Tuesday, March 06, 2007

White Trash

"What that says about modern Britain seems pretty straightforward. How else to understand it than as more evidence of our embrace of an increasingly American social model, in which there is opportunity for all - apart from the undeserving rump too feckless to seize it? In short, we've finally acquired our own equivalent of that dread term "white trash". As Lynsey Hanley's superb book Estates - superficially about council housing, but actually addressing much more - points out, at the bottom of the social ladder, class has been supplanted by caste, thanks to a con trick whereby successive governments have "hived off poorer working-class people from affluent society ... when, all the while, they have claimed that we are progressing inexorably towards a state of classlessness".


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