A letter a day to number 10. No 671. Tuesday 04 March 2014.
Tuesday 04 March 2014. The poor ain't posh enough.
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Dear Mr Cameron,
There is a great deal of very strong feeling about the news that Peter Brant, head of mobility at the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, is suggesting that poorer kids should act posher to get on in life. Much has already be written about educational opportunities, which you have stolen, and life opportunities, which you have also stolen from our young. If you want to know what people are saying I'll leave you to research that for yourself.
I want to concentrate on the outrageous, patronising, arrogance of the man in his presumption that posher people are better and poorer working class people are less. Well that just damned near blew my cap off.
The Industrial Revolution created the new working class. What mill owners needed was labour, and they got it, as cottage industries were destroyed, along with whole communities, by factory produced goods. People flocked to the mills looking for work and the great exploitation began. People suffered appalling conditions and treatment for a mere pittance whilst the profits from their labour poured into the hands of the owners. History would have it that the owners wanted cheap labour, that is to say cheap people, when what they really wanted was labour on the cheap, and it was they who cheapened people.
The fact is that the modern world was built by the exploited working class. Were the owners grateful? Were governments grateful? Not a bit of it. Then, as now, the working class were despised and mistreated with passionate loathing, especially the very poorest. Debtors prisons and the later work houses treated the poor like slaves without identity or purpose other than to do forced labour and be kept under the meanest conditions. As the wealth poured in, there could have been welfare and some dignity given for the great labour force, but that was a long time in coming. It was a new world and labour had to get organised until eventually we got a labour party who in 1948, through the tireless work of Aneurin Bevan, gave us the NHS.
Peter Brant isn't saying anything new, underpinning his attitude and the attitude of your party is the same old hatred of the working class and it is your party that has stolen from us the hard won advances we've made to be working class and to have a safety net in a land of prosperity which has always been denied us. All Iain Duncan Smith is doing is the same old punish the poor, the inevitable large numbers of people who fall into the gravest circumstances in a selfish, rich, profit hungry world. You and all your government are the very last people we should ever want to emulate because you are the nastiest, most arrogant, greedy, loathsome people on Earth.
I am proud to be working class, proud of what I have achieved, proud of my history, even though I have fallen into dependence of the very safety that you are stealing. I've had a hard life and being disabled now is brutal, but I will never ever be, or pretend to be, a rich thug. You give us back our NHS, our welfare state and free education as that is the very least we are owed and entitled to.