In our class on the BBC I mentioned a poem which referred to the elite thinking that high culture was not appropriate for working class people. But I said it might be Auden. In fact the poem is by Sassoon, and here it is :
The Case for the Miners
Something goes wrong with my synthetic brain
When I defend the Strikers and explain
My reasons for not blackguarding the Miners.
" What do you know? " exclaim my fellow-diners
(Peeling their plovers' eggs or lifting glasses
Of mellowed Chateau Rentier from the table),
" What do you know about the working classes?"
I strive to hold my own; but I'm unable
To state the case succinctly. Indistinctly
I mumble about World-Emancipation,
Standards of Living, Nationalization
Of Industry; until they get me tangled
In superficial details; goad me on
To unconvincing vagueness. When we've wrangled
From soup to savoury, my temper's gone.
"Why should a miner earn six pounds a week?
Leisure! They'd only spend it in a bar!
Standard of life! You'll never teach them Greek,
Or make them more contented than they are!"
That's how my port-flushed friends discuss the Strike.
And that's the reason why I shout and splutter.
And that's the reason why I'd almost like
To see them hawking matches in the gutter.
by Siegfried Sassoon