Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (10/04/11)

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The Independent Online


I hate to agree with the rancid old codger, but I think that John Prescott illustrated it best in his 2008 BBC2 documentary, Prescott: The Class System and Me, when he interviewed students at Rugby about their attitudes to class. "I find the class system redundant," sneered one plummy-voiced young man. "I couldn't say what class I'm in." Why is it that only people who go to £28,000-a-year boarding schools (and not people at bog-standard comprehensives) can't find any evidence that a divisive British class system still exists, I wonder?

It's a shame that this young class warrior didn't go to Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School: it's only £14,000 a year, and parents there could tell him exactly which class he belongs to. That's what they've all been doing on Mumsnet, following news that David and Victoria Beckham might be planning to send their children to the school. "David and Victoria are working class," wrote one former student, aghast, on the forum for worried mummies and others with too much time on their hands. "It would be surprising if someone like [Victoria] had high academic goals for her dc [darling children]..."

I don't know what kind of academic goals make for a full-grown woman who still doesn't realise that she is typing that in public, but maybe this concerned mum should set up a school of her own. Parents of its dc would have to prove that their fortunes were established before the Norman conquest, and lessons ought to (but probably would not) include history, politics and how to have better manners than your parents.


The best news of the week is that 82-year-old Maurice Sendak, the author of the wonderful Where the Wild Things Are, is for the first time in 30 years going to publish a book that he has both written and illustrated. Bumble-Ardy, about a pig's birthday party, will be released in September. Now we only need a new work from 81-year-old Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar, 1969) and another from 87-year-old Judith Kerr (The Tiger Who Came to Tea, 1968) and we'll have a whole new generation of lucky children.