UK politics John Prescott and class

28 October 2008

Apparently, there was a TV programme on the class system in the UK fronted by John Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister. Mr Prescott is an intriguing character, and he passes the ‘pub test’ with flying colours. I’d go to a pub with him: it would be a great laugh because he’s pretty sharp and witty, and likes to talk a lot.

I never liked the way Radio 4 and others made fun of him for his speech over the years. If Mr Blair did not complete his sentences or spouted illogical rubbish, that was never picked on, in the way Mr Prescott was. And remember all those pie jokes? I think a form of class prejudice played a part in the different media portrayal of the Prime Minister and his Deputy.

There is something sinister about the middle class: I should know, having lived in suburbia called Surrey and attended a mediocre "independent" school. The middle class is always insecure, since it is in the middle: always aspiring to rise upwards and fearful of those from below joining its ranks. That’s why declaring himself middle class was Mr Prescott’s bad mistake all those years ago: how dare he? Mr Prescott became the bogeyman of the middle class.