Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Julie Burchill: Having a go at ‘chavvy’ Jordan says more about snobs than her

Everybody's somebody's chav. Look at cut-glass Kate Middleton, with a voice like ice-clinky Pimm's poured from Waterford Crystal, who has had to put up with years of “Doors to manual” taunts from the gaggle of in-bred half-wits who wish they were in her shoes and her prince's bed.

This being so, I really don't see what all the fuss about Jordan being approached to guest-edit Radio 4's Today programme is about.

I love Jordan. She is her own Frankenstein and her own monster, impervious to insults and all those limp jeers of “Ooo, I wouldn't touch her”.

I like her views on the punishment of rapists, which is worthy of Valerie Solanas — when a man is convicted of the crime, he should be raped in turn by another, presumably gay, man.

Far, far more sensible and compassionate than the country which shares her name, where men regularly murder their female relatives — even children — who have been raped, in order to ‘cleanse’ the family ‘honour’.

Though murder is punishable by the death penalty in Jordan, a court usually commutes or reduces sentences in such shameful cases.

Between 15 and 20 women are murdered each year in Jordan in the name of honour and their parliament has repeatedly refused to introduce reforms to punish the crime properly. Yes, I certainly know which Jordan I prefer.

She says dumb things, but don't we all? The idiotic Archbishop of Canterbury, a former guest editor of Today, has said the adoption of some aspects of sharia law in the UK “seems unavoidable... there's a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law”. Like that on ‘honour’ killing, perhaps, you ocean-going nutter.

Jordan's no dumber than Stephen Fry, who claimed that the MPs' expenses fraud was “not that important, it really isn't... a tedious, bourgeois obsession”.

And isn't it great that the Catholic Church has just given the go-ahead for male prostitutes to use condoms, but not married men?

Because now Catholic male homosexuals can have sex without fear of infection, whereas Catholic women can practise the form of disease-avoidance that obviously suits them best: complete abstinence. Sorted.

The mere mention of Katie Price stepping up to that iconic microphone has let loose a torrent of that most heinous of four-letter C-words: chav.

Like I said, everybody's somebody's chav: I've had friends who were ex-prostitutes, welfare mothers and/or benefits dependents, chuck the word about disparagingly of other low-status people and it's as much as I could do not to laugh in their faces.

The latest example of this — though the word chav wasn't actually used — was the vile X Factor freak Wagner (a benefit-blagger from Brazil) calling Cheryl Cole “a girl from a council estate who got lucky”.

Her dignified response — “I am very proud of my roots and I am very, very lucky” — said it all.

No doubt about it — being non-racist is an extremely good thing. Sadly, over the past decade, an interesting number of those who passionately oppose racism in one breath have found no problem whatsoever in then firing vitriol and hatred at another group — the white working class — thus proving themselves to be utter hypocrites.

Still, I can't say I'm that fussed anymore, because I've worked out that, just like racists before them, if someone uses the word chav in a nasty way (as opposed to in a sarky, celebratory way like what I do) I know three things about them.

I know they're socially insecure, that they haven't got half as far in life as they thought they would and that they don't have sex much. Therefore, the word is used as much in fear as in loathing — and that gives me a warm feeling to the bottom of my shiny, chavvy soul, that snobs are suffering so tragically and lashing out so transparently.

Go, Jordan.

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