Topics: Social class, Working class, BBC Pages: 3 (1482 words) Published: September 14, 2014
Six O’Clock News – Tom Leonard
this is thi
six a clock
news thi
man said n
thi reason
a talk wia
BBC accent
iz coz yi
widny wahnt
mi ti talk
aboot thi
trooth wia
voice lik
wanna yoo
scruff. if
a toktaboot
thi trooth
lik wanna yoo
scruff yi
widny thingk
it wuz troo.
jist wanna yoo
scruff tokn.
thirza right
way ti spell
ana right way
to tok it. this
is me tokn yir
right way a
spellin. this
is ma trooth.
yooz doant no
thi trooth
yirsellz cawz
yi canny talk
right. this is
the six a clock
nyooz. belt up.
Six O’Clock News – Tom Leonard
Possible themes: Identity, separateness, working class, language/dialect, anger. Facts

1. The poem imagines a BBC newsreader explaining that, if he read the news in Glaswegian dialect, people would not believe it. He says there is a right way to speak and spell, and that people who cannot do so clearly don’t know the truth/ can’t be trusted.

2. Although the poem says these bad things about Scottish dialect – it is written in Scottish dialect. ‘yooz doant no thi trooth yirsellz cawz yi canny talk right.’ During WWII, BBC newsreaders spoke ‘properly’ to establish the BBC news as ‘true’ in the propaganda war with the Nazis’ newsreader (Lord Haw-Haw) who spoke in a ridiculous accent. Leonard was born in Glasgow in 1944; he is proudly Scottish

= on the surface, appears dismissive of people who talk with a strong accent (nb this is what WE tend to feel when we meet someone who ‘does not talk proper’), but note that the underlying message of the poem is that we are wrong to do so.

This is why the poem challenges our prejudices.
Feelings of the Poet

1. Sarcasm – he doesn’t really dismiss the Glaswegian dialect as lies 2. Anger – with the ‘toffs’ for dismissing his working class friends as thick, and he is angry with his working class friends for letting them! 3. Class pride – sees dialect as a mark of the working class, and ‘talking posh’...
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