Lord Bragg has urged writers and television producers to to stop producing work that mocks the working class.
“I’m not a fan of the working class being mocked, including by some of our famous writers … even by those who came from it,” the novelist said in an interview with the Radio Times. “All this ‘it’s grim oop north’ sort of stuff. Well, it was a joke once, but we’ve got to the stage where the working class has been turned into a cliche and it deserves a lot better.”
The few positive examples painted intelligent or educated working class folk as exceptions, he said.
“Give them someone who knows what they’re talking about, being a farm labourer, a dock worker, a miner, who can string two words together, they say ‘my God this is didactic’ or ‘my God you’re telling us what to think here’,” he said. “They’re characters you so seldom see in fiction.”
His own working-class childhood, as the son of a publican in the north-west, had the library for books and the radio for drama: “We listened to a lot of drama, adaptations of books, comedy. There was a real love of music expressed in choirs, because you didn’t have to have instruments except your voice. We lived in a very cultured environment.”
(Source: Radio Times)