A while ago The Guardian ran this piece about how technology was making the class system far more efficient.

The inspiration for it was a depressing afternoon spent at the Marketing Technology show.


The worst aspect was that all the people behind it all seemed so pleased with themselves. None of them saw how unpleasant their inventions were.

And yet this same crowd – the marketing industry – are the same creeps who love to claim that technology is ‘democratising society’ and levelling the playing field. It’s doing exactly the opposite.

It soon became apparent that it was no longer necessary for snobs to make instant judgments: a robot could do it for them.

All this was achievable because programmers had taken age-old prejudicial behaviours and enshrined them in silicon. An incoming phone caller could be judged without any human intervention.

Every phone number includes an area code. A phone switch can look at each call coming in and in a flash it can assess the area code and determine whether you are from a slum or NW1.

The Call Line Identity (CLI) can be checked against the company database in case you’re an existing customer. If you’re important your call will be given priority. If you’re not, you get to speak to a chatbot or a call centre. If you’re a low status client with a problem, you’ll be put through to the Stall Centre, where you are ground down by bureaucratic processes until you give up.

There’s a class system in feminism now. It’s certainly come of age since the days of women fighting for the vote. The fact that universal suffrage gave votes to working-class men has been airbrushed out of history suggests there’s a social hierarchy in place.

Since there are different classes of feminist it seems strange that nobody has thought to digitise the discrimination.

So, if you phone the feminist hotline from an ABC1 social group or NW1 post code, the PBX automatically switches you through to the premium service for VIPs, where a police officer will immediately act on your concerns about offensive tweets.

But if your call line identification (CLI) indicates you are from Rotherham, you are clearly in the non-VIP category and your plea will be handled very differently. Which is to say indifferently.

Pussy Hats don’t do Telford, Rochdale or Rotherham. If there’s no Starbucks in the area, there’s no sisterly solidarity, it seems.

Here’s how an app might work. Say you have a complaint. A digital diversity calculation will be made, based on colour chart politics and income and which newspaper you might read, and a decision might be made to route your call to a remote and very distant jobsworth empowered with indecision-making skills.

If you’re from the wrong end of the social spectrum, the call will be switched to staff trained to use the latest ‘talk to the hand’ techniques, such as buck-passing, incomprehension and blame-storming.

After being comprehensively fobbed off, you will then be asked to do a customer service feedback survey, which presents a range of options giving 100 different ways of saying that you are ecstatic with the world-class service and breathtaking compassion you have received.

This call will now be terminated. Goodbye.

8 COMMENTS

  1. “…the call will be switched to staff trained to use the latest ‘talk to the hand’ techniques, such as buck-passing, incomprehension and blame-storming.”
    Ah. You mean BT customer services?

  2. Clearly a clever programmer must devise a way of making your call appear to be from a high priority area.

  3. Excellent piece, and started my day with a laugh, for which I thank you. If you want an even funnier telephone call for real, try taking out RAC breakdown cover if you live in Auchtermuchty, or anywhere in rural Aberdeenshire, such as Finzean for example.

  4. ‘The Split’, the BBC’s latest manifestation of deranged feminist angst, is truly ghastly in its box-ticking superficiality and tripe. I caught it accidentally and endured five minutes before fleeing. Such sour-faced you-know-whats male bashing throughout.

    Tedious, predictable tripe.

    • The company making it for the beeb was called ‘Sister Productions’, so with a name like that you can guess the agenda without even watching the end result. Even the crew was purposefully all-female at the start of filming, although as things went on (and they were up against time and money pressures), the ratio of sexes had almost evened out. I switched off after ten minutes of Ep1 but despite the series losing viewers by the episode and pretty much being yet another soap opera, it looks as though Series 2 has been greenlit. Quelle flippin Surprise!

  5. Should sell it to the Sandi Toksvig Women’s Equality Party, they’d then never have to be triggered by any woman who hasn’t got a lucrative “profession” and done a term on “Gender” . Just think of the horror if they had to talk to a Hairdresser or Cook !

  6. … and if an apparently oppressed woman calls from the new mosque & sharia centre in the Outer Hebrides (sic) will she be connected instantly or deprioritised … a tricky one for the thought police …

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