. This is a discussion on BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed programme on ‘the white working class’ , in which I took part with Gurminder Bhambra and Noam Gidron. . The painting is ‘The Workers’ by Walker Scott.
This essay was published in the Observer, 7 January 2018, under the headline ‘In British education, the central issue is class, not ethnicity’. The white working class. It’s a phrase that has become so commonplace that few recognise the sheer oddness, and indeed odiousness, of the concept. It denotes both pity and contempt. On the one hand, it is a description of the ‘left behind’, sections of the population that have lost out through globalisation and deindustrialisation. On the other, […]