My Mother and Father, or me Mum and Dad have worked hard all of their lives, from when they could until when they can. My Mum was born in a council house, before it was a dirty word and my dad was raised on farms. However now we own (yes, we’ve paid off the mortgage!) three bedroomed terraced house in a sleepy village…
This is how my Comic Flaw speech started that I wrote earlier this week- I won’t follow it up because this is the world wide web after all. But reflecting on myself, someone I don’t find funny in the slightest, in able to find a Comic flaw I had to look for contradictions and the one I found most prominent is carefully walking the line between Working Class and Middle Class.
So I present to you myself- a Working Middle Class Human Being. I find myself stuck between a working class background and values, but enjoying the pleasures that careful saving and luck have brought is something I have become used to- trips to the ballet and days out that I’m grateful for but I’m ever more aware that in the current global climate I am extraordinarily lucky- reinforced to me by Emma Rice’s The Little Match Girl and Other Happier Tales.
So where do I fit? I understand and resonate with the culture and struggles of the working class, they are my friends and my family, but I’ve never had to work hand to mouth, I’m having a university education; I’m writing this on my mac in a warm house. Is it possible that the traditional boundaries between classes are shifting, the push from New Labour to send everyone to university and now the shift in making university less accessible to the poorest in society and the gap between rich and poorer only getting bigger is it time we reevaluated what class is and what value it holds? What is this new working class that survives on zero hours contracts as opposed to jobs for life- and what does that mean for the culture and psychology of them? Of us? Is the future holding 4 or 5 or more jobs to survive or can we find a way to even out the system and harness the various skills people hold and value them equally in society?
Maybe I’m just dreaming, maybe I’m a dreamer who can’t make sense of who I am. Maybe we can find a society that works for 100 per cert rather than just 1.