Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Rosemary Behan: oh so fashionably anti-working class

It’s seems that having a go at the lives of ordinary people is becoming a highly fashionable sport these days. No doubt spurred on by the Tories condescending ‘Tosser’ campaign - The Times (London) commentator, Rosemary Behan, has decided to let rip on all those people who have the temerity to bring themselves and their families to what Behan describes as “[h]ell’s fiery pit” – or in other words, the post-Christmas sales.

According to Behan, the people who go to the sales ‘show Britain at its ugly, undignified worst’ – stupid me for thinking it might be Britain’s foreign policy in Iraq, or Afghanistan that showed such things. Forget about the Helmand province, or Basra, for Behan, ‘hell’ is Brent Cross shopping centre – so who needs the Taleban or Islamic insurgents, when one has to rub shoulders with women who think nothing of buying ’17 pairs of shoes’?

For me, ‘hell’ would resemble downtown Baghdad, or even uptown Mogadishu – however, for the likes of Behan, it seems that such places pale into insignificance compared to being all alone, and unarmed in Next clothes shop, surrounded by packs of ‘wolves’, who cause poor shop assistants to run for their lives. Oh come-on Courtney, it’s a little bit of harmless tongue and cheek you might say, but to me, it’s more like organic munching, eco-miserable, middle-class prejudice masquerading as insightful sociological comment.

Behan concludes that in 2007 we should just ‘cut up your cards, leave the car at home and get a life’. I’d argue that highbrow miserabalists like Behan should speak for themselves.

Picture: Christmas rush in the Royal Arcade Norwich. By Robert White