Not having crippling debts for decades: The new signifiers of being working-class

THERE’S no shortage of working-class cliches, from owning a whippet to working as a horny gamekeeper. But times change, and these are the signifiers of being working-class now.

Not having crippling debts aged 21

Tuition fees mean working-class people who didn’t go to uni get off to a flying start in life without £45,000+ debts, and graduates are understandably bitter. After all that shitty coursework and sleepless nights during A-levels it turns out your parents’ advice should have been: ‘James! Get back on the Xbox! If you don’t fail your exams you’ll never get on the property ladder!’

Shitty bingo games on phones

Betting has strong working-class associations, but cloth-capped miners smoking fags in dingy betting shops have been overtaken by mobile games called things like ‘Monte Carlo Bingo’, tapping into a new and massive market of working-class women with a shaky grasp of probability. Strangely games of chance have bypassed the middle-classes, which is probably just as well or there’d be yummy mummies boring you rigid about Emily placing her first accumulator at Ladbrokes.

St George’s Cross flags 

Union Jacks were once perfectly adequate for everyone’s Royal wedding, warship identification and National Front membership needs. Then football-loving white van men started plastering their vehicles and homes with the St George version, often to a ludicrous extent. There are now probably thousands of former council houses that would instantly collapse without the red and white flags holding them together. 


Trampoline ownership is rigidly split down class lines. If Britain ever has a bitter class-based civil war, middle-class troops could simply round up anyone with a trampoline and shoot them, although ‘The Argos Trampoline Massacre’ doesn’t have quite the same gravitas as 1905’s ‘Bloody Sunday’.

Random glowing things in gardens

Thanks to light-emitting diodes becoming incredibly cheap, proles have been able to fill their gardens with tat ranging from boss-eyed gnomes on glowing mushrooms to illuminated candy canes. Middle-class bastards can still have a good sneer at their lack of taste, so everyone’s a winner, apart from Chinese factory workers exposed to carcinogens on a daily basis while making frogs in waistcoats carrying lanterns. 

Earning loads more than your social superiors

Historically, middle-class jobs meant you were comfortably-off and working-class people scrimped and saved their factory wages to afford net curtains and pies. Then a shortage of tradesmen and a housing boom meant lots of working-class people were earning much more than teachers and solicitors. And why not? Although it has created a whole new pastime for pub bores: telling anyone with a degree they ‘should’ve become a plumber’.

Exciting new fictional stereotypes 

Proletarian characters in films and TV were once limited to overly-familiar roles like dimwitted blonde secretary, young man stifled by his working-class background, and sexually-incontinent window cleaner. All that has changed, and working-class people are now represented by much more realistic and relevant characters, eg. East End gangster, chav kid on a BMX and murdered Victorian prostitute.

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£120 train ticket better get sodding checked

A TRAIN ticket that cost more than £100 had better get checked by either a guard or a barrier or preferably both.

Train passenger Nikki Hollis forked out triple figures for an off-peak, unreserved seat between Cardiff and London Paddington, and is now going to make sure someone or something actually bothers to check it.

She said: “This ticket single-handedly ate up all my disposable income for the month. If I don’t have to put it through gates at both ends of my journey and show it to an inspector I’m going to lose my shit.

“Unlike freeloaders who cower in the toilets or pretend to be asleep, I’ll be striding up and down the carriages waving my ticket in the air. It would be a waste to hide a prestige purchase like this in my pocket.

“Don’t train companies realise that the risk of tickets being checked is the only thing keeping them afloat? Take that away and social contracts like the quiet carriage or letting people off before you board would swiftly descend into Mad Max-style anarchy.

“Hordes of ravenous cheapskates would then quickly flood onto the nation’s platforms, safe in the knowledge that rush-hour journeys will no longer bankrupt them. The buffet cart would be ransacked in seconds.

“That being said I’m going to be pissed off if I have to dig out my railcard. It’s right at the bottom of my handbag and it expired in 2018.”