Class War on Campus
The coin has been flipped, here is the other side.
Are you reminded of your apparent class at every opportunity?
Sometimes I feel like I’m being forced to repent for the sin that is an expensive education.
You probably know the feeling: the raised eyebrows you get when you tell classmates you spent your first year in Castle Leazes, the prison-like compound that detains the bulk of Newcastle’s public-school leavers (or maybe keeps the proles out), or the obvious resentment when your accent-less voice cuts across a seminar, presumably evoking painful memories of Thatcher addressing the miners.
The look on some of their faces says it all. Posh twat.
Now, being a fellow Toff existing in a Barbour-coated bubble, you might not yet be aware of this phenomenon. In which case, I point you to Sally Richardson’s Pulitzer-worthy study on the root causes bad manners on campus, featured on The Tab on Monday.
Her hypothesis was that the culprits of this plague are in fact “all bloody rahs” (I hoped at first it was a piece of Juvenalian satire, however having discovered little to no irony or wit, I feared the worst).
I’m afraid this is an indication of a wider feeling amongst many students who spend their days in the library snapping pencils and gritting their teeth, resenting the apparent opportunities their privately-educated counterparts are privy to.
Some have fallen into the trap of thinking you’ve got a job sewn up after uni (with Daddy, of course), a fat inheritance to soothe any lingering debts, and D & G on speed dial (David & George, that is). Boy do they let you know about it.
At times, I feel like the people who think like this draw their limited understanding of the middle class from the ever-reliable reference points like ‘Gap Yah’ or Made in Chelsea. Ok, so some people get head-starts in life. So a minority of people, as Sally claims, get given a horse for their 16th birthday, or a BMW for their 21st.
So what? My 16th was shit, I can only dream of getting a BMW courtesy of Mummy and Daddy, and I’m at university for the same reason as you; so someone, somewhere in this god-forsaken job market will grant me the pleasure of a life of indentured servitude.
Isn’t lumping all us ‘rahs’ into the same category the same as thinking the comprehensively-educated are all crack-addled benefit scroungers queueing up to be on Jeremy Kyle?
Like the overwhelming majority of the middle class, I don’t actually think that, because I’m not an idiot.
You’ll be shocked to hear that we’re not all slaves to Jack Wills and we are not all landed gentry who dream of tearing down the NHS and laughing about it over a glass of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Amazingly, a lot of us hold the door open. Some of us eat the same Tesco Value baked beans that you do. We have feelings, Sally. Words hurt.
Don’t blame our parents either. Can you not forgive them for wanting to give their child half a chance or becoming a relatively functional individual if they can afford to?
The truth is, the parents that privately educate their children have, more often than not, earned their money somehow. So by condemning those who happened to be sent to boarding school, you’re effectively condemning aspiration and hard work.
Some people are twats and others aren’t. Don’t hold our education against us on the off chance that we are.