Why do British people seem to hate their middle class? -

Overly Serious

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Hasn't the British elite always hated their own native lower classes?
I feel this is a good jumping on point. As a somewhat former working class person now happily Middle Class but surrounded by Middle Class people who keep pretending they're working class, I want to offer my perspective. But to address the above, no - the British Establishment is tremendously proud of their Working Class. They just don't like them as individuals. However, the British capacity to not riot like the French or not value free time and happiness like the Spanish, is something the British elites are deeply supportive of.

Well, the above is true 'cept for the "don't like them individually". I wrote it that way for humour. In fact I'd say the Upper Classes (with usual allowances for individual twats) like the working class well enough - because unlike the Middle Class, the Upper Class feel pretty secure about their own role in society and therefore how they relate to "tradesmen", etc. Likewise a working class person typically has a fairly good understanding of the realities of life and doesn't need to dress it up much.

There are two categories that we shouldn't confuse with Working Class and Upper Class, though. NEETs, the perpetually unemployed, etc. That's not "Working Class" and they're disliked by pretty much everyone including (perhaps especially) by actual Working Class people. And on the other side there are the rich who are not Upper Class - Lottery winners, Big Brother celebrities, etc. Both of these should be taken out of the discussion really because it's not about their class but their individual characteristics.

No, the ones who really hate the Middle Class are the Middle Class. I don't know if I'm "proper" working class but I've carried heavy things for money often enough that it works for me. I've just never really slotted myself in to a social category when I was younger. However, I have done okay (so far) and mainly through hard work and taking a few risks. I now live in a very Middle Class area and am surrounded by a mix of quite clearly different types. I guess I'd probably divide them into three. There are those I'd consider "like myself", they don't have a particularly Middle Class background but are economically doing well and haven't turned into tossers. They'd probably still consider themselves working class which brings us into the whole trades vs. profession thing which is rooted in the British psyche. A self-employed plumber or electrician might be making more than Joe Programmer but the former would be considered Working Class more so than our stereotypical computer wrangler. But moving on the second type would be the people from a Middle Class background and are living their Middle Class keeping-up-with-the-jones's life. These are the ones who seem to rush to disavow their Middle Classness. Or if it can't be suitably denied, they virtue signal all the time about their solidarity with working class people, championing of socialism / globalism / contempt for Tommy Robinson and love of Islam (of which their actual exposure consists of some poor girl from Pakistani background who finds herself carried around parties as a trophy).

It's at this point I've just realised the irony of replying to this thread, calling myself Middle Class, and then mocking Middle Class people for hating themselves. But it kind of works - I don't hate myself and it's alternately alarming and hilarious when I'm out at a meal with a group of people and they're all trying to out- virtue signal each other with how progressive they are. "Oh, I have a trans friend", are the exact words one lass said to me on a date once. No real context, just wedged into the conversation. And a separate lass I went out with also made a point of emphasizing a trans person she was friends with (though turned out she'd just met him in a bar one time on further questioning). One of these lasses had a habit of apologizing for her privilege rather a lot and making comments about "how lucky we were". She got a rather sharp (possibly too sharp) remark that I didn't think I was lucky but I'd worked pretty hard to get where I was). It genuinely surprised her because the environment she existed in was one of permanently making amends for one's privilege. I told her - and got a positive reaction this time - that I had no "Middle Class guilt" about what I had in life and that if she wanted to have rich parents, I wasn't going to judge her for it. She actually changed around me after that, but only around me. Once in the Middle Class, Left-ish society around here again (not going to PL with a location), virtue signalling was once again de rigeur.

It's not all the Middle Class. I mean its determined by both a social background and an economic position. I've certainly fulfilled the latter as have a lot of other people. And there are a lot of working class people who have done better than I but are still working class. You can run a building firm and you'll still be working class because you used to do it yourself and you spend all day hanging out other builders. You can be an office monkey or a two-bit Buzzfeed journalist and you'll still be Middle Class. But the socially Middle Class, especially those who aren't securely economically Middle Class, tend to have the big issues with being Middle Class and are also the ones that Working Class people will most likely hold in contempt. The real fun ones are the Antifa types with Middle Class or Upper Class parents who want to call me privileged but can't because they know damn well I've worked harder than they have in their lives.

It can be really complicated to define Working Class, Middle Class, Upper Class - but that's because people try to do it by strict criteria when it's more like factions you belong to and the values you hold. This example might be a bit random but I recall a lot of Middle Class (such as I consider them) people to be very angry at the idea of Grammar Schools coming back (selective rather than mandatory pupil acceptance for the non-Brits and younger Brits) because they considered it "elitist". But some of us know that our own dads got where they did to some extent because they were capable and studied and could get a place at a grammar school on merit).

There's also the whole North / South divide in the UK with the industrial and agricultural North being historically "working class" because, again, its not about exact criteria but about belonging. Hence all those comic stereotypes you'll see in British comedies about Northern Nouveau Riche characters with money but no 'class.'

Thing to remember is they're all stereotypes to an extent. I'm Northern, worked my way up from manual labour jobs but am also very well spoken (you can tell because I wrote "than I" instead of "than me") due to my upbringing and my interests. Ironically, the least Middle Class thing about me these days is my comfortableness in calling myself Middle Class.

Why are the Middle Class so in denial or so disliked by others? Because they're insecure, imo. Most of them are clinging on to what they've got because they know they couldn't cut it in the Working Class and half of them are living beyond their means. You'll notice there's been a bit of a thing going around about whether degrees are really worth it this past year. That's not a working class thing - most of which have known that perfectly well all along. It's a collective and exploratory out-gassing of the Middle Classes voicing their inability to afford to send 2.4 kids to University anymore. It's a cautious call over the fence to the Jones's next door saying "look, lets just both agree this isn't worth it and then we don't have to bankrupt each other over it". When the Middle Class feels comfortable with their spawn not going to University, British Academia is going to get a bit of a shock. (But it will survive - we will always need experts available to tell us what we want to hear).

Middle Class hate is fueled by idiots like those Extinction Rebellion protestors who climbed on a commuter train in East London and delayed it. In interview, one of them said they deliberately chose the morning at that time rather than the evening because they wanted to spare people going into work rather than coming home to their loved ones. This told all the angry commuters - many of whom were builders and similar actual workers - all they needed to know. Which was that the idiots doing this had never heard of docked pay, of "three strikes you're out" or, for that matter, actually taking pride in your work. There are just too many examples. And whilst the older Upper Class tend to have settled into their station in life (for better or worse), their spawn can also be just as bad in this regard. Listen to the accent on this girl:




I'm sure she's a lovely person generally, but the politics here are so stereotypical. I think it's things like this that fuel such contempt for the Middle Class in Britain. Now I can't wait to read everyone else's explanations because it's one of those things that has many answers. Sperg mode off.










I mean, British cuisine is hardly as horrifying as some make it to be. Rough-hewn in comparison to France, perhaps, but not inedible (especially compared to some other countries on its latitude).
British food is honestly some of the best in the world. A lot of it is based on the idea that you need a proper bit of fuelling for working all day in the fields or down the pit which is why Britain does pies better than anyone. There was a near complete collapse in culinary expertise in Britain after WWII. Ration books are why you got things like custard gaining popularity. And in the Seventies to Eighties, everyone was working and had no time to cook; or wasn't working and had no money to. Plus that's when we got hit with ready meals and supermarkets. But today a lot of people are rediscovering traditional British cooking and now food is pretty darn good, there. Particular in comparison to Americans who do meat very well but everything else terribly.
 

Emperor Julian

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British food is honestly some of the best in the world. A lot of it is based on the idea that you need a proper bit of fuelling for working all day in the fields or down the pit which is why Britain does pies better than anyone. There was a near complete collapse in culinary expertise in Britain after WWII. Ration books are why you got things like custard gaining popularity. And in the Seventies to Eighties, everyone was working and had no time to cook; or wasn't working and had no money to. Plus that's when we got hit with ready meals and supermarkets. But today a lot of people are rediscovering traditional British cooking and now food is pretty darn good, there. Particular in comparison to Americans who do meat very well but everything else terribly.

Personally I've always found American food a little too sweet and fatty (except their chocolate which just tastes terrible). There tendacy to talk shit about British food seems a little odd with that in mind, especially considering theres a lot of overlap

Back on subject, the middle classes are pretty universally resented for how deeply spinless they all are, I know that's why I have such a low opinion of them. They pretty much surrendered English national idenity to ultra nationalists without a fight and ignored the decimation of the working class through the 80's.
As a side note the working class is bassically obliterated both culturally and politically. So there's that.
 
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Prince of Crows

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I grew up on an estate & my parents were "underclass" (permanently unemployed & on benefits). We had grammar schools in my area so in the final year of primary school we did an exam called the 11+ to see if we were smart enough to go to one. I did well & was eligible but I was encouraged not to by literally everyone I knew because I'd be with the "rich kids" there & would basically be a traitor. I was stupid enough to believe all that & went to a regular school where I was in & out of trouble for the first few years. Eventually I woke up to all the bullshit, knuckled down & now I live comfortably in another country.

In my experience there are a few reasons people dislike the middle class. One is because there are ignorant people that are envious like the ones I grew up with but there is also the fact that a lot of middle class people are very detached from reality. They're the kind of people that will tell working class people who lives cities like Birmingham that there is no disadvantages to mass-migration & the Islamization of their traditional communities. They have a black friend they met in uni so they'll tell you that black drug dealers from London selling drugs to neighbouring counties isn't a real thing & "diverse" areas in London like Brixton are as safe as anywhere else. They're the type who you see at the extinction rebellion protests, with shitty dreadlocks & too many piercings obstructing people trying to get to work.

Bit of a ramble but I suppose my point is that there are both valid & invalid criticisms of the middle class by the working class.
 

Approx. 59 Robins

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Because most of them are hypocritical, egotistical cunts. So many of them are champagne socialists that cry about how much they "care about the workers", while supporting the outsourcing all of said worker's jobs to China, and the flooding of the country with massive amounts of migrants so they can continue to suppress the wages of the working classes so they have to pay less for their frivolities. They champion diversity and talk about how great it is for the country while living in an expensive rural area that's 99% white. They cry about how the working classes need to stop driving as much and polluting with our industry, so they can import goods from across the world for cheap. (Despite the fact that the 15 largest cargo ships combined produce more greenhouse gases and other pollutants per year than every single car in the world)

Granted, both the middle and upper classes are responsible for this shit, but at least the upper classes reap the major economic and social benefits of this - the middle classes only piddle along behind them because the woke shitrags that were written by their fellow middle-class individuals told them to do so, or else they're whatever the current buzzword is for people that disagree with them,

To top it all off, these people then have the fucking cheek to tell the working classes that "they're only in the situation they are because they're uneducated or lazy", despite the fact that most of them are only middle class because they were born into the middle classes, and got some highly-paid, low-effort white collar job thanks to nepotism.
 

Toucan

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The upper class hate them because they want to subvert their position.
The working class despise them because they have turned their backs on them.

Plus the middle class in england are composed almost exclusively of balding slug creatures with gravy for blood and teeth the colour of dandelions.
 
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soy_king

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Can any Britbong explain to me what your middle class is supposed to be? From my understanding of your popular culture, it seems to include anyone who doesn't have a regional working class accent like a Geordie, Scouser, or West Country person, but at the same time doesn't have a noble title. I get this impression because Humphrey Appleby as a character is described as middle class despite being very privileged and in a position of power (see The Middle Class Ripoff), yet at the same time, Sargon of Applebees has also been called middle class, and he'd be considered lower middle class over here in Burgerland.
 

Hoplixe

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Can any Britbong explain to me what your middle class is supposed to be? From my understanding of your popular culture, it seems to include anyone who doesn't have a regional working class accent like a Geordie, Scouser, or West Country person, but at the same time doesn't have a noble title. I get this impression because Humphrey Appleby as a character is described as middle class despite being very privileged and in a position of power (see The Middle Class Ripoff), yet at the same time, Sargon of Applebees has also been called middle class, and he'd be considered lower middle class over here in Burgerland.
Fuck, I'll probably be way off point with my answer, but here it goes.
The Middle Class serve as bureaucrats, be they private sector clerks, university lecturers all the way to the Government Mandarins (Well, a fair few of them).
They arose and made their presence known during the Second British Empire, with the Industrial Revolution in full swing, there was a need for a shit ton of pencil pushers, especially abroad to administrate the far-flung colonies such as India.

Now, they could have used nobility, and indeed there was a fair amount of them working in the Imperial Beuracracy, but there wasn't enough of them, even when it became possible to purchase your titles, so you had what was in truth, a bunch of over-educated yobs and half-illiterate sons of merchants, who now rubbed shoulders with nobility and foreign royalty, and were earning a lot of money while doing so.
From here, these people gained aspirations for a higher social station, so they started talking differently, dressing differently (I think this is where suits really got popularised?) and treating everyone else differently.

The Empire is dead, but you still got people who are working these highly paid (for their level of commitment) private and public service sector/administrative positions who still carry the ego of old.
Oh, they like to pretend it's because they just 'care' about the working class, about the state of the country, about the NHS, about the poor migrants and brown people, but it's just another excuse to distance themselves from their often equally as wealthy lower-class kin.

Oh, but they don't want to be identified as upper class, even if they earn more money than them, because their jealous, they are 'intellectuals', men and women who 'earned' their place in society, not like those filthy pseudo-nobility who were born with a silver spoon in their mouths!
Why, yes, my parents did send me to a nice boarding school in Scotland, and yes, I did attend Oxbridge, what is your point?

It's tiresome to be near Middle-Class Londoners though, everything becomes an opportunity to grandstand, petty point-scoring that niggles into every fucking topic.
If I have to hear one more time about how open their family were to immigration during the 80's, I'm going to slap a motherfucker.
It's not just that they have to act superior to everyone, it's that they want you to acknowledge it.
 
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Slap47

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Can any Britbong explain to me what your middle class is supposed to be? From my understanding of your popular culture, it seems to include anyone who doesn't have a regional working class accent like a Geordie, Scouser, or West Country person, but at the same time doesn't have a noble title. I get this impression because Humphrey Appleby as a character is described as middle class despite being very privileged and in a position of power (see The Middle Class Ripoff), yet at the same time, Sargon of Applebees has also been called middle class, and he'd be considered lower middle class over here in Burgerland.
Americans seem obsessed with defining the middle class by income. That isn't how it works. It's an identity and a way of living in both countries.

70k a year? A million a year? Do you live in a freshly built suburb? Got a home owners association? Have camping trips? You're likely considered middle class in America. Lawyer? Garbage man? Oil worker? All that matters is the lifestyle and comfort.

The UK middle class is more stratified. They have respected professions that earn the title regardless of income. It can be lawyering, commerce or government. Manual labor in general is just "lower class" because they have stronger class identities.
 

Chicken Picnic

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Working class- probably earning less than 40k a year, likely lives in council (state funded) housing and may need benefits to help or completely pay for necessities. Might be able to afford one holiday in Europe a year or outside of Europe if they save their money well enough or get a cheap deal. Depending on where you live, housing ain't cheap in the UK. Buying a house is near on impossible if you're working class, you're renting for sure. Your job is low paying and you just about make rent/bills every month, you'll be lucky if you get enough spare cash for a holiday. University is expensive and doesn't even guarantee you a good job at the end of it, so many people feel kinda trapped in a life of working minimum wage in a shit area or working their asses off as a nurse for relatively low pay and still feeling shafted by the government.

Middle Class- has a mortgage, safe and well paying job. Doesn't have to worry about not making enough to pay for bills or anything, just lives very comfortable. Can afford holidays outside of Europe regularly for multiple weeks at a time no problems. Probably making well over 50k a year.

Then there's the upper middle class who have even more money, probably own some horses too. Can send their children to private school (grammar schools are still a thing just not as widespread) and afford private healthcare so they don't have to wait for NHS surgeries. They're probably doctors or lawyers, jobs earning a comfortable 80k+ a year. At the very top of this kinda class you have people like politicians.

I would say, as a Brit raised pretty working class, people hate the upper middle class more than just general middle class and it's mainly just due to an air of superiority many have around them. A lot of people will for example resent those who have private health care, as it basically just let's people jump the queue when it comes to seeing consultants or even getting surgery. NHS waiting lists for some areas mean you could be waiting 6 months or longer for a non-urgent operation, so I'm sure you can imagine the frustration someone could get from seeing someone with more money just waltz into a private hospital and get the same problem fixed in a couple of weeks.

Some people who start earning a lot more money have this tendency to not understand "how the other half lives" as we say. Basically they've never known what it's like to be poor because their families have been well earning, so they've never experienced it. They've had an easy life and will continue to have an easy life, as will their children most likely.

Many working class people hate the Tory (conservative) party government for this reason. A very large majority of them have been to some of the best private schools in the country, studied at the top universities because they have the connections to be accepted over working hard in school to be accepted and now have a very nice paying job that keeps getting nicer because they vote to give themselves payrises quite regularly, whilst simultaneously voting against giving low payed health care workers etc any kind of increased wage. These are the same people now during Corona times that are telling everyone to go and clap for the health service once a week to show their support for all the hard working health workers fighting the pandemic, after years of cutting funding and, in many people's opinion, completely fucking over the workers.

Upper middle class people are stereotypically more likely to support the Tory party because the policies (again stereotypically) support those with more money. The rich get richer etc etc. Idk how true that is personally, but there's definitely some truth there. Hard to tell when the same party has been in power since 2010, you can't really know what the other side would have done to the country no matter what the supporters of the opposing parties claim. Working class people feel like they're being shafted constantly basically, especially in the northern parts of the country as the south is a lot more full of rich twats. It's more people who have not had to work hard for their money that get the hate- people who have always had it easy so didn't struggle through living off of pot noodles in university and self funded study to get where they are as a doctor for example. Many doctors have worked extremely hard to get their jobs and know what it's like to be poor af if they've come from the bottom- those who have moved through the social ladder like that aren't usually hated like the others. It's the people who's parents payed for everything and never let their kids know hardship that get hated.

Personally, I know working class people who are shit people and upper middle class people who's are also absolute twats. I hate everyone equally :story:
 

mindlessobserver

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Its old world vs. New world social organization. In Europe your class is based on lineage first, cultured appearance and language second, and then the means to pay for the prior two third. You could be a very successful tradesman in England that owns a bunch of construction equipment and have 50 employees, but you will still be lower class. You got the money but you dont got the right accent, education, or parentage. This is a hangover from feudal times and the fact that old countries inevitably have old and inherited money. Even post revolutionary european countries like France and Italy still have this mentality.

In the New World, Mexico, Canada and the United States, but also latin America to a large extent, people came here often with just the shirt on their back. Even people with "means" had to engage in productive enterprises to be successful. Which meant the New World Aristocracy developed a very different view of what constituted the natural order of things. Instead of Breeding, Culture, Money, it was inverted. In the Americas its Money, Culture, Breeding. So that tradesman with the 50 employees would be considered upper class in America and the other wealthy people in the community will actively bring him into the fold, give him the country club invite and eventually have him marry one of their daughters so she can live in the manner to which she is accustomed. Something almost unheard of in Europe. This is by no means a hard rule in every circumstance mind you. Exceptions about everywhere and people are petty social creatures but it is the general thrust of things.

As an interesting aside this inversion of mentality was probably a very large contributing factor to the Revolutionary War between Britain and the 13 colonies. The American Aristocracy chafed massively under the almost casual disrespect heaped on them by the British Aristocacy.
 
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Rafal Gan Ganowicz

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Working class- probably earning less than 40k a year, likely lives in council (state funded) housing and may need benefits to help or completely pay for necessities. Might be able to afford one holiday in Europe a year or outside of Europe if they save their money well enough or get a cheap deal. Depending on where you live, housing ain't cheap in the UK. Buying a house is near on impossible if you're working class, you're renting for sure. Your job is low paying and you just about make rent/bills every month, you'll be lucky if you get enough spare cash for a holiday. University is expensive and doesn't even guarantee you a good job at the end of it, so many people feel kinda trapped in a life of working minimum wage in a shit area or working their asses off as a nurse for relatively low pay and still feeling shafted by the government.

Middle Class- has a mortgage, safe and well paying job. Doesn't have to worry about not making enough to pay for bills or anything, just lives very comfortable. Can afford holidays outside of Europe regularly for multiple weeks at a time no problems. Probably making well over 50k a year.

Then there's the upper middle class who have even more money, probably own some horses too. Can send their children to private school (grammar schools are still a thing just not as widespread) and afford private healthcare so they don't have to wait for NHS surgeries. They're probably doctors or lawyers, jobs earning a comfortable 80k+ a year. At the very top of this kinda class you have people like politicians.

I would say, as a Brit raised pretty working class, people hate the upper middle class more than just general middle class and it's mainly just due to an air of superiority many have around them. A lot of people will for example resent those who have private health care, as it basically just let's people jump the queue when it comes to seeing consultants or even getting surgery. NHS waiting lists for some areas mean you could be waiting 6 months or longer for a non-urgent operation, so I'm sure you can imagine the frustration someone could get from seeing someone with more money just waltz into a private hospital and get the same problem fixed in a couple of weeks.

Some people who start earning a lot more money have this tendency to not understand "how the other half lives" as we say. Basically they've never known what it's like to be poor because their families have been well earning, so they've never experienced it. They've had an easy life and will continue to have an easy life, as will their children most likely.

Many working class people hate the Tory (conservative) party government for this reason. A very large majority of them have been to some of the best private schools in the country, studied at the top universities because they have the connections to be accepted over working hard in school to be accepted and now have a very nice paying job that keeps getting nicer because they vote to give themselves payrises quite regularly, whilst simultaneously voting against giving low payed health care workers etc any kind of increased wage. These are the same people now during Corona times that are telling everyone to go and clap for the health service once a week to show their support for all the hard working health workers fighting the pandemic, after years of cutting funding and, in many people's opinion, completely fucking over the workers.

Upper middle class people are stereotypically more likely to support the Tory party because the policies (again stereotypically) support those with more money. The rich get richer etc etc. Idk how true that is personally, but there's definitely some truth there. Hard to tell when the same party has been in power since 2010, you can't really know what the other side would have done to the country no matter what the supporters of the opposing parties claim. Working class people feel like they're being shafted constantly basically, especially in the northern parts of the country as the south is a lot more full of rich twats. It's more people who have not had to work hard for their money that get the hate- people who have always had it easy so didn't struggle through living off of pot noodles in university and self funded study to get where they are as a doctor for example. Many doctors have worked extremely hard to get their jobs and know what it's like to be poor af if they've come from the bottom- those who have moved through the social ladder like that aren't usually hated like the others. It's the people who's parents payed for everything and never let their kids know hardship that get hated.

Personally, I know working class people who are shit people and upper middle class people who's are also absolute twats. I hate everyone equally :story:
So are you saying that the majority of working class people support the extremist commie Liebour Party? Highly doubt that
 

Chicken Picnic

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So are you saying that the majority of working class people support the extremist commie Liebour Party? Highly doubt that
Where did i say that lmao
I said many, not the majority, dislike the tory party. On the other hand, a lot of working class people voted for the tories because they thought they would help them and give them a better quality of life. Brexit party did pretty good with the working class too. The old labour party (pre blaire) was more popular with actual working class people iirc.
 

CWCissey

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If anything, I'd say we hate the middle class who say, 'Well we've made it chaps, PULL UP THE LADDERS!' more than the Middle Class as a whole.

When fucking nobility knows social climbing is actually a good thing for economies, you must be a complete tosser to stop it because you don't want some hardworking tradesman with a regional accent sending his kids (who have had a work ethic threatened in to them) to the same school as little Tarquin.

Best examples of these types were in Corbyn's shadow cabinet.
 

Hellbound Hellhound

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I think a big reason there appears to be more class-based animosity in the UK is because of how densely populated the country is compared to most other countries, and how this close proximity tends to force people from very different backgrounds to come into contact with one another in a way that they might not have to otherwise.

England alone has a higher population than every US state by far, and even just the capital city of London has more people than about 40 of the 50 states. What this means is that while the US has "hoods" and housing projects for it's poor, and gated, suburban communities for it's upper middle class; in the UK, people tend to live side-by-side, and as such, grow up with a much more acute appreciation of what it means to be a member of the class they belong to.

Obviously, this is sometimes going to lead to feelings of resentment.
 
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wtfNeedSignUp

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From how it looks to me:
Lower class hates the middle class for being whiny bitches.
Middle class hates the middle class for being competition.
Upper class hates the middle class for trying to fit in with them.
 

Fareal

will definitely consider what you have said
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We’ll try another way to explain class based resentment in the UK.

You need to watch three films by Mike Leigh: Life Is Sweet, Naked, and Secrets and Lies.

If that doesn’t work, we’ll recommend some Ken Loach. But honestly, you’ll enjoy the Leigh’s more.
 
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