Apparently the Essex accent is the sexiest in the UK? Britain was in perpetual economic turmoil in the 1970s, yet the economy of the south-east flourished in comparison to other regions, in particular the northern towns. Shaaht aahp! The 37-year old gave fans a glimpse of her luxurious pad that features a vint… A microclimate of inequality existed on our street, separating homeowners from council tenants. But it was Essex man that would last. Amazingly, there are 56 recognised accents in the UK. In typical tabloid fashion, alongside all the stories poking fun at Essex types, there came the occasional story that relied on the opposite premise: that people from Essex were good-hearted strivers cruelly judged by the old establishment elites. It is considered to be a working-class accent, although often used by the lower middle classes too. In the long run that will be the real test.”, On the first day of term in 1966, six-year-old Simon Heffer gasped. Before the influx, his classmates were the children of farmers and agricultural labourers, with old Essex accents more akin to the rounded rural burr of Suffolk or Norfolk. “He is unencumbered by any ‘may the best man win’ philosophy,” Heffer wrote. ), For many who had moved there, this new Essex was a welcome jolt of modernity, delivering them from often squalid conditions that still characterised much of postwar London. The “how” – British accent vs American accent. Just as not everyone north of Manchester is a cloth-cap-wearing leave voter and most people in Islington don’t eat quinoa for breakfast, it’s not hard to discover that most people in Essex aren’t much like those seen on Towie. “But I’m sure you are not like that.”. A grammar-school boy, Tebbit preached the gospel of self-improvement from the beginning of his political career; he was already advocating a free-market agenda when first agitating to become an MP in the 1960s. But before Essex was a punchline, it was a dream. After Thatcher made him secretary of state for employment in 1981, Tebbit changed the law to require shop-floor workers to vote in a ballot, effectively leaving the unions unable to force industrial action. During the American Revolution, the English language started to change in Britain. I remember my mum and dad refusing to sign one London-born homeowner’s petition to have his sister, a renter, evicted for being the mother of a “problem family”. Funding was provided to improve living conditions and quality of life. The art historian Nikolaus Pevsner once suggested that the county’s image problem predates the Roman invasion. Do it, do it!’ So I went away and wrote the piece and it appeared the following Sunday.”. In the debate that surrounded a 1993 article about Estuary English, a London businessman claimed that RP was perceived as unfriendly, so Estuary English was now preferred for commercial purposes. The phrase, Heffer said, was a deliberate echo of “Neanderthal man” – implying that Essex man was the missing link between the lumpen proles of the new town estates and the bright new citizens emerging under the stewardship of Margaret Thatcher’s party. It is embraced by politicians who celebrate it as the home of no-nonsense, “real” people – David Cameron hired the ex-Basildon Echo reporter Andy Coulson as his head of comms – but also mocked for these same qualities, often by the very same political classes who praise its authenticity. One speaker thinks that media only portrays girls as having modern Essex accent. The invention of “Essex” is, above all, a political story. The arrival of Ford Dagenham in 1931, a huge car manufacturing plant, provided thousands of jobs. Essex came to represent “white flight” in the UK, and there is much evidence of xenophobia and racism in Essex: the county was a hotbed of BNP membership during the first decade of the 21st century. When I spoke to her recently, Playle remembered the incident well. Essex is not part of the metropolitan bubble … People have got their feet on the ground.”.