A nice piece here in The Press and Journal by Chris Deerin, describing his journey from chippy Scot to the comment section of the Sunday Telegraph.
The gap was not just one of ability and experience, but of social class. “It was like Sid Vicious joining the London Philharmonic,” as he puts it.
I made a similar journey to an entirely alien world. Deerin writes: “There were cut-glass accents and gentlemen’s clubs and country weekends. There was breathtaking social and intellectual self-confidence, some of it even justified.”
If I observed to my Telegraph colleagues just how many of them seemed to come from Eton they would instantly get defensive. They’d say: “You’re here aren’t you? What you got to complain about?”
The idea that I might be cross on someone else’s behalf was not a possibility that had occurred.
Deerin is not complaining but he thinks the upper echelons of the press being this uneven can’t be good.
You’d like to think things are changing, but I can’t see much evidence. If anything, falling hack salaries and tighter competition have exacerbated the dominance of a certain type.
“Our work experience kids had names like Peregrine and Camilla, and were often louchely arrogant,” says Deerin.
That’s harsher than it need be. His general point is completely right though. Perergrine and Camilla still rule.