Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

i Editor's Letter: Reader's letters

 

Every now and then a reader's letter gives me pause for thought. One such came in over the weekend from 16-year-old Janan Neirami, in Sutton, responding to my column lamenting that "ambition" and "aspiration" had become such dirty words.

Janan's email detailed what he believed are some of the drawbacks to, and prejudices against, middle-class schoolboy life. At which point half of you will have switched off or turned against him – which is in part his point.

It's odd that being middle class has turned into a subject for derision. It is deeply unfashionable to stick up for middle-class attributes of "striving" (yes!), "aspiration" and "ambition" (not that, as I wrote on Saturday, these should be a middle-class preserve). In fact, outside of the Daily Mail, who does stick up for the "squeezed middle" in public? Maybe that's one of the many reasons the Daily Mail sells so well.

Janan pointed out how many schemes and opportunities existed for the offspring of the disadvantaged to be able to receive a helping hand to progress through their education from the Sutton Trust Pathways to Cambridge University Summer Schools. He asked why should the children of parents who went to university — often being the first in their families to do so — then be excluded themselves from so much help?

Rather poignantly he detailed how his parents had neither the time nor the money that more than one child necessitated, feeling he was disadvantaged at home and then again at school as a consequence.

I'm not going to entirely agree with him. The ambitious children of the poor generally need an extra leg up, given how many disadvantages they suffer. But he may have a point when he writes of a systematic discrimination against — and resentment of — the middle class that seems straight out of a Dickensian novel.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'