The Guardian interviews Owen Jones

Universities must act to eradicate discrimination against working-class students, including the mockery of regional accents, equality campaigners have said.

A Guardian investigation has found widespread evidence of students at some of the country’s leading universities being ridiculed over their accents and backgrounds, in some cases prompting them to leave education.

The analysis found discrimination against working-class students was particularly prevalent among Russell Group universities. The group, which is made up of 24 institutions, has a reputation for academic excellence.

In a series of Guardian interviews, students past and present reported bullying and harassment over their accents and working-class backgrounds. Some said their academic ability was questioned because of the way they spoke.

Young Owen, famously, listening to George Formby records while at Oxford in order to preserve his accent.

18 thoughts on “The Guardian interviews Owen Jones”

  1. FFS… Today’s students must be a delicate little shower of petals. I’m a “black country” lad, with the accent to match. I’ve degrees from two Russell Group universities, admittedly from 40+ years ago, but I don’t remember any “discrimination” against me other than a bit of mild piss-taking because I said things like “bath” rather than “barth”. Other than that, had it got serious they would have discovered that “a smack in the gob may offend”, though I doubt that little Owen and his ilk would consider such an option – better to “run and tell teacher”.

    Jesus wept!

  2. How about the discrimination against working class students by accusing them all of having ‘white privilege’ and if they dare to suggest they don’t calling them racists and ‘white supremacists’?

    Regional ways of talking might also be a bit of a problem:
    ‘Wayne, its been reported that you have called several students who identify as women ‘love’. This is an open and shut case of sexist toxic male behaviour, which we are going to discipline you for, and if it occurs again, we will expel you. Love the accent by the way, and the flat cap. How are your whippets these days?’

  3. So I asked lil miss aaa about her experience as a first year southerner at a northern university. She said that her northern flatmates tease her all the time about [being posh/voting Tory/being soft/not being able to take a joke] as a result of coming from the south. Yet she didn’t think they were trying to make her feel bad. She just laughs it off.

    This entire Guardian campaign is – and I hate to shock you here – totally fucking stupid. It’s a few northern pansies who can’t take a joke and who couldn’t last five seconds in the real world.

  4. When are they going to wipe out discrimination in kindergarten?

    I mean, 5 year olds pick on each other relentlessly.

    I think solution is full Ecksian treatment of equality campaigners.

  5. I’m from the South but did my MSc at Newcastle and was nicknamed Bertie Wooster because of the way I spoke.

    It quite amused me really, especially as I went to a comprehensive school.

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    other than a bit of mild piss-taking because I said things like “bath” rather than “barth”.

    Of course its “bath”, otherwise Jesus would have risen in to Nazareth on his “arss” not his “ass”.

    So I asked lil miss aaa about her experience as a first year southerner at a northern university. She said that her northern flatmates tease her all the time about [being posh/voting Tory/being soft/not being able to take a joke] as a result of coming from the south. Yet she didn’t think they were trying to make her feel bad. She just laughs it off.

    This is known as character building, or if you buy in to the anti-fragile philosophy, resilience building. Its aimed at making sure people don’t get “too big for their boots” and is a well known northern trait. (I’m fairly sure it goes on everywhere).

  7. Young people exaggerate trivial differences in order to obliterate them. This ragging, banter, call it what you will, was in any other age known as team building or social bonding. Trust Jones and the Guardian not to move on.

  8. Apparently local students with the local accent are being teased, ridiculed and “cancelled” at Durham uni by the posh Hoorah Henries.

  9. Hem hem


    Newmania
    February 14, 2019 at 11:15 am
    What about if , off the back of your meeja exposure, you trouser vast payments for your crappy book .
    Guido 2015 estimated that Jones made..”a cool half-a-million quid in the last 12 months…”
    Owen Jones reputedly listened to George Formby records at night so as to keep his working class accent whilst at Oxford .
    I like him. ”

    Oh me, oh my, I hope my little joke will come by…..

  10. I can remember precisely one incident in my time at school and university when someone was subjected to mass joshing because of his accent.

    In our primary school class was a lad named John, from somewhere (presumably) in the south of England. John couldn’t pronounce “r”. Did we tease him? We did not. We were the very quintessence of good manners.

    Then in secondary school we started to learn French. It turned out that poor old John, who couldn’t pronounce a trilled “r”, couldn’t pronounce the back-of-the-throat French “r” either. We all burst out laughing at the surprise of it. And that was that – never mentioned again.

    Advice to sad-sack Northern Englishmen in Russell Group universities – get off your fucking knees.

  11. Hmm.. accents, eh?
    They’re running a major ad campaign on Spotify in the Netherlands to remind expats to get their paperwork in order before Jan 1st.

    Done by a Serious Lady with a lovely accent I remember from my sojourns in the western midlands.. Soooooo much better than that bloody Queen’s/BBC World poshite… 😉

  12. Oh, and given that that campaign is partially funded by the dutch govt:

    The EU may be posturing, but the more sensible nations recognise a run race, and have started to act accordingly…

  13. I recall a number of EU countries said they weren’t going to be hostile to ex-pats, didn’t stop the EU using UK ex-pats as a bargaining chip early on in the early stages of negotiation and out even stupider govt going along with it

  14. Bloke in Callao
    “Jones listened to George Formby records to ACQUIRE the accent. The little cunt comes from Sheffield”

    As a Lancastrian, where do I complain about his cultural appropriation?

  15. Working class white students are discriminated against, because of positive discrimination / grovelling to ethnic minorities.

    And the Guardian doesn’t give a flying fuck.

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