Letter: I was neither a young bully nor a south London schoolboy

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The Independent Online
I APPLAUD Rob Newman for targeting his humour at the working class. It is challenging, rather than offensive. It is the thinkers on the left and the politically correct who need to reconsider their attitude towards the working class. If ridicule encourages a critical self-analysis among the working class, it will be more productive than the patronising attitudes of sympathetic elements in the middle class.

The myth of a heroic working class struggling against adversity serves no worthwhile purpose - it merely helps to perpetuate a sense of working- class pride that feeds a debilitating culture. The whippets may have gone but have been outlived by the pub, the bingo hall, and replaced by an endless consumerism.

The thinkers of the left should be highlighting the futility of working-class lifestyles, and rising to the real challenge of instilling alternative values that do not simply imitate middle-class tastes. Until the left is prepared to question its relationship with the working class, it will be left to comedians to challenge them to question their current existence.

Neil O'Connor