Role reversal

The review of the fox hunting ban has given rise to repeated use of the word “toffs” on social media in recent days. Curiousity led me to discover the origins of this word. A 100 years ago or so the well-heeled often used snuff which caused their noses to run with a toffee like substance. They held their heads high, and no doubt sniffed a lot, owing to this which earned them the description of “toffee-nosed” or “toffs”.

Has the gap between social classes widened or narrowed since Victorian times? Debatable. What is beyond doubt is that prejudice exists in both directions along the social scale and, like most prejudice, it is often unfounded. Stereotypes are just that.

I just read an account of a man who spent a day as a Big Issue seller on a street in Scotland. The treatment he received from most of the public was shameful. He was ignored and sworn at, even by people who worked with him in his normal role and failed to even recognise him as a person deserving respect, let alone as one of their colleagues.

Maybe it would help us all if we could step into the shoes of someone with a different life from time to time? In the meantime, let’s hope the new Government achieves its aim of improving standards for everyone.

No sales pitch today – bye for now.