambridge. But if you could bear with me one moment, while I reel off an amusing anecdote about some snotty kid with an enormous mole and a choral scholarship to Kings (he fucking wishes) who really got my goat up, then I’d be much obliged. Thanking you.
So, yeah, apparently the class system doesn’t exist anymore. There is fairly compelling evidence, I’m sure you’ll agree, to suggest that this is true, since it is David Cameron and the oddly twisted face of his rather wet-bottom-lipped sidekick George Osborne who are the ones telling us so. They’ve really worked their way up from the bottom (of the top of the property and employment ladders that were probably made by the company daddy bought out during the last recession, just to kick those northern bastards where it hurt), don’t you know.
This new Egalitarian England, where a city banker’s cleaner pays more as a percentage of her income in tax than he does (note there being no need to insert ‘she’ there. Answers on a postcard please, Ms. Greer), is something that a lot of us can probably buy.
We live in a fairly privileged bubble here. Sometimes even I forget my working class roots. Although these aren’t totally legit, they are certainly deeper than David Cameron’s, and had only the odd cracks in a concrete school yard in which to grow, not the playing fields of Eton (and I’ll leave you to guess how much the illiterate groundskeeper gets paid to look after them). In spite of all this, even I, whippet-owning, Will the asthma-sufferer-because-my-lungs-were-damaged-by-the-mines McAdam, can forget how rigid the class system is outside this repulsively insular little city.
Thankfully, however, the outside world was kind enough to send that snotty, moley, voice of an angel to my local last week, just to remind me how far down the pecking order I am.
So I was out having drinks. Cocktails to be precise. And, I’m not gunna lie, I didn’t even pay for them myself. Not because I couldn’t, but because my fringe, frankly, gets results. Anyway, we move on to the Tab’s favourite watering hole. My friend wanders off to a group he knows, and I find myself next to the tallest boy I’ve ever seen. He was so tall that I had to look over the top of my glasses (I didn’t tilt my head back because I’m not a douche, ok). Due to my eyesight, however, this meant I couldn’t see his face. Well, because of that and the enormous mole that his face decided to hide behind.
It turns out he’s a sixth-former on a visit to scout out colleges and gain scholarships; presumably this type of financial aid is required because his family spent all their money on the part of his education that they can actually get for free. I indulge his questions about life here with honest answers. I even admit my school was a Community College: a fact that normally turns even the strongest of stomachs. To his credit he took it well. Yet I couldn’t help feeling that my slouchy (yet definitely on-trend) military boots and unashamed glottal-stop were giving him confidence.
‘What are you hoping to study?’ I venture.
‘Oh probably music,’ he replies.
‘What do you play?’ I continue.
‘Oh, not an instrument; you see, I’m a chorister.’ I nod and smile and think ‘unholy git’.
You know what that means, right?’
YES. That’s right. He, a 17 year old schoolboy with a mole for a face and quite evidently an arse for a mouth, asked me if I knew what ‘chorister’ meant.
Yes mate, I do. It means you have been and will continue to be a massive lame-ass while you’re at school; particularly since you’re a counter-tenor, so even the other ass-bandit boys in the choir tease you because they’ll think you’re a eunuch. Yet, ultimately, it means that you’ll get into Cambridge, meet the right people, be on BBC2 on Christmas Eve, find a wife (despite the boys at school being spot on when they called you a gayman), and get a job that will entail you pissing your cleaner’s hard-earned wages up the wall, realising that you have expunged too many hot cakes from your private bank account, and then asking her and all her other povo mates for a bail-out so you are able to keep them employed, by decreasing their wages and workers’ rights, and then buying a new Porsche while you’re at it.
It was at this point that I left. I told him I had a ceiling to tap on. It’s made of glass, by the way, Mr. Cameron.