By local standards Mr Bolan would be considered a well-spoken fellow. Indeed, some Spides might even consider him to be a tad la-di-da. Yet it seems that in sunny Cambridgeshire his accent, with its thick Norn Irish brogueiness, defeats the understanding of many of his co-residents. I have an opinion about this. And this is it.
Certain peoples, and I think that the Southern English are among these peoples, consider themselves to be a cut above. It's not really English unless it is spoken by the worthy people. Accents, of any kind, are unacceptable. They cause the brow to furrow and the eye to glaze. And I think that these people who have such trouble understanding the Irish, the Welsh, the Indian, the Brummie, the Scot, the Chinese, the Geordie, all the Johnny Foreigners are simply being arrogant, up themselves and snobby gets.
I experienced this incomprehension a lot when I visited the deep South. In Mississippi and Louisiana I quickly learned not to ask the white folks for the rest room or directions of any sort. Small Mom and Pop stores were the worst. Those people just didn't understand one word I said. They looked at me with deep suspicion and not a little resentment. Instead I'd ask black women for directions if I needed to find something in a shop or figure out where the toilets where. Those women had not the slightest difficulty understanding our North Antrim accents and were more than willing to help us find our way about.
I've often wondered about it since. Were the white folks, often a minority in the rural areas, a remnant of the worthy people who set the standard on how English should be spoken, the people who shouldn't have to make an effort to understand the way that other, less worthy people spoke, or am I just a paranoid bitch?