Uber Grass: bubbling and why not to do it

You know you are working class the day you tell dad or mum what your sibling did to you only to be told “don’t be a grass.”

Growing up in the working end of society I was taught that, on a moral level, grassing was about as low as you could go.

There are important distinctions to be made here at the outset. Grassing is telling tales for personal advantage at the expense of your peers or those below you. Grassing is a top down betrayal

Whistleblowing, meanwhile, is an assault on power using the truth. It benefits the public by informing them. It is a bottom up process often carried out at great personal risk.

Grassing is often framed in bourgeois terms as simply telling the authorities what they need to know about this or that criminal act or behaviour. This is disingenuous and ideologically-tinged.

For the privileged classes the dobbing in of a less wealthy individual holds little danger. Grassing is kicking down.

You, the grass, will still eat even if your target, the victim, does not, as in the case of the Twitter user who appears to have publicly bubbled out an Uber driver for being a Momentum supporter.

By his own admission, the grass, who is a Labour member, was aware of how precarious it is to work for Uber and yet he tweeted his complaint, arguably indicating the act was as much about his own ego as a problem with the service.

In a subsequent tweet he appeared to suggest that support for a Corbynista program was akin to preaching religion.

My take is that he was comparing — in a coded fashion — agitation for socialist politics to preaching some brand of radical Islam, but who is to say what went on in his head?

Whatever his aims were, he is a grass. And grassing up a worker in the knowledge he may lose his job — perhaps with the intention of getting him sacked — is frankly vile.

The redeeming factor in the whole episode is that the individual was quickly branded a grass across the very social media platform he had used to pompously and publicly threaten another human being’s livelihood for no other reason, it seems, than that he disagreed with that driver’s politics.

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