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The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The class liberation officer

The Oxford Mail has been carrying a story that St Hilda's College students have appointed a 'class liberation officer'. Apparently "...people from working-class backgrounds needed support because [sic] suffered from classism while at university." They go on to quote a student who in a comment to The Sunday Times said: "Insults such as 'chav', chav-themed social nights and questions such as 'why are you wearing Primark?' can make poor students feel upset and worthless."

I can't claim any special insight into the minds of today's undergraduates since I meet so few of them, but I can't help thinking that previous generations were made of sterner stuff. Working class students were very thin on the ground when I was an undergraduate but generally we found much more pressing things to feel upset and worthless about, like third-world poverty, nuclear Armageddon and failed love affairs.

And as for our clothing, well that was a competition to see who could wear the most proletarian gear possible. Combat jackets, donkey jackets, Doc Maarten boots, shoes full of holes,  army surplus jumpers and shirts, jeans that looked as though they hadn't been washed for 5 years. I spent a year wearing a lumberjack coat with an acrylic fleecy collar purchased when I was 13 from C&A. Nobody batted an eyelid and I only threw it away because the arms got ridiculously short  and I could'nt do the zip up any more!

Primark? We used to dream of Primark!

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