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Opinion : Is class still prevalent in society?

| August 18, 2015


Back in the early part of the 20th Century class still played a role in society.

From top hat to flat cap the attire on a gentleman’s head instantly determined his social status.

In the 1980’s our society was changed forever when political correctness rose up and the concept of equality entered our lives.

Of course true equality is very hard to achieve. There will always be the rich, just as there will always be the poor.

Many will say that class is the obstacle that prevents true equality from taking shape and they’re probably right.

So is Wycombe on the road to achieving true equality?

After spending many hours sitting in the drawing room of my ancestral home contemplating the matter, I have concluded that the town is more divided by class than ever before.

As my good self has said many times, since the opening of the new shopping complex back in March 2008 Wycombe has become a town of two halves.

I fear it was the design of the shopping centre that helped to drive a wedge between areas of the town and those of different social standing.

Let me explain.

The less well off leave their homes, on the former Council estates, and arrive into town at the bus station well away from the car park. Those who have their own private motor vehicles do not have to endure the sight of the less fortunate members of society arriving.

As the bus station is further from the town centre the lower classes have to walk a greater distance than those arriving centrally in their motorcars.

Those travelling by bus usually make their way to the town centre down the side of the supermarket to spend their money in the pound shops, penny bazaars, betting shops and charity shops. Their route conveniently avoids the main walkways of the new shopping centre filled with boutiques, jewellers and high class retail establishments that are frequented by the affluent.

Of course there are those who are above even driving themselves into town by motorcar.

Around the back of the shopping centre, at the end of Desborough Road, is a lay-by where chauffeur driven limousines can pull up and drop off the really wealthy giving them a route straight into the department store and all the other high class shops in the town.

So I hear you say that I’m wrong…. Well, how many gentlemen of the road (or tramps in non-politically correct language) do you see in the shopping centre?

How many carrier bags from pound retailers do you see people walking around with in the fancy clothing boutiques?

How many women do you see in the shopping centre taking off a pair of trainers to try on some high-heeled stiletto shoes?

At least the less fortunate are spared the sight of the expensive shops selling goods beyond their price range.

The more my good self thinks about it the more yours truly can see how our town is literally built around class.

The dream of equality is just that, a dream.

What do you think?

*My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

You can also follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ivor.wycombe or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Ivor_Wycombe.

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