I am currently sitting at my regular place of work – a shared office space in central London. There’s a very plummy sounding girl (a posh accent that is irritatingly affected) speaking at volume about the Big Society.
A moment ago I was ready to put in my headphones and listen to something – anything – to drown out what was sure to be a pretentious consultant talking about how they could make the idea of ‘Big Society’ a reality for the poor people (possibly a non-profit organisation of some kind) listening to her.
And then I heard these words: ‘…and that is why I think the Big Society is a fallacy’, which made me stop. I concur with this assessment of BS (pun intended) so naturally I am evesdropping (frankly it’s not hard as the volume of her voice is beyond that appropriate for this setting).
Except now I am in a middle class dilemma because it seems that this obnoxious woman thinks the reason Big Society is a fallacy is because the ignorant masses aren’t moved to help each other in the way that Cleggeron has articulated. The poor feckless plebs can’t get off their DFS sofas to lend a hand.
My head hurts. I hate this patriarchal ‘broken Britain’ way of thinking but it disturbs me greatly that it’s being used to get to the same position (my position) on BS.
Then again do I only hate this patronising stance because it’s coming from a privileged-sounding voice? If these pronouncements were spoken by a cockney (a true cockney, not Damon Albarn) would I feel the same? or would I adopt a blind respect for someone speaking on behalf of their socio-economic group?
This truly is a Guardian-reader’s dilemma (and I don’t even read the Guardian) akin to the moral tussle between buying organic food (which you can’t get at the corner shop) or patronising local businesses (which rarely sell organic food).
Maybe I’m over-thinking it…