John Harris has an article in today's Guardian, riffing off from Prince William's appearance dressed as a Chav at some Sandhurst passing-out do. He charts, quite sensibly, I think, the rise of what he calls New Snobbery, in which it has become acceptable to smear the working class generally as a collection of workshy, scrounging, semi-literate and morally dubious layabouts, Little Britain and its cheap and nasty stereotypes being his archetype. Marcus at Harry's Place perhaps predictably has got all contrarian about it, saying that it is a typical whining middle class liberal gripe to think that there's something objectionable about smearing large groups of people. After all, it is so patronising to think that people might prefer not to be lumped together with some other people who, after all, they despise. He even makes Harris' point for him, thinking he's dealing the fatal blow:
[o]nly if you think most of the British working class are 'white trash' Mr Harris
Well, since Harris is complaining about the appearance of a stereotype of the working class as white trash, presumably he doesn't think it's accurate, or else he wouldn't be complaining. Bizarre.
On the other hand, just to show the indecent can be as unwise, a whole load of properly left-wing bloggers have taken up this suggestion by Daniel Davies. Not a good idea, it strikes me. The use of 'gay' as an undifferentiated term of insult is I think fairly clearly homophobic. It associates gay people with undifferentiated badness, which is obviously homophobic. Mockingly using 'anti-semitic' in the same way, whilst clearly attempting to make a valid political point, would, I think, probably be anti-semitic by serving to propagate the idea that there is actually no anti-semitism. Better to try and call each case individually. There. Lashings of political correctness all round.