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The White Season - Rivers of blood (BBC Doc) 2/8

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Published on Mar 26, 2008

Enoch powell's speech about immigration (1968)
....Her dilemma is partly the dilemma of the white working class. Although I am middle class now, they still feel like "my" class. And I like them. I think of them as honest, funny, irreverent, vigorous and unpretentious. I also think of them as wilfully ignorant, hedonistic, angry, often racist and, in the case of some builders, plumbers and motor mechanics, verging on the crooked. They tend toward the philistine, and distrust education because they confuse it with the aspiration of the middle classes, which they revile. Because, in fact, they have more animosity for the middle classes than they do for blacks, or Asians, or gays.

This is because they have been traduced by several generations of their so-called "betters", the white liberal middle classes (WLMC). (Incidentally there is also a large liberal working class, but this is rarely mentioned by the WLMC who like to keep a monopoly on morals.) What the WLMC seem to believe is that the "respectable working class", once celebrated -- for instance in 1960s' kitchen-sink dramas -- have become extinct, leaving a residue of scum (though they would never use that word). And there may be an element of truth in this view. But if it is true, they did not die out: they were assassinated.

By what methods were the white working classes (WWC) despatched? The first development that undermined WWC hopes and morale was the great betrayal in education -- the abolition of grammar schools and the retention of private schools.

Grammar schools, in the guilt-ridden WLMC view of things, favoured middle-class children over working-class children. What they actually favoured -- or could have favoured, if the tests were designed sufficiently well -- was clever children over less clever children. And if you look at the dyna7mism of the post-war grammocracy (Pinter, Dyke, Potter, Jacobson, Sillitoe, Bragg, Bennett and hundreds of others), it provided a crucial injection of WWC sensibility into the wider culture....

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