Working Class Poem by Josephine Corcoran

Proletarian Poetry

bernard rightonLet’s start with a joke: “There’s a black fella, a Pakistani, and a Jew in a nightclub. What a fine example of an integrated community.” Here’s another one for ya, “Two homosexuals in the back of a van, having sex. They’re over twenty-one! What’s wrong with that?” These are the anti-stereotype jokes of ‘Bernard Righton’, a character acted by the comedian John Thompson in the Fast Show from the 1990s. The second joke in fact shows how far we have come as the age of same sex consent is now 16. Although progress has been made in challenging stereotypes, many still exist, and often they target the working class.

The latest to be challenged, is that of the Essex girl; Essex is a county in England, and the stereotype is that it is populated by bleach-blonde, high-heeled, promiscuous women of low intelligence. This has…

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