Radio 4 Comedian Next Sunday Discusses Working Class Male Culture

It seems that Radio 4 and the Beeb might be discovering working class men. On Sunday, 21st March 2021 at 7.15, the channel’s broadcasting Jacob Hawley: Class Act. The Radio Times blurb runs

Stand-up comedian Jacob Hawley, who grew up near Stevenage, dissects his journey from working-class banter boy to oat milk latte-sipping, inner-London feminist.

The additional piece about it on the facing page by Tom Goulding states

Having deftly touched the thorny issues of sex and drugs, Jacob Hawley returns ot the BBC with this politically charged comedy special. Class Act deals with another taboo subject: working-class male culture. Hawley charts his journey from banter boy to inner-London feminist and asks whether working class men have been dismissed as hopeless cases: excluded from the UK’s cultural discourse on topics as diverse as women’s rights and mental health. Hawley won plaudits for his On Drugs podcast, in which he interviewed friends and experts on the UK’s attitude towards recreational drug use. Here, he again proves capable of bringing a light touch to heavyweight subjects.

A few years ago the BBC broadcast a series of films on race, one of which asked the question of whether the White working class was being overlooked. It’s been reported that the most underprivileged group in the UK is actually White working class boys. UKIP’s core vote were White working class people who felt overlooked and ignored by the mainstream parties. This campaign by right-wing populists to capitalize and exploit White working class discontent continues. The right-wing New Cultural Forum has a video up on The Demonisation of the White Working Class. On the left, Owen Jones wrote a very good book on the subject a few years ago and the left-wing of the Labour party is consciously trying to appeal to White working class voters with policies that will benefit all of the working class as well as criticising the way the Tories are trying to divide them from Blacks. One of the serious points the Private Eye strip ‘It’s Grim Up North London’ made through its humour was the alienation of its north London heroes from the White working class. Aesthetes with a taste for the latest international fads, to them ordinary White working class Brits were an exotic species they didn’t understand and wondered at. In one cartoon the pair are seen in a cafe or pub listening with wonder at the exotic conversation of the two on the next table. In fact, they’re a pair of Geordies wondering what the two are doing staring at them. Following the series Tom Mayhew Is Benefit Scum, it looks like Radio 4 is rediscovering the British working class and its issues.

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2 Responses to “Radio 4 Comedian Next Sunday Discusses Working Class Male Culture”

  1. Brian Burden Says:

    OFF TOPIC Have you seen Piers’s latest tweet, accusing H & M of conspiring to destroy the monarchy? Dangerous paranoia.

    • beastrabban Says:

      I hadn’t, Brian, thanks. I don’t think the interview with Oprah did the Monarchy any good, but I really don’t think they were making a conscious decision to destroy it. Why would they? They’re still part of the royal family, even if somewhat estranged and without a formal royal role. They have media value precisely because of the royal connection, so they’d be shooting themselves in the foot if they were trying to destroy the monarchy. Apart from which, they made it very clear that the royal family themselves weren’t racist. From the monarchy’s point of view, the Oprah interview wasn’t the best decision they made, but I don’t think it was done to destroy it. And besides, I think Harry would have had, or been brought up to have, too much respect for the monarchy’s important constitutional role. Somehow I can’t see either Harry or Meghan joining the Movement Against the Monarchy.

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