Sunday 28 July 2013

Quotes About Class (and Kirstie Allsop)

Labour MP @SimonDanczuk, humiliated by @OwenJones84 on BBC2, yelled "It's alright for you, you come from the posh part of Stockport!" (‏@mrmarksteel, 2 July 2013)

I was astonished to find that it was possible to spend your life surrounded by great literature and remain (or become) paralysed by snobbery. (Julian Barnes, Guardian, July 2013)

A London of struggling writers "living in a middle-class style on a working-class income”. (John Goode on writer George Gissing)

Cashed-up bogans... It is a term my middle-class tribe uses disparagingly to make us feel better about being educated, but comparatively poor. I am not the first privately educated university graduate who wishes she had done a truck-driving course instead. (BBC on Australian chavs 2013-02-24)

Nothing is more bourgeois than to be afraid to look bourgeois. (Andy Warhol)

The journey was mind-numbingly tedious: a sequence of Ms and As with various numbers attached, interspersed with service stations that appeared to be patronised solely by people who had recently been released from prison. Where were the middle classes? There's a gap in the market – I'm sure a service station that incorporated a contemporary art gallery and a sushi restaurant would be a huge success. I'd go there. The Age of Uncertainty

The old class stratifications have gone – it’s much more nuanced now, says the BBC 2013-04-03 commenting on its new survey. (People have said this every year for the past 30 years.)

In girls’ school stories by Angela Brazil and Enid Blyton (they flourished from the 1900s to the 50s), girls allegedly expressed approval with the phrase “Oh, jolly hockey sticks!”. NGram Viewer shows that it appears in the mid-60s and rises sharply to the present. says it was invented in the 50s by Beryl Reid for her radio character, the schoolgirl Monica.

It has become What To Say About TV property expert Kirstie Allsop, who went to the progressive and non-hockey-playing Bedales school.

As always with Kirstie, it's all very jolly hockey sticks. She's an Enid Blyton head girl on a mission and she's starting with the hall… She's right, it is much more satisfying to pick up a vintage one-off or to make something yourself than it is waiting for your ticket number to come up at Argos. And you'll never run the risk as having the same curtains as Maureen down the road. But while all of this is very nice, does anyone in their right mind really have the time to design their own stained glass window, weld their own bookends or crochet a five-sided gift box "perfect for chocolate, soaps or even a plant”? (

Jolly hockeysticks? That's all Nancy Mitford, Kirstie Allsop, "Ooh rah, time for games!" isn't it? (Facebook) (Nancy Mitford never wrote school stories.)

Kirstie is terribly jolly hockeysticks. (

Kirstie used to seem naive, jolly hockeysticks, flirtatious. (mumsnet)

Kirstie’s jolly hockeysticks persona is a bit unusual in TV these days but I think she carries it off. I like crafts but I find her craft shows a bit too twee. (mumsnet)

The world presented in the movie is a kind of jolly-hockeysticks rural idyll where kids can run around the countryside all day unimpeded and the locals are eccentric yokels. The threats to this way of life come from city-dwelling interlopers and the loss of good manners. (Review on of a Nanny McPhee film. “Running around the countryside” does not involve hockeysticks.) has a category of “jolly hockeysticks books”.

More classy quotes here, and links to the rest.

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