Friday, 25 July 2014

Family Values

Julie Burchill makes some important points.

But I don't know when pop music, even if it did not used to be the 60 per cent privately schooled that it is now, has ever been working-class.

Neither John Lennon nor Mick Jagger came from that background, for a start.

And the industry has always been run by toffs, as correctly depicted in This Is Spinal Tap. But then, Nigel Tufnel was played by the fifth Baron Haden-Guest, who knew what he was satirising.

Every sport has become posher in its talent pool, with one exception.

Football has gone in the opposite direction, bestowing obscene amounts of money on very young men who would otherwise be unemployable as absolutely anything at all.

Go through the 1966 World Cup winners. They were not like that. The deterioration of footballers has been at least as marked as the gentrification of everyone else.

Neither pop music nor sport, nor the modelling to which Burchill also refers, ever owed much, if anything, to the grammar schools, before anyone starts.

Acting? Perhaps a bit more so. But mostly in relation to middle-class actors. The stage has always covered the entire class system, and replicated it with added emphasis among actors themselves.

The working classes rarely attended grammar schools and were very rarely able to stay all the way through to 18, situations that continue to obtain where those institutions still exist.

No, beyond sport and the rest of showbusiness, the ladder of working-class advancement was the trade union movement, and to an extent local government.

The evisceration of both since 1979 has been what has caused the present baleful situation.

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