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324 of 396 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Class War
I hesitated to title this review 'Class War' - it seems so out-of-date, so 'old Labour'. But that is what this book is about. It is about the sustained economic, social and ideological attack on the majority of the population of this country.

The idea of 'chavs' is, these days, so pervasive that as I read the first few chapters, I had my doubts. The book seemed...
Published on 6 Jun 2011 by Diziet

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677 of 760 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity
I've read some remarkable reviews of this book in the press, most of which comment on how acutely it makes its argument, the forensic detail with which Jones writes, and the wonderful style he employs. Unfortunately, I didn't see much of any of these, and ultimately found this book frustrating. Not because I disagreed with the overall argument - far from it - but rather...
Published on 8 Aug 2011 by Christopher Pittard


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677 of 760 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity, 8 Aug 2011
I've read some remarkable reviews of this book in the press, most of which comment on how acutely it makes its argument, the forensic detail with which Jones writes, and the wonderful style he employs. Unfortunately, I didn't see much of any of these, and ultimately found this book frustrating. Not because I disagreed with the overall argument - far from it - but rather because at times it's a blunt analysis framed bluntly. It left me feeling that we on the left really need a much better voice than this.

First, the good points, of which there are some. Jones starts promisingly with some astute points about Dewsbury and how it differs from the media representation during the Shannon Matthews case. An early chapter on 1980s contexts for modern class politics is passionate and useful, if something of a primer for those who have never heard of the miners' strike. The real value of the book lies in its critique of the concept of meritocracy, in a passage that will challenge the thinking of many. Jones also effectively deploys some useful statistics and makes some valuable observations about the effects of the misperception of the median salary (£21,000, since you ask, although a better editor would have meant that we didn't have to be told this at least four times).

These points aside, however, the rest of the book is seriously undermined by three major problems:

Firstly, there's the way in which the book presents the working class themselves. Jones is right to challenge the conservative assumption that the working class remain so through choice, a lack of ambition, aptitude, and so on. The problem, however, is that Jones goes too far in the other direction, to the extent that the working class seem to be little more than passive economic victims. The tone is a little too deterministic (which is emphatically not, as the right would argue, the same as Marxist) and occasionally patronising. Related to this is the fact that the book treats the working class as a homogenous body, despite Jones' disclaimer that this stance is to be avoided. Jones has little to say on the fact that many of these chav-bashing attitudes are themselves rooted in certain kinds of working class cultures, a plurality that gets lost in the book's structure of the middle class sneering at the working class. There's also a tinge of romanticizing the working class here, which Jones explicitly says at the beginning he wants to avoid; sorry, you didn't, and especially not when trying to argue that Jade Goody's "poppadom" comments on Celebrity Big Brother might have been "racially tinged." You reckon?

Secondly, the book lacks any theoretical sophistication. Yes, I know it's aimed at a general readership, but that doesn't mean it can't be informed by more sophisticated arguments (Richard Sennett, for instance, writes beautifully and accessibly on similar concepts - see, for instance, his *The Hidden Injuries of Class* or *The Craftsman*), and for a book published by Verso it's a real disappointment in this respect. Jones talks about 'cultural capital,' but Pierre Bourdieu (a crucial source for how taste reinforces social division - which is what this book is supposed to be about) isn't even mentioned in the endnotes. Even Marx and Engels only get a fleeting mention. The book's main sources are (far too) numerous newspaper articles and the stylings of Polly Toynbee and Johann Hari; the former is at least a respected journalist, but this pedigree means that the book feels more like a string of newspaper opinion pieces than a deeply thought-out analysis. Take, for instance, Jones' solution to these problems, which really boils down to a sense of community (indeed, when he visits Ashington, he writes "There's a real sense of community in the air." Really? What does that smell like?). Community is the panacea here, but this seems simplistic, and Jones says nothing on how communities are also defined by exclusion (again, Richard Sennett and Benedict Anderson would have been really useful here). What's really surprising, however, is that Jones makes no reference at all to those who have written before him, making the very same points. I can just about accept that Richard Hoggart's *The Uses of Literacy* isn't at the forefront of working class studies nowadays, but it's really surprising that Michael Collins' *The Likes of Us*, which brought class back to the forefront, doesn't seem to exist in the world of this book.

Thirdly, Jones is really out of his depth when discussing culture, and unfortunately this takes up a hefty portion of the book. The real problem here is that he enthusiastically points out examples that support his thesis, while completely ignoring the many more that challenge it. For instance, he notes that songs such as the Kaiser Chiefs' "I predict a riot" demonizes the tracksuit wearing underclass, and from this concludes that modern popular culture follows suit; yet he seems utterly unaware that for every Chiefs album, there are many more that celebrate working class culture (the Streets, for instance). Likewise, while I hesitate to mount any kind of defence of *Little Britain*, Jones' criticism that Vicky Pollard presents a "grotesque caricature" misses the point that *all* of *Little Britain* is a grotesque caricature, including of the middle and upper class (had Pollard been missing, of course, this would have been invoked as evidence of removing the working class from culture altogether, although this is a far more sinister charge). But on this point, most striking is Jones' rewriting of wider cultural history. He makes the utterly inaccurate claim that the working class only appear in Victorian fiction as cartoonish figures, either ignoring or being ignorant of late Victorian naturalist fiction (Morrison, Gissing, Harkness, etc) and even very late Dickens; likewise, in a book supposedly about twentieth (and 21st) century cultural depictions of the working class, to have no mention whatsoever of Robert Tressell's *The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists* is absolutely shocking (but then again, this wouldn't square with Jones' argument that accurate depictions of the working class only came about in the 1960s).

I really wanted to agree with this book; indeed, in many respects I do, but in spite of it rather than because of it. I would recommend it as a beginner's text on these issues, but it doesn't really say anything more than what you'll have already read in the Guardian or Independent (oh come on, you're looking at this book - you're not a Daily Mailer, are you?).
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324 of 396 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Class War, 6 Jun 2011
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Diziet "I Like Toast" (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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I hesitated to title this review 'Class War' - it seems so out-of-date, so 'old Labour'. But that is what this book is about. It is about the sustained economic, social and ideological attack on the majority of the population of this country.

The idea of 'chavs' is, these days, so pervasive that as I read the first few chapters, I had my doubts. The book seemed merely an apologia for a post-industrial lumpenproletariat, a group of alienated misfits beyond the reach of the rest of society. But Jones' analysis is far wider, deeper and more powerful than that and deserves as wide an audience as possible.

The book starts with a shocking comparison between the media coverage of Shannon Matthews and Madeleine McCann. The point is forcefully made that the coverage clearly showed a deep-rooted class prejudice - and ignorance. The McCann's come from the same class as the majority of journalists, leader writers and 'opinion formers'. The same journalists have virtually no experience of the world of Shannon Matthews. Jones makes the point in a quote from Kevin Maguire of the Mirror:

'Increasingly, the lives of journalists have become divorced from those of the rest of us. 'I can't think of a national newspaper editor with school-age kids who has them in a state school,' [Maguire] reflects. 'On top of that, most journalists at those levels are given private medical insurance. So you're kind of taken out of everyday life.' (P27)

Jones continues:

'More than anything, it is this ignorance of working-class life that explains how Karen Matthews became a template for people living in working-class communities. 'Perhaps it's because we're all middle class that we tut at the tragic transition of aspirational working class to feckless, feral underclass, and sneer at the brainless blobs of lard who spend their days on leatherette sofas in front of plasma TVs, chewing the deep-fried cud over Jeremy Kyle,' speculated commentator Christina Patterson. 'We've got a word for them too: "Chavs''' (P27)

So how did this come about? How has the whole working class come to be seen as a 'feckless, feral underclass'? Jones continues with a look at 'Class Warriors'. He suggests that:

'Thatcherism fought the most aggressive class war in British history...Thatcher wanted to end the class war - but on the terms of the upper crust of British society. 'Old fashioned Tories say there isn't any class war,' declared Tory newspaper editor Peregrine Worsthorne. 'New Tories make no bones about it: we are class warriors and we expect to be victorious.' (P48)

This class war was waged as an attack on collectivism - the promotion of an aggressive individualism that sees success or failure as a purely personal matter. Everyone should naturally aspire to be middle class. This is not simply the adoption of a neoliberal free market economic philosophy but also an essentially neoconservative cultural approach - defining whole working class communities as 'chavs'. And it worked, thoroughly and conclusively:

'Even before the advent of New Labour, Thatcherism had ensured that the working class would be bereft of political champions. 'The real triumph was to have transformed not just one party, but two,' as [Geoffrey] Howe was later to put it.' (P71)

This reminded me very much of Peter Oborne's The Triumph of the Political Class. Hardly a left-wing firebrand, Oborne details the formation of a metropolitan elite. Oborne suggests:

'The Media Class and the Political Class share identical assumptions about life and politics. They are affluent, progressive, middle- and upper-middle class. This triumphant metropolitan elite has completely lost its links with a wider civil society.' (The Triumph of the Political Class, P259)

In case there was any doubt left, Jones states:

'New Labour, through programmes like its welfare reform, has propagated the chav caricature by spreading the idea that people are poor because they lack moral fibre. Surveys show that attitudes towards poverty are currently harder than they were under Thatcher. If people observe that even Labour holds the less fortunate to be personally responsible for their fate, why should they think any different? No wonder the image of communities teeming with feckless chavs has become so ingrained in recent years.' (P94)

Jones details how even supposedly liberal opinion can come to regard the working class as 'chavs'. By emphasising that the working class is predominantly white working class, liberal opinion can ignore the economic underpinnings of class in favour of, as Jones puts it, 'racialization':

'It's one of the ways people have made their snobbery socially acceptable,' says journalist Johann Hari: 'by acting as though they are defending immigrants from the "ignorant" white working class." (P116)

Although, in the past, television representations of working class life might have included Alf Garnett, they also included shows like The Likely Lads and The Rag Trade. Nowadays working class representations seem limited to Vicky Pollard, Wayne and Waynetta, Shameless or even Eden Lake ('[i]t may not come as a surprise that the Daily Mail treated Eden Lake as though it was some kind of drama-documentary, quavering that it was 'all too real' and urging every politician to watch it.' P131)

The representations of the working class have changed as the economic conditions have changed. With the deindustrialization of large swathes of the country, the 'flexibilization' of the work force, the increasing numbers of low-paid, low-skill and part-time jobs, the labour market has become an 'hourglass' economy:

'highly paid jobs at one end, and swelling numbers of low-paid, unskilled jobs at the other. The middle-level occupations, on the other hand, are shrinking.' (P152)

This has significantly weakened the opportunities for collective action. When staff turnover is high, union power is limited. The attacks on the remaining bastions of union activity continue. The latest targets are public sector workers who are currently being portrayed as over-paid, pampered and secure, which is so far from the truth it is almost laughable. Given the 'hourglass economy', commentators who point to a lack of working class aspiration are rather missing the point.

Even after all this, the class war continues. Turning on the radio this morning, I heard that Vince Cable is threatening further anti-union legislation. In the same news bulletin, it was announced that '[over the last 30 years] wages grew by over 100% for judges, barristers and solicitors, while they fell by 5% for forklift truck drivers and 3% for packers and bottlers.' (BBC 'TUC: Wage stagnation over decades as income gap widens').

After all that, it is very difficult to not agree with Owen Jones when he says:

'...as a government of millionaires led by an Old Etonian prepares to further demolish the living standards of millions of working class people, the time has rarely been so ripe for a new wave of class politics.' (P257)
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time for the exploited to rise up., 31 Jan 2013
I've been wanting to read this for a while, and have finally got round to it. It's an interesting book and very timely in the effort that Jones is making to rescue the depiction of the poor from the clutches of the right wing. Having read this back to back with The Shock Doctrine (a far more disturbing and wide-ranging book) I feel suitably angry and want to do something about it, but frustrated at the lack of a viable strategy for tackling those heartless bastards who run the world.

The author is an angry young man, and that means that the book frequently has a strident edge and is inclined to bang home the same statistics and arguments again and again. His target audience is quite clearly the lay socialist and he lets us have it with both barrels. That's no bad thing, but it tends to position his argument in the same tradition of easy claims and blinkered ideology that he so frequently criticises on the other side. No sensible reader would disagree that the mass media and their political lickspittle always argue from the specific to the general in their attacks on the working class. The likes of Shannon Matthews, as Jones points out very effectively, are always presented as typical of a wider demographic. Yet Jones plays the same game when he talks of the rich and powerful, and even the 'middle class', as if they were homogenous. It's a self-defeating rhetorical strategy and disappointingly obvious.

Part of the problem of the book is that Jones buys into the class labels he writes about too easily. Even in the preface he provides two opinion polls one of which gives a result of over half the population self-classifying as working class, while the second poll has 71 percent identifying themselves as middle class. Jones is right to point out the differences of emphasis in the questions asked but seems to overlook the significance of the results - that the elision of notional class boundaries means that it is outdated to talk in terms of the middle class and the working class. It is worse than outdated, it is actually counterproductive to the kind of renewal of class struggle that Jones is arguing for. I bet if there was a third poll that asked people if they identified themselves as being a member of the 'exploiting class' or the 'exploited class' we would have a much clearer, and more effective, result. The rest of the book bears this out and I'm afraid I cannot believe that using old labels, which are in anyway neutered by the deluge of right wing propaganda, is the way forward.

The struggle of the exploited can only progress by sidestepping the debate framed by the rich and powerful and by offering a new framework of identity, agenda and strategy for implementation of the struggle. In any asymetric conflict the weak must avoid playing to the strengths of the strong. Therefore traditional notions of class have to be set aside. Upper, middle, working and under-class are terms that have been semantically colonised by the right. They have been shaken up, mixed up and rendered virtually meaningless and useless as tools to galvanise opinion. So why not rally behind a much simpler formulation? Such as the exploiting class and the exploited class. What median, or middle class, person would not identify with the notion that they were being exploited while the rich were getting away with murder? It would clarify the struggle beautifully and ensure that a far wider demographic would rally behind efforts to rebalance society.

Incidentally, it would also provide a mechanism for avoiding the trap that Jones frequently sets for himself in apologising for anti-social and immoral behaviour within the working class. It's all very well to say that youth gangs provide a sense of community in areas where social structures have been torn down as a consequence of Thatcher's war on the workers, but if that new community makes life a misery for others then it is surely a manifestation of the same instinct to exploit that wealthier exploiters share? Equally, those who do engage in outright benefit fraud are exploiting others. Only by accepting this can the left get round the conflation of working class, deserving poor, feral underclass and idle poor that allows the right to lump them all in together.

The book's outstanding section dismantles the term 'chav' very effectively and lays out the hypocrisy in the media's coverage of the McCann and Matthews cases. More disturbing is the litany of attacks on the working class in television programmes, factual as well as fiction, and newspaper articles all authored by middle class individuals whose sense of disgust at the downtrodden can only come across as the most vile prejudice against a whole class on the basis of twisted representations of a handful of examples. I know it is fashionable to regard our politicians as corrupt scum, but I dare say as a class there is a vastly higher proportion of them who are fiddling their expenses than there are members of the working class claiming benefits to which they are not entitled. One fact suffices to nail this aspect of Jones's book: welfare fraud costs the nation one billion pounds a year. Tax evasion on the other hand costs the UK seventy billion a year. That's just evasion, not avoidance of the kind that Jimmy Carr practised so effectively.

Where Jones is frequently on weaker ground is in his use of unqualified 'facts' and one-sided readings of certain matters. Take his assertion that 'over half of the top hundred journalists were educated at private school'. I had no idea there was a list of the top hundred. Based on what I wonder? It's just lazy to throw that kind of information around. Or later on when he castigates the 'privileged' for being able to 'top up their children's education by hiring private tutors.' I confess that I have had to do just this for my sons - the reason being that the maths classes at their local comprehensive were so inadequate that I had no choice but to pay a tutor to fill the gap left by the school. This is not a case of topping up, but of remedying a deficit. Yeah, I feel really privileged that I have had to shell out for my sons' education on top of the taxes I already pay for state education...

It's a shame that this kind of thinking creeps into Jones's analysis from time to time because it tends to spoil the essential truth and rightness of his argument that there is a desperate need to change the direction that the UK is heading. If the right continues to be unchecked then we will live in an increasingly segregated society where tens of millions of fellow human beings will have to endure lives of penury and misery through no fault of their own. There is a limit to what will people will endure, as we have witnessed in the middle east. Who knows? Before too much longer, Cameron and his millionaire cabinet cronies might well provoke a working class spring in Britain. Whether that is a good thing is anyone's guess.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars He has a point but he does go on, 18 Aug 2013
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Owen Jones repeats himself quite a bit in this book. He has a point, but it is not argued well. For example, he does not deal with the central point that the middle classes may be right in their characterisation of the rump of ex-working classes having become feckless, irresponsible, apathetic, and habitually drunk/stoned. If there is truth in this his widely held view, his proposals to address the problem will not work.

Owen believes that non skilled and semi skills jobs could be created by Government policy in large volumes in exactly the right places for English white unemployed to get working again in high status jobs (he considers factory and mining jobs higher status than call centre and retail jobs). I doubt this is true, and Owen Jones is entirely unconvincing on why and how this would work.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some good ideas, but repetitive and unfocussed, 17 Mar 2013
By 
Ray Woodhams (Barnsley, S Yorks United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Frankly the book reads as if it was written to meet the requirements of an academic journal and then padded out when someone had the idea that it might sell as a book. The repetition is quite blatant from time to time.
Confusion is rife in the varied descriptions and lack of definition applied to the term "working class". There is a vague attempt to produce a working definition, but after several pages it evaporates into emptiness. This is not entirely the authors fault of course, the definition, and indeed the existence, of class as a concept, is a study in itself, but when the title of the book is explicit in claiming that the "working class" have been demonised, it is essential to define terms.
The book is at its strongest and most persuasive in the first chapter which deals head on with the mis-characterisation of whole communities by the press in the reporting of the disappearance of (working class) Shannon Mathews, which is contrasted well with the sympathy afforded the middle class parents of Madeleine McCann.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A sparrow is a bird, but not all birds are sparrows, 27 Feb 2012
What first surprised me about this book was the use of the term chavs to describe working class people as a whole. I discussed it with a wide range of friends and family, scattered across the country, and they all agreed: chavs may be working class, but not all working class are chavs. I think the description of a chav on Wikipedia gives a very complete and accurate picture of what a chav is - or at least what I and friends and family perceive as a chav. They are one element in the working class, just as travellers for example are another element in the working class. I would argue that the vast majority of working class people - employed, unemployed, single, married, pregnant, not pregnant, on benefits, not on benefits, anything, not on anything - are not chavs at all. To describe them as such is as bad as coralling together the entire middle class (for sake of argument those in professional and managerial occupations) and describing them all as toffs.
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A category error, innit?, 24 Sep 2012
By 
Owen Jones's book starts from a false premise - that `chav' and `working class' are synonymous. Chavs are a particular subset of a much broader social stratum. Moreover, while many may mock aspects of chav culture (the Burberry cap, the status Staffy, calling offspring after footballers, etc.), to poke fun is not to demonise - any more than to find the `toffs' of 'Made in Chelsea' absurd is actively to despise them.

If I were to dislike a group of people for the accident of their birth into underprivileged circumstances, that really would be contemptible. However, it seems more reasonable to dislike the freely chosen attitudes and behaviours of a smaller chav subset - viz. feckless dependency and anti-social activity which makes others' lives (often their working class neighbours) a misery. Remarkably similar characteristics are shown by a subset of the upper class, like the Bullingdon Club yahoos depicted in the recent play 'Posh': both groups think the world owes them a living, and both show cavalier disregard for anyone with the misfortune to be in their way. Can I not deplore these attributes, whoever is exhibiting them, without being accused of class hate?
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars wrong jar! right lable!, 27 Jan 2013
I am working class and have been all my life and having experienced the deprevation and poverty of the 60's and 70's in the UK I consider my self more than qualified to comment on this book. To say that I am dissapointed whith the apologist mindset of the author is to understate. This book was not what I was expecting as it completely misrepresents "the working class". The book presents chavs as victims which in most cases is completely untrue. If the author lived where I lived and and had the daily contact I have. It would be a different book.Chavs as I know them are a contempoary subculture" of young people who choose to "celebrate antisocial behavior". If chavs are the product of an opressed "working class then we would all be like that. most of us are hard working dignified people who ourselves are the victims of these morons who choose by their free will to identify themsrlves with the fashion and behaviour tha goes hand in hand with this subculture. I live in an inner city low pay social housing area where your neigbours throw rubbish over the fence and keep you up till the early hours with mind numbing music and tell you to f°°k off when you reasonably try to correct the situation, then I think that qualifies you to draw the conclusion who or who is not a "Chav". I am not and neither are my children.because we choose not to be despite being working class and I reitetate Working.
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38 of 48 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 12 Feb 2012
By 
J. Goddard "Jim Goddard" (Shipley) - See all my reviews
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I am very much in agreement with the excellent review by Christopher Pittard, so I won't waste time repeating his central points here. However, there are a few things I would add. Firstly, it is hard to know which I am most exasperated by, the book itself or the fawning praise it has received by some figures on the left that I imagined would know better. Some reviewers clearly have low standards; 'trenchant', 'important' and 'forensic' are not words that should be allowed anywhere near a reviewer's lexicon when assessing this book. Anyway, it's a long time since I have read a book that irritated me quite this much.

Like Pittard, I agree with Jones on some points and I regard myself as on the left. I also happen to know a bit about some of the subjects that Jones writes about. This makes it easier to spot the over-simplifications, gaps, lack of evidence and various other problems. I have annotated such problems on most of the pages of my copy (yes, it took a long time). The book reads as though written by someone who has spent too much time hanging around on the left, hearing the same old platitudes in meetings and bars. The over-reliance on newspaper clippings is a tell-tale sign of this. It turns the book into a 269-page Guardian-style rant (and we all know how tiresome those can be). Much of his 'evidence' consists of interviews with the great and good of politics (and some working-class people), splicing up the transcripts for whatever quote suits the point he is making. He does gives some other genuine and useful evidence but it is rare.

What most irked me was the unfailingly deterministic and patronising view of the working-class that Jones exhibits. It's common amongst many middle-class people so one shouldn't be too harsh on him I suppose, given his background. When you are on the outside looking in, you tend to over-emphasise the externals. However, it is a fundamental flaw to strip working-class people of their moral autonomy by blaming almost everything that happens to them on social conditions and the perfidious Tories (oh, and those sell-outs in the Labour Party of course). Coming from a working-class background myself, it doesn't surprise me that so many of them vote Tory. Mistaken it may be, but one can see that it's a relief from being treated like sheep by too many socialists. Tory individualism is deeply flawed in many ways, but at least it takes seriously the concept that we are, in fact, something more than members of a class. It is because of a sense of their own moral autonomy that the most vehement criticisms you will ever hear of fecklessness come not from the Daily Mail but from working-class people themselves. There is far more to that age-old phenomenon than media manipulation. This is also why Jones' claim that criticism of 'chavs' is disguised criticism of the working-class is so fundamentally misguided. He could do with reading more history. While he's at it he might care to look up Karl Marx's disgraceful view of the 'lumpenproletariat'. Now there's another middle-class intellectual who liked his categories.

It's a shame. There are interesting things to be said about the subject. I sympathise with some of the book's aims. It is also true that the working class in general has largely disappeared from the political and cultural landscape except as a series of caricatures. Unfortunately, Jones just provides another example of the left-wing versions of those caricatures. Never has it been more apparent that working class people need to get used to speaking for themselves again rather than leaving it to others. I'll exhibit my own personal prejudice here and say that the first step on that road is for more of them to do what I have done and get rid of their television sets. That's 28 hours a week (on average) of middle-class-controlled pap removed in one fell swoop. More time for reading (and criticising) books like this.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a champion for the chavs, 16 Jan 2012
By 
C. Nielsen - See all my reviews
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I had heard much about this book and as i have english friends and an english god son i decided to check it out. As a whole i find it disappointing. It is not a scientific or openminded unbiased approach to the issue. Thre are a couple of interesting anecdotes and interwievs in this book but for the most part it's just a long whimpering defence speech for and on behalf of the so called chavs. Apparently Jones feels that it's perfectly acceptable to do what you want if you happen to be a working class victim of thatcherism or abandonment from the New Labour Party. The fact that any one who actualle works for a living and obeys the laws of the land do not consider themselves to be chavs, seems to have escaped Jones notice. He clearly set out to defend the chavs but has in my opinion actually done a fine job of showing the world why chavs are disliked. The examples he uses to show them as victims of society serve only to justify any working and reasonably intelligent person that their wievs on chavs are wholly justified and inadvertently supported by Jones himself.
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