Archive for December 26th, 2008

My Boxing Day message

I often come across people referring to “common people” as the “working class”. But this is totally wrong.

Yes, there are types of people we can legitimately refer to as common. However, to refer to these people as “working class” shows a lack of understanding of what these words mean.

The problem with Britain is it concerns itself too much with class.

The aristocracy, middle upper class, lower upper class, upper middle class, middle middle class class, lower middle class, upper working class, middle working class and lower working class.

It is a real nightmare.

It all started over a couple of thousand years with just working classes. Everyone was a peasant roaming the lands, surviving as best they could. Then over the centuries some of the peasant gave themselves airs and graces and this was how the Aristocracy was born.

A thousand years ago we had the aristocracy and their hangers on who referred to themselves as upper classes. Then as the centuries flew by more working classes did a little better for themselves and the middle classes were born. By the twentieth century the middle classes were the working classes who had done better for themselves with trade, and some upper classes who fell from grace through wives with children divorcing their husbands and falling from their upper class positions accordingly.

This now brings me to “common people”. Common people are those the BBC and ITV seem to cater for. These are not just working class, they also include middle and upper class people These are people with no real pride in themselves or their community. Those, for example who either collapse in front of the “box” every evening or wander down to the pub, rather than help their community and neighbours.

I tend to think of people who have this pride as decent people, and those who don’t have this inner pride as common people. Nobody should be proud of being working class. Nobody should be proud of being middle class, and nobody should be proud of being upper class. All this does is to create division amongst us all. And, inverse snobbery is every bit as harmful as snobbery itself.

What everyone needs to develop is an inner pride in themselves and then in their community. If they create the inner pride in themselves, they will endeavour to build up their community.

Times are going to get hard for everyone. (See my blog of 18th December) Those living in a tightly knit community will be the ones with the best chance of surviving. Get to know your neighbour, invite them for morning coffee or evening drinks. Organise and take part in neighbourhood watches. Get your neighbours involved in keeping an eye on your house when you are away. These are just a few suggestions of how a close community help each other. Nothing here costs money (apart from coffee or a glass of wine) to get to know people. Involve your neighbours – take part yourself. This will help all of you take pride in your community.



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