Educating people about Essex

EssexBeing an Essex resident I’m growing more and more tired of the media’s Essex-bashing.
The world’s worst TV show “The Only Way is Essex” winds me up no end, it’s just a bunch of people standing around talking utter bollocks as far as I’m concerned. I really don’t get it, and I don’t understand why anyone would want to watch it. Unbelievably I think it’s now on it’s 3rd series, surely ITV have better things to send camera crews to, maybe some cats stuck in trees would be better entertainment, even Essex cats stuck it trees if they must. I’d call it Essex Pussies, that’ll get you viewers, you can have that idea for free.

In my London office I’m one of about 4 or 5 Essex residents who travel into Victoria every day, there isn’t a day that goes past when Essex isn’t mentioned to one of us, usually in a derogatory way. If this stereo-typing was used in other ways in the office, you’d get hauled in front of the HR dept. Imagine poking fun at someone because they come from another country, you’d be labelled a racist, so why is it ok to poke fun at someone because of the county they come from.
Maybe I’m being sensitive; maybe I’m just bored of hearing about it.

Last night I watched a brilliant TV programme, a fly on the wall documentary about a secondary school. There are hundreds of secondary schools like this up and down the UK, I expect some are much better academically, and others much worse.
The title of this documentary is “Educating Essex”. This title originally suggested to me that it was a programme about Essex thickos, either that or they’re saying the whole county is stupid and needs educating.
The makers of this show have simply shoved the word Essex in the title to boost viewing figures as far as I’m concerned. Yes, the school is in Essex, Harlow in fact I believe, but that is the end of the link to the county, as I said, this is probably a slightly below average school in the UK, if they filmed it in Sheffield, would it be called “Educating Sheffield” ? I doubt it.

I visited a secondary school in Essex last night, before I watched the show. I was there for 2 1/2 hours, it was an open evening for parents of kids that may wish to attend the school next September. I won’t mention it’s name, but as far as I was concerned, it was utterly obvious that the kids genuinely loved the school, they were treated as a family, and they were referred to as “young people” and not children or kids. The results the school are achieving mean that over 900 kids applied for a the 192 places last year, and I’m sure Essex is full of good schools like this one.
Last night, every department had young people showing off their skills, showing what they’d been learning and even though it was 8pm in the evening, they still seemed happy to be there, just to show other kids what a great school it was, and why they should consider joining. I left there wishing I went to that school, instead of the 5 years I wasted over 20 years ago.

The point I’m making is the media is constantly telling everyone in subtle little ways that everyone in Essex is thick or a bimbo, or both. It really gets on my moobs.

By | 2011-10-07T11:39:56+00:00 October 7th, 2011|Other|1 Comment

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One Comment

  1. Alan October 7, 2011 at 11:58 am - Reply

    +1. Programs like this always focus on the strip between Harlow and Southend via Romford. We all know there are some real thickos in that part of the county but the second you get north of Wickford you get into superb countryside, some of Britain’s most photographed villages and kids that turn up in full uniform for school every single day (and stay behind for after-school clubs too.) There are three heavily oversubscribed Grammar schools within 30 minutes of my house (near Braintree.)

    Maybe the show should have been called “Educating the BBC”

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