Wednesday, 3 April 2013

TV News Cameraman Takes BBC Great British Class Survey.

I hope my readers from foreign climes will forgive me. You see us here in Great Britain are obsessed with class. In the news here today a new British class survey is hot news. Gone are working, middle and upper classes to be replaced by 7 classes of people. These are they...

  • Elite: This is the most privileged class in Great Britain who have high levels of all three capitals. Their high amount of economic capital sets them apart from everyone else.
  • Established Middle Class: Members of this class have high levels of all three capitals although not as high as the Elite. They are a gregarious and culturally engaged class.
  • Technical Middle Class: This is a new, small class with high economic capital but seem less culturally engaged. They have relatively few social contacts and so are less socially engaged.
  • New Affluent Workers: This class has medium levels of economic capital and higher levels of cultural and social capital. They are a young and active group.
  • Emergent Service Workers: This new class has low economic capital but has high levels of 'emerging' cultural capital and high social capital. This group are young and often found in urban areas.
  • Traditional Working Class: This class scores low on all forms of the three capitals although they are not the poorest group. The average age of this class is older than the others.
  • Precariat: This is the most deprived class of all with low levels of economic, cultural and social capital. The everyday lives of members of this class are precarious.

You would think that as a TV News Cameraman, i would come out of the BBC Great British Class Survey somewhere in the middle. Seeing as i'm self employed and therefore handcuffed to the ebb and flow of broadcasters cash flow, my income can be described as erratic to say the least.

"Excuse me officer... do keep those plebs at bay... there's a good chap."

Sometimes i earn shed loads, sometimes i earn fuck all. Peaks and troughs is a well known term in the Freelance TV industry. I'm guessing that most tv cameramen, freelance at least, would be around the same mark. On my survey at least, I guessed wrong... Oh so very wrong. I guessed wrong because of only one thing... Money. I shall reveal my class later...

Anybody who knows me and works alongside me knows that i'm a down to earth, robust and foul mouthed individual who generally speaks his mind. I get on with most people, and was brought up to respect others, work hard and educate myself. I would put myself into the realm of the old working to middle class.

The survey though, asks some very generalised questions. Apparently, going to the theatre makes me out to be a champagne guzzling chinless wonder, but it didn't ask me what i went to see... It was Spamalot.

Do i own my own home? Yes, yes i do. But it is an ex council property, nothing with any acreage, faux Georgian columns at the front door or swimming pool cunningly hidden in the shrubbery.

The thing that changed my survey entirely was the question of money. You see i'm lucky enough to have some in reserve. Trust fund..? No. Inheritance from a long lost millionaire uncle..? Again, no. I have some because i worked bloody long hard hours for it. I built a small but reasonably successful one man business. It took me about ten years of hard graft to get to this point where i can feel relatively safe on the cash front.

Because of this one fact, i have been classed in the survey as...


Yep, you read that right. I am apparently a part of the top 6 percent in the country. Look, i go to museums occasionally to see things that interest me. I go to the theatre occasionally to see things like Spamalot. I try to educate myself through reading. 

But i work for a living, and when i do work i get paid reasonably well, and when i have some left over i save it for my retirement. Considering what some people earn who do lots more real work that i will ever do, i feel quite lucky. Elite though i am definitely not. I will not let this result influence me in any way whatsoever...

Anyway, for future reference, i will be addressed as Lord ukcameraman, and you may doff your cap or touch your forelock in my exulted presence. Tea shall be served in the form of Darjeeling in a china cup and i shall be taking to wearing a monocle at all times.

You will know it is me on the street corners at the next crime scene as my manservant shall be holding an umbrella to shield me from the rain. Has the class system in the UK broken down or become more blurred..?

Well of course it has, otherwise i would not be talking to the likes of you, would i..?

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.