Letters - A class in anti-capitalism

Johann Hari's article "Champagne anarchists" (29 April) proves that snobbery is not the prerogative of the upper and middle classes. Upward mobility is generally scorned by working-class socialists and anarchists as "selling out" yet, apparently, downward mobility is also to be jeered at. Hari seems to be advocating no mobility, a state more familiar as the Victorian and Edwardian belief that people should know their place in society and stick to it. Does Hari really believe that no middle- or upper-class student or (shock horror) Oxbridge student should know or care about the anti-capitalist movement?

Rosie Best
London N10

While we appreciate the deservedly favourable comparison of Cambridge Anti-Capitalist Action with the Oxford Student Union, we nevertheless feel it necessary to clarify the picture that Johann Hari presented of ACA. Our organisation is not exclusively university-based - one-third of members are not from the university. Moreover, Hari contradicts himself by pointing out that 50 per cent of students are exempt from tuition fees based on their financial status while assuming that all members of ACA are posh, middle-class students.

In fact, everyone he interviewed is from a state comprehensive.

Craig McDowell, Dan Mayer, Heather McRobie,
Abbey and Geo C Maher
Cambridge Anti-Capitalist Action

This article first appeared in the 06 May 2002 issue of the New Statesman, The man who would be king