What is Working Class? A comment on George Galloway’s 8-Mar-08 radio broadcast.

 

I’ve never called George Galloways talksport program, nor can I say I want to.

I’d be one of those callers who says “I agree with 95% of what you say” but after listening to his show quite regularly now for about 6 months, I know what would happen if I was to try and have a worthy serious discussion on an issue relating to that remaining 5%…

I’d make a point or ask a question to which George, talking for far longer than I, would state his well aired view, perhaps never allowing me back in again only to move onto the next caller. I’d be left frustrated that once again, an issue on which he and his caller took opposite opinions on, never really got a decent discussion or that he listened enough to listen to my point of view and perhaps be persuaded by it. Either that or he’d end his initial reply by asking me a rather narrow ‘have you stopped beating your wife yet’ type question, allowing me back in only to have him then turn down my call and then moving on. If you listen to his show, I’m sure you will know what I mean. OK, the idiot drunk, Zionist apologist or the racist turd that calls in rightfully bears the brunt of that method of dispatch, but sometimes I feel too often he terminates a discussion antagonistic to his own opinion far too early.

It’s not that I don’t like GG. I do! Like I said, I think we probably see eye-to-eye on about 95% of cases. His sense of justice is top notch, as is his ability to see through anti-Palestinian propaganda. Plus he’s probably one of the most truthful politicians. What’s more, I’ve sent two lots of subs to Respect (before it’s hijacking by the Socialist Workers Party became public), and I’ve also contributed almost a weeks wages to his legal team in taking the then Conrad Black owned ‘Telegraph’, to court, when it used fake documents to accuse him of being involved with Iraqi oil for favours. I was also utterly glued to my computer monitor when he was in Washington Senate, giving two smoking barrels to neocon Norm Coleman. I would be willing to support him again if need be. So My liking for GG and my past support for him is clear. 

But no man is an Island, as my regular readers will of course know (who yes, will hopefully also think similarly of me, as it should be right?)

 And so the issue of class came up on the 8th March show. I was a bit annoyed at the way he dealt with it and in fact he contradicted himself on at least one occasion.

As far as I know, there isn’t a definitive statement as to what working class is – where it begins and where it ends, if indeed it does ‘begin’ and ‘end’. I actually like what GG himself said about it, and that is, one is working class when it is necessary to work to earn an income in order to survive. But GG when elaborating on it shifts those goalposts creating a sort of haze, and calls the likes of Paul McCartney and Wayne Rooney working class, because at some stage in their lives they had to work in order to survive.

Near the end of GG’s 3 hour show, Joe in Crewe – probably the best contributor on the subject said “…by accumulating wealth you then transcend the working class” and I think he was spot on. P.S. my name is not Joe and I’m not from Crewe.

It’s a pity Joe made a silly error by deviating slightly saying GG was wealthy and was earning a politicians salary of £65,000 over 20 years  *Groan*.  George, ever eagre to jump onto a silly impetuous and rankly trivial mistake, does what he is experienced in doing on the show and turns it into a bit of a straw man. GG corrects the MP salary (Now £60k pa, 2.4 times the national average – going by Joes figures) and says he has no savings and has no property that is un-mortgaged. Well so what Gorge? One can own a £5M house in London but with a mortgage. One could liquidate that asset (albeit not very quickly) and be very wealthy indeed. One might have paid 4.8M out of ones own pocket, only taking a 200K bank loan to cover the rest, or one could own 20 properties and have a mortgage on all of them, and if necessary, one could liquidate just one of those assets enabling the mortgage of the remaining 19 (or even say only 3) properties to be paid off. If I put a point like that to George, assuming he hadn’t cut me off by now and move onto the next caller, he would probably say “I don’t own a 5M house”. His house could for sake of argument be £4M in value, yet he wouldn’t be lying and his conscience would be clear in denying the illustrative value. No doubt if one was to try and pursue this point by say asking him “is it a £4,999,999 house then?” and so on until the point could be made, GG would almost surely say “that’s none of your business” and THEN cut me off.

When GG thinks he’s made a bit of a straw man and starts belting away it, he certainly doesn’t like it if the straw man animates itself or is animated by the caller, but he has the luxury of then saying words akin to “here’s our next caller…”

Getting back to what Joe said, after making GG’s blood warm, Joe says “as far as I’m concerned, wealth is the determinant of class” – and I agree.

“In that case Joe, I suppose Wayne Rooney isn’t working class, Coleen isn’t working class. Are you serious?” [who Colleen is I don’t know]

Well, I recall a post-match interview with a young Wayne Rooney, some years back now admittedly, but after the interview the commentators said something like “tell you what, its a good thing he’s good at football” – It could have been Mark Lawernson. If you saw the interview you’d know exactly why that was said that. Rooney showed a rather embarrassing level of intellect and comprehension, as if anything other than footie talk would have made Rooney think the interviewer was talking a foreign language. Perhaps it wasn’t representative of Mr. Rooney – we all have our off days, but I’d hazard a guess that our Wayne isn’t that bright.

I am sure GG was putting Wayne Rooney in the Working Class set because he was dumb or from humble stock or had a speech impediment. I suspect the “breed” issue is the foundational factor upon which he assigns class, being why he designates Paul McCartney and Wayne Rooney as Working Class. I don’t think this just from this one show, but from listening to him for quite some time. He has scoffed (sneered wouldn’t be too far wrong a description) at Toffs in the past, i.e. someone who has rung up the show, someone who GG knows little if anything about, but who has (as GG regards) a ‘posh’ accent. Not all ‘posh’ accent people are worthy of contempt. 

GG retorted “what is he[Rooney] then Middle class?” – Actually that’s probably a lot better description than Working Class.

Joes reply (despite his voice showing signs of ‘tension/panic’) is spot on “He’s upper class in wealth” – But I suspect GG’s overriding toff based vision of class appears to have sealed off his ears to what actually Joe said. George calm down!, Joe said “He’s upper class IN WEALTH”. GG replied “He’s upper class now? {announcing to his audience} Wayne Rooney is Upper Class – Your havin a laugh!”

Guess what? Georges next words are… “Here’s Ryan in Motherwell”

Although mistaken in thinking only silly teenagers and similarly immature people were the ones to repeat ad nauseum TV celebs catchphrases, I am not mistaken in believing Joe is right. Wayne Rooney’s accumulation of wealth (whether one can sit comfortably at the magnitude of it isn’t the issue) means he never again has to work a day in his life ever again if he so chose. Wayne has indeed left the Working Class. Bully for him. It’s difficult to begrudge that of anyone who has worked hard for success.

I don’t think one MUST be bound by a social definition such as class, as ones status and perceptions can change as we drift through life. Why should one be bound by a definition which means different things to different people? Indeed such string affiliations with class sits peculiarly amongst those for whom one would imagine would like to see a classless society. 

After listening to the meanings of class in his show and thinking about it, for what it’s worth, here’s largely how I see Class.

It is divided primarily but not exclusively according to financial status and social status, with these two divisors being coupled to various degrees depending on class label.

1) Upper class. A member of a quite small genetic pool, whose ancestors and associated family members have maintained persistently high, often excessive levels of wealth, and because of these factors, they consider themselves as superior to others who do not share similar attributes.  However, others themselves not of the upper class, may infact elevate them to a position of superiority in comparison to their fellow man.

2) Financial upper class. Someone with a large degree of wealth but is not regarded as coming from an elitist or pedigree* lineage.

3) Middle class. A member of a financial class that has little difficulty in daily life to gain possession of assets which may be thought of as essential for the stereotypical western view of living – provably owned house, privately owned transport, one ‘big’ holiday a year. The wealth for this level of living is often credit, which most members of this class will be able to clear after a period of time.

3) Working Class. Someone who finds it necessary to work in order to sustain themselves. One distinguishing factor between Middle class and Working Class is how close one is to moving into the Upper class above or below. I would put working class people as those far more likely to enter the lower class, and Middle class least likely to enter the lower class. Working class therefore shows some properties of being semi-intermediate class.

4) Lower Class. People whose income plays a significant bearing on their daily life, in terms of choice of food, ability to commute, and availability of accommodation and the education they can get. Consequently Lower Class people are thought of as ‘stupid’. Lower class people are often expected to follow directives issued by classes above them. Darker skin colour, use of dialects, regional accent, literacy, and hygene  standards are often factors which may assist in the categorization of people as being of the lower class.

5) Last class worth mentioning = Scum class (You scribe the explanation behind the label) Scum Class are people like Tony bLiar, BuSh, Aznar, Howard, Hitler, Attaturk, Pol Pot, Zionists… You get the pic.

The Upper, Middle and Lower labels are, or so it seems to me, a near pure quantification of wealth assessment. I’ve even heard the term upper-middle class seemingly to categorise people in the bridge between excessive wealth and simple comfortable wealth. Naturally, because Working class has neither the upper, middle or lower prefix, reference to economic status is diluted. (Just the kind of thing I’d want people to describe themselves as if I was a stinking rich elitist).

Isn’t it more than reasonable for me to imagine one can be amongst the economic Upper class despite being a commoner, and not entering the ‘genetic’ upper class?

Of course there are cross-overs and exceptions in all this. I don’t think any classification involving ‘fuzzy logic humans’ can ever neatly pigeon hole ALL its members of a population, but I think those classifications are pretty good.

If one spent all his liquid/cash wealth on buying (mortgage of amount included of course) prime real-estate in Tokyo, Paris, Rome, Beverly Hills, or Melbourne. What class is she now? If I said before all that, the purchaser was a member of the Gothe-Sax-Coburgs (the family that renamed themselves Windsors) then I have a strong feeling GG would have said “He’s Upper Class.” If however I said the purchaser was Wayne Rooney, my feeling is equally strong that GG would have said “he’s working class”.

The point is, if I’m not repeating myself, that GG’s vision of “Class” seems to be dominated on the grounds of genetics and disdain for toffs, rather than a more thoughtful, less socialist-worker-class-snobbishness, perception of it.    

* Pedigree: Especially amongst occidentals, bears correlation to the number of people ones ancestors have murdered or oppressed.

  

 

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16 Responses to “What is Working Class? A comment on George Galloway’s 8-Mar-08 radio broadcast.”


  1. 1 faceless March 31, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    An excellent article. I’ve been accused of being ‘anti-galloway’ by some of his more rabid fans, even though I run an archive of his radio and tv appearances. There’s no winning with some people, so I just keep doing what I’m doing and wait for them to do something productive – not one of them has done anything worth the wait yet though…

    More power to you for not just accepting the 5% you disagree with.

  2. 2 StefZ March 31, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Galloway is not short of a bob or two Full Stop

    And as I’ve think I’ve mentioned before, if a someone is granted copious quantities of mainstream and semi-mainstream airtime it’s for a reason. In the case of Galloway, that 5%, turd in the swimming pool stuff, is the reason

    As for class, there are many ways to limit people’s freedom of thought. One of the most subtle is to impose language and terminology on people which limits their parameters of thought. The fact that it is so difficult to pin down a succinct definition of what constitutes working, middle and upper class (especially the differences between the bottom two) suggests to me that this terminology is outdated and limiting. IMHO the old class terminology needs updating with a different paradigm which does away with the old divide and rule trick and which emphasises the fact that 99.9% of us are the playthings of the .01%

    FWIW I look upon the stratifications of society being driven by function rather than income levels…

    There’s a ruling class, an administrative technocratic class and the rest (call them what you will)

    The interesting thing nowadays is that, thanks to developments in automation and computing, there is now no longer a need for the large administrative technocratic class which was allowed to develop over the last few centuries.

    How the next few years will play out is dependent largely on whether that class can continue to be tricked and bribed into serving its masters whilst those very same masters are busy whittling it down

  3. 3 StefZ March 31, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    ps 99.9% + .01% = 99.91% – either my thesis is fundamentally flawed or I’ve just gone and made a typo.

  4. 4 lwtc247 April 1, 2008 at 5:26 am

    @ faceless

    Cheers for visiting my wee blog, and I like the content of your site. Methinks I’ll be making regular trips there! Keep it up – Please!

    It is a bit daft that one has to 100% accept GG’s opinions or face anti-GG black-balling. If one accepts 100% of anything anyone says then really it’s a sign one hasn’t really thought about an issue properly and/or long enough. One can even find examples in the life of the Islamic prophet Muhammad(saw) where it was shown he didn’t know it all (he certainly professed not to!)

    I have a very good (& completed) post about GG on the Bhutto assassination based on his shows broadcast over the Christmas period. I even had time to do a spot of proof reading and spelling correction!!! But I didn’t post them as I started questioning was it so good to pay so give so much analysis and focus as to his flaws. I got quite irked about the whole thing.

    In this case I said to myself I shouldn’t withold another post. (I may still publish my Bhutto post)

    I wish GG would take the opportunity NOT focus on trivial or silly errors to crash the debate. A simple ‘that’s erronious’ would do, then both should advance the arguement.

    We need more healthy discussion and deliberation on differences. I believe it is wholly a healthy exercise.

    @ stefZ.

    Formalisation of “class” and its structures could well be an implement of control and social filtering-cum-squeezing (don’t take that the wrong way), and I considered that at the time.
    Is GG gatekeeper potential? I dunno. Spotting Gatekeeping is for me, v. difficult. Noted is your worthy “got aitrime? got friends!” kind of ‘warnings’ and GG may well be, but one could say focus and support of people who can’t get onto MSM, would be another way to kill opposition. So all in all, its a very grey patch.

    I think this is where instinct comes into it. I feel GG is genuine. If he turned out not to be, I could live with myself for believing he was kosher/halal
    as I think this kind of thing about most prominent people. (Yes I guess I am semi-paranoid to a degree – I hope it’s actually helpful agains the tsunami of crap that hits me daily)

    I like your “function” rather than “income” view, and expansion to “ruling class” but is all class tied inescapably to the wealthy class (which in turn looks to genetic (sometimes pysical and mentally mad) class?

  5. 5 StefZ April 1, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    FWIW you don’t have to be conscious that you are employed as gatekeeper to perform the function of one

    and as for the ‘function vs income’ stratification of society the reason why I would push function is that in my experience people from the higher stratas become wealthy, or should I say wealthier, because of their background. The money is a consequence of their position, not the other way around. Some performing plebs are permitted to become moderately wealthy but they’ll never have any influence on how the world is run

  6. 6 faceless April 1, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    I am a faggot.

  7. 7 lwtc247 April 2, 2008 at 7:01 am

    StefZ

    Unwitting gatekeeper’s – I never really thought of them from that angle before. Oh dear; My paranoia’s growing rapidly.

    Your ideas on the way society is run are very interesting and go further than mine, in that, I had no reason before to think that ones wealth and position in society was as controled as you suggest. My current thinking was that things are certainly heading ‘your’ way and now that I’m thinking along these lines, I not that conident I can say either way. One thing’s for sure though I’ll be on the lookout.

  8. 8 lwtc247 April 2, 2008 at 7:08 am

    Somehow, I I think “couchtripper faceless” is not the same as ‘faggot faceless’, but if I’m wrong, I don’t really see how you telling me your sexuality adds to the debate.

    I often thought that such expressions are akin to one pulling out ones ‘soldier’, pointing at it and telling people what it is. Rather unnecessary if you ask me.

  9. 9 faceless April 2, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    No worries, LWT – people who can think for themselves without being arrogant or blinded by dogma are always welcome at couchtripper. You probably noticed my stalker – he signed up and was banned and now posts all over the place under my name. When you stop thinking of yourself as a ‘wee blog’ you’ll probably get your own stalker too! haha

    All the best, and I’d be interested to read your thoughts on the Bhutto killing.

  10. 10 lwtc247 April 3, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Hi “couchtripper faceless.” :D

    I didn’t think it was you. While only having read your post here and a couple of pages from you on couchtripper, I got the impression you were intelligent, articulate and most probably: a pretty good human being.

    ‘faggot faceless’ left rather the opposite impression. P.S. on your GG archive I didn’t see a way how to download them (but I was rushing a bit). Your archive doesn’t cover latest shows. Any reason?

    Cheers.

  11. 11 StefZ April 3, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    “Unwitting gatekeeper’s – I never really thought of them from that angle before. Oh dear; My paranoia’s growing rapidly.”

    try asking yourself which kind of control system is more likely to survive and thrive – one which promotes capable people of flawless integrity and humanity? or a system which prefers capable people with flaws and hidden vulnerabilities?

  12. 12 faceless April 4, 2008 at 12:31 am

    There haven’t been any recent radio shows as Galloway’s off-air while promoting his London Assembly campaign. Everything else is up to date as far as I know though.

    If you sign up to the site, pm me and you’ll see all the details on how to download. Basically you need to be a (free) member at http://www.humyo.com

    cheers

  13. 13 lwtc247 April 4, 2008 at 8:11 am

    @ Stef
    Actually there are two answers to that (LOL)
    Those with vulnerabilities can be manipulated by TPTB, yet those that appear flawless (albeit impossible) can be held up as a bastion of virtue and as “worthy”. Each are expendable.

    Mass murderer and sadist Tony bLiar [who has the murderous cheek to say just recently that faith should have a stronger role in socirty – echoing the perverse mental flip freakery of his tyranical butcher mates throughout history] was held up as whiter than white and people bought it wholesale – not only becasue the Tory years were a living nightmare but becasue killer bLiar had no mud on him.

    I would say in this case, there is strength in diversity so using both forms of scam would maximise longevity of social engineers.

  14. 14 lwtc247 April 4, 2008 at 8:14 am

    @ couchtripper faceless

    Cheers mate, but I thought I heard GG say he was standing in for John Gaunt some time around early-mid march? Maybe I’m wrong. P.S. those two were supposed to have a boxing match. Have they had it yet?

    Many thanks once more for the help Re:downloads and so on.

    – lw

  15. 15 faceless32 April 6, 2008 at 1:09 am

    I did add the daytime show (it was just one Wednesday), here’s a link to that show from March the 12th.

    http://www.humyo.com/F/56153-112625877

    (couchtripper is down at the moment but will be back soon)

  16. 16 lwtc247 April 7, 2008 at 2:34 am

    Cheers. I appreciate it.
    I made a (free) humyo account. Looks handy :)


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