What class are you?

Andy’s re-blogged this Grauniad article. I was going to comment but them thought I wanted to write a bit more.

Working class? Moi? Despite my current parlous finances I doubt they’d ever claim me as one of their own. Most popular culture leaves me unmoved.  I feel no solidarity.

Maybe even classes are different in Scotland. On one side I come from a long line of what my Grannie called ‘bettersome’ people. They valued books, music, education, manners, and cleanliness. They did not speak Lallands outside the home. Their accents were never ‘braid’. They were professional people, head teachers, accountants, tenant farmers, architects. These surely are ‘middle class’ people? Well, yes and no.

Despite their education and sophistication they had very little money and did not own, or even aspire to own,  their houses, flats or farms.

The other side of my family, I was brought up to believe were more working class. They spoke braid Scots with plenty of Lallans mixed in. Doonhamers. They were always “awa doon the toon” or  “awa hame”. And yet, and yet, it was this side of the family who were once seed merchants, who owned a chain of  jewelers, who started the first bus company in the town. A family who had owned businesses and property. This family, with a matriach who’d left school at 12 to work in the woolen mill and borne 12 children. Like Tess of the Durbervilles they’d been downwardly mobile for 100 years or so by the time I came along.

What am I saying? Not a clue.

 

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2 thoughts on “What class are you?

  1. Who knows?
    i’m australian, so it’s all greek to me.
    although, bill bryson informs me that Australia is the only english-speaking country which truly has class-defined accents.
    so there must be class in there somewhere.
    my mum’s family, of scottish descent, had been here for generations. owned businesses. been mayors. but no one had ever been to university.
    my dad’s family were ex-colonials from africa – sounded posh, to australian ears. but no money. all ex-army, expected to go to sandhurst… instead, the empire imploded and they all ended up in australia, doing whatever they could. my dad’s generation DID get to university. still sounds posh. still no money.

  2. Hi Kazan, I think the part of the point is that here in the UK people have bought the myth of ‘everyone is middle class now’. What David Cameron probably means by middle class is very different to what someone less aristocratic might mean. By his definition Princess Diana and her ilk (eg his own wife) were/are middle class. I think we’re probably locating the middle in the wrong place!

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