You know that when parents start using a slang word that it’s not them just trying to be cool, but also the arrival of that expression into the vocabulary of plain English.
In this context I’m talking about the word Chav, which I believe means Council House And Violence, an expression that generalises those members of the working class who dress and act in a certain manner.
Now I’m not trying to get all Guardian and PC on you here as we all like the odd snigger about things now and again, but recently Chav seems to be banded about by any of those witty graduate types who have taken a dislike to any aspect of working class life. I will leave the dispelling of sneering middle class cultural superiority for another article, here I will simply be questioning the acceptability of such cultural prejudice.
I have heard, recently as it happens, people who buy package holidays labelled automatically as Chavs and cited as an embarrassment to our country, which I find a little strange considering that they form the backbone of the nations workforce so in fact ARE our country.
Anyway that’s for another time, but it’s almost as if The chattering classes have become embarrassed of our own people like a cool teenager is of his parents. Those same neo liberals amongst us would have the rest of Europe believe that we’re all intelligent, cultured grads, which of course we’re not and probably don’t want to be.
Maybe this idea comes from Piety Blair’s incredible proposal of middle class being something to aspire to if one works hard enough. Which is of course the general belief within the well to do houses of, You know where.
At this point we have to ask ourselves why such a derogatory expression is an acceptable label for a section of our society. If the Chav phenomenon happened to be black or Muslim for example, would it be open to such ridicule from those that pride themselves on their tolerance and political correctness?
I think not.
We need to ask ourselves whether we should be celebrating a polarized society where it is assumed that those lucky enough to afford an education are openly more successful. What kind of a culture do we live in where it is openly fashionable to sneer at the underclass and everything that it stands for, neatly pigeon holing for mockery on the basis of class and education? Which by the way is absolutely the worst kind of snobbery.
Further, should we be greeting the emergence of a new Blair underclass with a derision and humiliation that will ultimately end up in an unbreakable vicious circle like poverty itself?
And also, look how far we’ve come in the last few decades in putting bigotry and hatred of gays and ethnic minorities behind us (almost!). Do we really want to go back to those dark days?
But you know maybe I’ve missed the point here, because without those that consider themselves to be culturally superior to Chavs I wouldn’t be writing this. Maybe the problem lies with them?. But that’s for another day, and next time it’ll be a whole lot of fun and laughter at their expense.