White Working Class Boys’ Day


“I am here; and here is nowhere in particular.” Golding

If there’s something perceived to be wrong or unfair let’s shake a day, a week or a month at it. The Labour leadership hopeful Liz Kendall praised a primary school for holding an ‘aspirations week’. She said that the week would: “teach girls and boys, particularly from white working class communities, about the chances in life they may not even know exist – like being an engineer, a chemist and even leader of the Labour party.” This is a new rap, the jobs that do exist but the white working class don’t know about… I don’t know where white working class people get their prescriptions from but they must know that Ed Miliband was a not very successful leader of Labour, but no, clearly they need a week shaken over their brain dense heads to make them want to become leader of the labour party…

Every day is a something day it seems, as though these things make a difference, they are certainly easy to justify… ‘what have we done for girls?’ – ‘We had a sponsored something or other on international women’s day and raised awareness through an ironic wear pink clothes in honour of Harriet Harman’s bus…’

Now that white working class men fare so badly in the Western World should we have a special ‘white working class boy day’? It will raise awareness! Whilst the chattering classes have been sorting out their privilege, working maleness has been maligned to a point of pointlessness. Let them build office blocks, learn to be engineers, have a day to make them aspire! William Golding wrote in the Spire: “There’s a kinship among men who have sat by a dying fire and measured the worth of their life by it.” If the fire is dying, so is their worth…

But what are these men? All made of puppy dog’s tails, the heroes of yore,  have become the has-beens, the never-wills, of now… If the Labour Party elects a working class male there will be a cry it should have elected a woman… What do you want from these horny handed ones? To become middle class? To aspire to STEM jobs? In schools there’s not much Technology and Engineering the cry is mainly science and maths but not much to aspire to in S&M…

Get the mindset right boys and you too can be chemists… not naughty ones knocking out legal highs but ones who work in Boots…

This is the flaw in educating for the workplace, in the end it offers nothing to those who don’t fulfil their desires. We’re mostly failures in Britain’s Got Talent, the glory goes to a privileged few and the rest return to obscurity. As Golding writes: “There ought to be some mode of life where all love is good, where one love can’t compete with another but adds to it.” Can’t we all be at school for the sake of each other and learn to live with and love one another? Education for its own sake, pursuing wisdom, not factionalism, aspiration and S&M…?

7 thoughts on “White Working Class Boys’ Day

  1. Maths is a poor example of a subject that is taught for practical purposes.

    Its teachers struggle to get the interest of many students precisely because of its lack of perceived direct applicability to the “real world”. Try explaining to students why they should do pure Geometry, with proofs! and where that will get them in later life, then come and tell us how practical high school Maths is.

    I know that this blog is supposedly keen on a well-rounded education, so I would hope that wouldn’t come at the expense of slagging off pure maths. Or any other subject for that matter. It makes you sound otherwise like a stereotypical humanities teacher who despises what they can’t do.

    There’s a place for practical subjects like technology, in which I would include accounting etc. Some students don’t like, and aren’t equipped to deal with, abstract subjects. Giving them algebraic proofs or essays on Shakespeare isn’t “a well-rounded education”, but a meaningless torture — to satisfy the precondition that everyone has to aspire to higher learning.

    Let’s give the kids who can mentally cope with it the highest possible education, which will include pure maths and science alongside literature and the arts. Let’s allow those that want to learn more practical things to do so — not because it prepares them for the workplace (because it surely doesn’t) but because that is the best way to allow them to actually enjoy school.


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