Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Presumptions of being middle class!

On Twitter this morning I had an argument about the looters and rioters around the country. One man accused me of being out of touch and of not having any idea what those rioters had to put up with. He asked was I born on a housing estate and then answered it by saying No I wasn't.
The inference was that as I was saying there was no excuse for violence I could have no conception of the problems faced by these young people.
I was shocked. I have been giving everyone the impression of being thoroughly middle class and of having no sympathy with the disadvantaged. I can say with some emphasis that I am probably in a better position than most to know what they have to put up with.
Without going into too many personal details I did live on a sink housing estate as a young girl. It was an abusive alcohol driven home where love and decency were rarely evident.
My only role model was my parish priest, Bill Vanstone who showed me another way of living for which I will always be grateful.
The 1944 Education act, now long scrapped was in fact my saving grace...it gave me access to knowledge and schooling I would never have had otherwise.
I got away from all this by going to college, against my parents wishes who demanded that I go into the local cotton mill because I was only a girl! I worked hard to fund myself through teacher training college and never went back to live at home.
I lived my entire life as a young woman fighting against injustice and going on marches to demonstrate against all sorts of things mostly political. But never ever did I condone violence of any sort!

1 comment:

  1. Jean,

    Some people have no conception of other's backgrounds. I came from a broken home, via Care, to another awful home, before legging it and joining the Army. I've no doubt that it was the best decision I ever made (apart from marrying my, now wife). It took me out of an environment in the East End, which was abusive, with loads of my mates in trouble, in prison or into criminality of all sorts. In fact, Hackney than, seems very much like Hackney now. Full of chancers.

    I have always had time for young people and wanting the best for them - not sure that my views are shared by that many, judging from the rhetoric on the TV today.

    But, your are right, there is never any excuse for violence or criminality.