Friday, 4 January 2008

What counts as posh?

Social class may no longer 'be the basis of British politics' with all else 'being embellishment and detail' as Peter Pulzer once famously said. (That must be one of the most used quotations in exam questions at University and A level). However, it is always bubbling along beneath the surface in British society.

The talented young singer Kate Nash has been accused in some discussions on YouTube and elsewhere of being posh, a mockney chancer no less. In some of her songs, e.g., Foundations, she affects something of an 'Estuary' accent. In part this because this is what the lyrics of the song requires and her normal speaking voice sounds pretty classless, neither BBC English nor chav. But accent has always been seen as one key give away of social class 'membership'.

Nash hails from Harrow, not the posh bit where the school is, but in the shadow of the hill, standard inter-war median income housing. Her father is in IT and her mother is a nurse.

Nash herself is something of a subtle social observer as her lyrics show. As she points in one interview, 'chavs' or the white working class are the one target seen as fair game for everyone.

No comments: