Completely wrong

These days, I feel like I have been forced to reevaluate everything I once thought to be true. I’ve been forced to confront a lot of the sneering class prejudices I was exposed to when I was young. I’ve realised a lot of them were way off the mark.

So too the contemptible attitude of the middle classes towards the white working classes, writing them off as racist ignoramuses, when in fact they often have diverse fraternities. Recent research has shown this to be true: that the supposedly enlightened middle classes carry far more racial and religious prejudice with them than the working classes do.

My kids mock my posho upbringing. They’re right to. I agree with them. I had privilege I didn’t deserve. My best friend from primary school was far cleverer than I was, but he had no means to access the education I did. It did him no harm, though, for he is now head of logistics for a major British retailer. As for me: I was sent to allegedly the best school in town and ended up with lifelong self-esteem issues. I hated that school and all it stood for.

What was the benefit of that education? I just learnt to hate myself. I know people who went to supposedly the worst schools in town, who have still far surpassed me in their careers. They had ambition, confidence and drive. I had none at all.

I feel like I was seriously mistaken about just about everything in my youth. Now? I try to see the best in everyone, whatever their background. I haven’t walked in their shoes. I had a life of ease for my first twenty-years, hampered only by some undiagnosed health issues.

Hopefully my kids are more rounded than I was. They have a better idea of where hard work can take them. I am glad we live in the neighbourhood we do. I’m glad we’re no-longer poshos. I’m glad we’re just about making do.

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